“Big Brother Yan, Dr. Su,” Lu Lingxi, who got out of the car, greeted politely.
The obviously different way of addressing them secretly pleased Yan Yue. Watching Lu Lingxi go to open the door, Yan Yue said to Su Lang in the tone of a kind of owner, “Come in and have a seat. Xiao Xi has cleaned up the shop quite well. That spring orchid was sold but you can also look at other things.”
Su Lang almost finished chatting with Yan Yue, and seeing that Lu Lingxi brought someone with him and was obviously busy, he was about to leave but stopped in his tracks at Yan Yue’s words. The old man liked these flowers and plants, but the ones at home were either planted in the yard or in pots that were too big to move around, so if there was a suitable one in the shop to place on the hospital windowsill, the old man might be in a better mood looking at it every day.
It was August and the weather today was particularly hot and humid, the air so dense that it seemed to be frozen. There was no breeze and everyone was quite hot and breathless. As soon as the door to Tiny Garden was opened, the room filled with greenery welcomed them. The damp, stuffy air seemed to be washed away by the green plants, and even breathing became easier. Standing in the doorway, everyone felt that the small door seemed to separate Tiny Garden from the outside as if there were two different worlds, one stifling and the other refreshing.
Brother Han couldn’t wait to go in. He took a deep breath and felt a current of fresh air running through his body, indescribably refreshing. He and Yan Yue often came to Tiny Garden and they were used to the freshness inside but Su Lang and the driver were here for the first time and couldn’t help but be a little surprised.
“It’s really comfortable here, I don’t even want to leave.” The driver exclaimed vigorously when he finished drinking the iced water Lu Lingxi had poured for him and sat on the wicker chair at the entrance.
Brother Han nodded, “The environment in Xiao Xi’s shop is really nice. More than that, since I’ve had a few pots of flowers at home, the air seems to be a little better too. Especially that clivia, I feel very comfortable when I’m near it.”
“That obvious?” The driver clearly didn’t believe it, “Are you joking, Lao Han?”
Brother Han explained unhurriedly, “You know photosynthesis, right? Flowers and plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Isn’t it just air? Xiao Xi’s place is a clear example of this. Speaking of which, I need to buy a few pots for my home. I want the kind that absorbs carbon dioxide very effectively. What would you recommend, Xiao Xi?”
When he said this, the driver also started thinking about it. The effect of Tiny Garden was too obvious, so the driver immediately approached Lu Lingxi.
Lu Lingxi was moving a few pots of chlorophytum onto a special three-tier shelf to save space and to make it convenient to carry them to the car later. Yan Yue had been following him since he came in and was now moving the pots with him. Seeing that the driver was about to get close to Lu Lingxi, Yan Yue immediately moved to separate the two.
Lu Lingxi didn’t notice his subtle movement. While sorting out the potted plants in front of him, he said after some thought, “Dianthus, Belgian azalea, cyclamens, fuchsias are all fine. They look good at home and purify toxic gases, which is good for your body.”
The driver listened to him and took a fancy to cyclamen at a glance, and the name was also nice. Su Lang interjected with interest, “What would be a good gift for a patient?”
“A patient? Dr. Su, do you have a friend who is sick?” Lu Lingxi said in surprise. He had been busy since he entered the shop and had only had time to hastily greet Su Lang without asking anything else.
“Grandpa has twisted his back.”
“Grandpa Su has twisted his back?” Lu Lingxi was a little startled. Just a few days ago when he and Elder Su went to the flower market, the old man looked quite energetic, and now he had twisted his back. “But,” Lu Lingxi said seriously, “you don’t usually give potted plants to patients, it doesn’t have a good meaning.” A potted plant with roots could easily be misunderstood as a root for a long-term illness, which was a taboo for the patient. Lu Lingxi didn’t know this before and left the pot of chlorophytum to Sister Tian when he was discharged from the hospital. He only learned it later when he read a book.
Su Lang laughed, “It’s okay, Grandpa doesn’t care about superstitions. Besides, if the flowers die within a few days of being given, Grandpa will only be more unhappy.”
Hearing him say this, Lu Lingxi turned around and brought a pot of calla lilies from behind the cashier’s desk. As soon as he brought it out, Brother Han was the first to say in surprise, “Green?”
