But then I look around. The house is full of flowers and plants, and I had to leave some at the museum for lack of space. How many peace lilies can a person care for? The rubber plant on the front stoop looks awful (it was a gift ten years ago and has been through a lot!) and I'm going to cut it down and possibly not replace it. Every winter Pat would bring a dolly home from work and we'd muscle the heavy pot into the front hallway lest it freeze. I can't manage that by myself. And how much responsibility do I have for these plants, anyway? They are not children, they're plants. In theory I'm the dominant species (except for the insects; the mosquitoes and fire ants will survive us all). The big kalanchoe is just about finished flowering, and I can put that in our little greenhouse or on the deck where it should do just fine with little care. The bromeliad is happy in the bathroom for now. I threw out a small cyclamen this morning but felt guilty about it. I don't think I could toss them all out, anyway.
There should be a form of absoution for plant guilt.