I've got two dead plants sitting on my deck, and one brand-spanking new, beautiful blooming plant in my hands, courtesy of yet another trip to the local nursery.
I can feel my new baby's vines clench and tighten at the sight of the dead ones. She doesn't want to end up like they did.
I coo at her. "I promise this won't happen to you. I will take better care of you than I did your sisters. I will water you and take you out of the sun and maybe even buy you plant food if you're a good girl."
Her petals are still clenched. I can almost feel her quivering as I remove her from her planter and place her in one of mine.
"Turn back," the ghosts of the dead hydrangeas seem to call out to her. "Go back to Fred Meyer before it's too late."
I plop her in, half-cover her with soil, and then my phone rings.
She will sit like this for another week and a half. Then she too will probably join the others in the plastic plant cemetery marked "Yard Debri Only".