The calla lily in front of him was not the usual yellow, white or pink, but a very rare green colour. The plant was tall and elegant, the petals were tender green and the leaves were emerald green, looking very fresh and eye-catching. This calla lily was picked up by Lu Lingxi at the flower market last time and was raised by him for a few days. Originally he had planned to keep the calla lily at home, but because of the colour of the flowers he wanted to display it in the shop.
If it was an ordinary customer, Lu Lingxi would be reluctant to part with it, but as it was Grandpa Su, he thought about how suitable this calla lily was for a patient, both in terms of its symbolism and its colour, so he took it out willingly.
Brother Han was itching as he looked at the calla lily; he really liked it too much. But Su Lang had said it was for a patient, so he was too embarrassed to argue and just hurriedly gave it a few more glances to satiate his craving.
Su Lang was also very happy, thinking that the old man would definitely like it, and immediately asked, “How much is it?”
Lu Lingxi shook his head, “This calla lily doesn’t cost anything, Dr. Su, greet Grandpa Su for me and I’ll go see him sometime.”
Su Lang was taken aback, “How can you not take money for it?”
Lu Lingxi insisted. Su Lang was about to say something when Yan Yue spoke up, “Forget it, don’t brush off Xiao Xi’s feelings.”
Lu Lingxi curved his eyes at Yan Yue and nodded at Su Lang, “This is my heart for Grandpa Su.”
Su Lang left holding the calla lily, and Lu Lingxi had to follow Brother Han to settle the rest of the money, leaving Yan Yue alone in the shop. Lu Lingxi was worried that Yan Yue wouldn’t understand anything if a customer came to the shop and repeatedly told him to call him if he needed anything.
Yan Yue laughed and said deliberately, “So little confidence in your Big Brother Yan?”
Lu Lingxi blushed, a little embarrassed to look at Yan Yue. Although he did have this kind of worry, would it hurt Big Brother Yan’s self-esteem if he said it outright?
Yan Yue could tell from Lu Lingxi’s face what was on his mind, and couldn’t help but reach out and rub his hair, saying with a smile, “Don’t worry, I’ll definitely call Xiao Xi if there are customers.”
Lu Lingxi’s eyes curved as he nodded.
After they left Tiny Garden, no customers came to the shop for a while. Yan Yue sat on the wicker chair at the entrance, reading emails on his mobile phone, and Dahei lay lazily at his feet, one person and one dog in harmony.
There were a lot of emails in the mailbox. During this time Yan Yue was not abroad, and there was a time difference of more than ten hours between the two sides, so the phone calls were not very convenient. Many things about Dezhi Investment were handled by email. Fortunately, when he started Dezhi Investment, he hired a professional manager to manage the company in order not to be noticed by his family. With An Jie on hand to assist him, many things were handled by the people below and not much really needed to be reported to him.
At the moment, the most important thing for Dezhi Investment was the cooperation with NT. An Jie was obviously very efficient. He had just made contact with NT and when they got in touch, An Jie immediately followed up on it in the name of Dezhi Investment. The only thing was that they heard there were doubts within NT about this partnership project and there was hesitation about whether to go ahead with the project. It was likely that Dezhi Investment would have to work hard to get this project.
Once people are fully engaged in their work, time passes very quickly. Yan Yue felt that he hadn’t even dealt with a few emails before it was already 12 o’clock. Lu Lingxi hadn’t returned yet. Yan Yue frowned imperceptibly. Did settling an account need to be so slow? Or did the boy encounter something else?
Not too far away from Brother Han’s unit, a few gardeners were dealing with a small dead willow tree. China’s economy was taking off over the years, but the corresponding natural environment was getting worse and worse. As a large, heavy industrial city, Fengcheng was among the top ten cities with the worst environment in China.
The current administration of Fengcheng had made improving the environment a key remediation project. Since the beginning of their term, they promoted the planting of trees throughout the city, planting many saplings everywhere. But simply planting a tree was not enough for it to survive. Sunlight and rain, watering and fertilising were all essential, but these follow-ups had never been done adequately. The sapling in front of Lu Lingxi was dying because of lack of water, and the gardeners were about to cut it off and remove it. When Lu Lingxi passed by, he just made a habitual mental scan, and then he suddenly shouted at Yi Hang to stop the car.
The white panel surfaced.
Plant viability: very low
This tree was not dead yet!