Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How does your garden grow?

I inherited a lot of things from my father, some good (such as my quick wit and my love of history) and some bad (like my ugly hobbit feet and my need to use every dish in the house whenever I cook), but the one trait I never inherited was a green thumb. My father could make anything grow anywhere. I remember the flower beds (is that one word or two?) he designed and maintained. They were beautiful. The house we eventually settled in has a huge backyard and the back third of it was dedicated to a vegetable garden. My dad would spend all winter planning out the garden, where he would plant what and when. He would get so excited as the middle of May neared and the weather warmed up. I remember summers spent weeding that stupid garden! Oh, how I hated to be out there pulling those weeds! But Dad loved it. He loved his gardens: flower and vegetable. I never understood what all the excitement was about. After I graduated from high school and moved away, I decided to get a plant. I can't recall what type of plant it was, but I remember telling Dad about it and he said something about that plant being a hard one to kill. Well, 8 days later it was dead. Too much water? