"What are those plastic bottles doing with your plants, grandma?," a younger me asks.
"I put them there when I leave and can't water them. You fill them and turn them neck into the flower pots, and so the plants "drink" as much as they need. Go tell your mum, try it at home my little prince."
"How come your plants are always growing, abuela?"
"It's because I talk to them. You should talk to them too and they'll grow, my little prince."
"I love your cactus, abuela!"
"I brought that one all the way from Buenos Aires in a closed box and couldn't find it for weeks! And when I took it out it was still alive. "
And then a few years later she wearily said:
"I don't want any more plants, my little prince.
I'm gonna throw those last ones away, they always die when I leave.
It was different before, but not with this Sun, no no. The Sun! Oh you ought to be careful not to leave anything in the balcony, the Sun spoils it."
And so we toured the balcony and I saw that only very few plants remained.
And Grandma took a jar and watered a dead bonsai, its rickety trunk dry against the sun.
"Grandma, that one's dead"
"Sure? It seems to be sprouting back to me."
She won't throw anything away.
I know she still loves her plants.