My black thumb   Leave a comment

I do not have a green thumb.

I would very much like to have one… I long to harvest foods from my beautiful garden and have flowers bloom with little effort. However, the opposite is usually what happens.

I try and I try and I try but plants just die.

When Steve bought me a rose bush we named George I was strictly told that there was a no touching policy in place. I was to look but not touch. He was sure that if I were to touch George he would immediately whither and die.

My grandfather, however, had two green thumbs. He probably even had some spare green thumbs hanging around his garage. Poppop tried to teach me. He gave me peace lillies to keep in my room and coached me. When they would begin to look ill he would take them home, fix them up and bring them back to me well.

In middle school I learned about pesticides and genetically engineered plants. I vowed to be vegetarian and start a garden. Poppop patiently tilled a section of the yard for me. We planted all sorts of things and I religiously watered and weeded my garden…. for about a week.

I think we had one serving of green beans from that garden.

Poppop always had fresh tomatos and green peppers ripening on the kitchen windowsill. I never ate one of those tomatos because I don’t care for them raw.

Now that he’s gone I’d give anything to eat one.

We lost my grandfather nearly 13 years ago now and, like deep pain, I still miss him as if it were yesterday.

So when we got our home I was excited at the idea of trying another garden.

Steve and I dutifully tilled a bit of early and planted seeds… not much happened. We chalked it up to starting too late.

The next year I planted some tomatos in a pot and some herbs in a little garden on the side of the house. As I dug into the earth I could hear Poppops voice in my ear saying, “Ange this is some good dirt.” I felt him coaching me as to where I should plant things and what steps were next. I was so encouraged that I planted some flowers in pots around our deck.

Well, we had several harvest of tomatos that I used in pasta and my herbs thrived. My flowers made it mid summer. I was proud.

Last year we had several meals of green beans and several beautiful cucumbers from my little garden (I gave up on tomatos because neither of us love them). My herbs were so plentiful I had to give them away. My flowers lasted all summer until LA was born and Steve and I both stopped watering them. To be fair, Steve did pick up the majority of the watering when I would forget…. and in my defense I was pregnant and not inclined to go out in the hot Florida sun to water.

This year I planted more herbs- now I have mint, sage, basil and rosemary. And I planted more vegetables and even some fruit. I have blueberries, raspberries, watermelon, cantelope, cauliflower, cucumber, zucchini, eggplant, leeks and green pepper.  There is also one mystery plant that I lost the tag and I don’t remember what it is lol. There are flowers all over the deck.

Steve has always been supportive although this year he questioned buying so many plants since, “You don’t really produce that much.” I said I had to have something to start!

I sense Poppop with me… I’m taking baby steps. Each year I’m doing better.

I’m hoping to keep up my watering and weeding. It helps that in the evening I take LA out in her bouncer with her little sunhat. She coos at the dogs and the birds while I work. She laughs at the water I spray. I hope it’s enough to keep me outside as the temperature heats up… I’m not much for the Florida summers, even though I’m a native.

I will confess that I procrastinated getting some of the plants into the ground so the watermelon, leeks, raspberry and cantelope already don’t look so hot…. hopefully they are salvagable, otherwise I may get another starter. I did learn that I cannot start things from seeds. Seeds and I don’t get along.

Let’s see how I do.



Watermelon already not looking good

Believe this is cucumber or eggplant


My rosemary that is threatening to take over the garden area! three years old and not dead… whoohoo!!!

Some deck flowers

See me touch the rose without fear!


Posted April 14, 2011 by etainl in Cutting Costs, Food, Hippie Mommy, Stay at Home Mom

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