It's the time of year when the bloggers that I read begin telling of their gardening habits. People, you need to know something about me.

"My name is Missy..."

long, shameful pause

"and..."

"and..."

"and I kill plants."

My grandpa has a green thumb. No, forget that; his entire arm from the elbow down is green -- vibrantly, lusciously green.

Mine is black. BOTH of my arms are.

I have adored the idea of gardening for as long as I can remember. When I was fourteen(?), I talked my dad into letting me dig up a patch of grass near our house so that I could plant flowers. I used a shovel and a hoe and tore up that sod myself. Then I pulled out the clumps, churned up the soil, mixed in beautifully black fertilized dirt, and finally raked it all into a smooth, fertile-smelling canvas. It took me at least a week if not longer. I drew up garden diagrams; I poured over gorgeous full-color seed magazines; I chose my seeds, and I bought them myself. I planted those seeds according to the package directions and according to the diagrams I had dreamed up. I watered, fertilized and carefully guarded that garden. (With seven younger brothers and sisters who love mud, guarding was a full time job.)

Then I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

After three months, I asked my dad how long it should take before my seeds started sprouting above ground. That patch of dirt remained barren, mocking me the entire year. The following spring, I pulled up the weeds that had crowded in, and started all over again. With the same results. I can't explain it. My dad couldn't explain it. Not one seed sprouted. Not one! And I planted a lot!

When I moved into my first apartment, my mom gave me a potted African Violet. (We have a running history with African Violets, she and I, and the plant was the PERFECT gift.) She told me how hardy they were and easy to care for.

I killed it within three days, and I promise you I followed all the instructions to a T. My mom was flabbergasted. She questioned me thoroughly about my care for it and told me it was impossible to kill that plant so quickly.

She bought me another one.

It lasted a week.

Then Jeremy took pity on me and presented me with some fake daffodils in a pretty pot. I still have them...in a box...in storage. (But we won't go there, right now.)

There are many more deaths that I could report, but I think you're getting the picture.

Anyway, I say all that to tell you how excited I am about the possibility of moving into a house (hopefully) soon. I plan to kidnap a real, live gardener, and have that person show me step by step how to garden.

Or I may just have the gardener plant everything for me while I dig in the dirt nearby pretending to plant so that my black arms don't destroy the seeds before they even have a chance.
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5 Responses
  1. Que Says:

    Ya know... some have it and some don't. lol. My mother killed a cactus and a plant that was made out of rubber! I never tried because I'm sure that trait would have passed on to me. So maybe you should ask the plants is it better to have lived and died than to have not lived at all (like the seeds of your youth). 9 out of 10 plants agree that they would take that week of love you gave them than to have never existed. That last one... well... we just won't talk about that one.


  2. My mom is the gardener in our family. I do silly things like....forget to water. Apparently plants aren't fond of going without water for extended periods of time.

    Oh, yes, you should watch Man From Snowy River. Repeatedly. And then you're going to want the soundtrack. Sigh. Now I want to watch Man From Snowy River.


  3. DeAnn Says:

    I'm not a green thumb, but I can grow a garden. Just wondering if you planted your seeds too deep? Each packet of seeds tells you how deep you should plant them. If you plant them too deeply, they don't get the sunlight they need and won't sprout.
    We learn a little bit more about this gardening thing each year. :)
    I'm still figuring it out because the climate here is so different from back home and the growing season is different, too!


  4. DeAnn Says:

    Oh..another thought...you can purchase the plants and put them in your garden rather than starting from seeds. That might help you. :)


  5. Suanna Says:

    Missy, I kill plants too! Just flowers and things in pots. My vegetable garden does quite well though. My if you started with plants from Lowe's or Home Depot or somewhere they would do okay in a garden for you.


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