I have a black thumb. We had a fake, dusty ficus in college. I’ve had few houseplants in my time. Those that did make it home suffered greatly. We had one on the mantle in our first home. It looked so nice up there, all green and earthy and stuff. In the four years we had it, it got watered four times.
That might be an exaggeration. Maybe it was three.
The Girl and I were inspired a few years ago. On a whim, we went to Lowe’s and bought plants and fancy organic soil. We bought seeds, too. I told myself that if I can grow something, anything, that we can eat, I’ll consider our first effort a success. I cheated and started with live, already growing plants.
My brother in law knows more about plants than most nursery owners. He gave me some tips about starting a container garden. I tried to follow his directions appropriately. We planted three kinds of tomatoes (beefsteak, roma and classic heirloom), two cucumber seedling thingys, zucchini, strawberries and herbs.
I didn’t expect to have a bountiful crop each weekend, but imagine our surprise when we noticed a bright red strawberry on the vine! The Girl shrieked. The Boy asked if we could eat it. Absolutely, kiddo. Everything else more than doubled in size. It was pretty exciting. Our limited and small success makes me want to try more.
Well, now I’m gonna give it one more go. After all, I’ve now kept alive three bamboo stalks in vases, some weed-ridden herbs, a transplanted shamrock plant from Ireland, a few strawberries and my newest little palm tree plant looking thing from Ikea. I got succulents from Ikea, too, but I don’t think they count as things to keep alive. Aren’t they fool proof? I guess there aren’t any guarantees, because someone once told me it’s impossible to kill a cast iron plant, and ours is long gone. I’ve heard that watering is the key, but I can’t ever seem to remember.
The herbs in the backyard are more than thriving, due in part to the amount of rain we’ve had. Several have grown out of the pots and into the ground. You may not be impressed, but I’m considering that success.
I’ve always wanted to have pretty flowers to clip for vases and trimmed shrubs that impress neighbors. More than that, I love my window boxes, but they need help. A friend offered to help with them. I’m taking her up on it. I’ve got a few ideas as to how I’d like them to look, and she suggested I visit the spring Pendleton King Park Plant Sale to stock up.
Here goes nothing. See the photo for my newest casualty, a tree of some sort, also from Ikea. It’s trying desperately to start over, what with its green newness amid the dead branches. Replying to the cry for help, I gave it water.
Wish me luck with the window boxes, and if you want to meet up at the PKP Plant Sale, here’s the info:
20th Annual Master Gardener Plant Sale
Pendleton King Park’s Franke Pavilion
Saturday, May 6
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Selling hard-to-find sun and shade perennials, native plants, shrubs, succulents, bulbs, vines, herbs direct from Master Gardeners, who will be on hand to answer gardening questions. There will also be a sale and signing of “Sid Sez: Grow It in Augusta” by Sid Mullis.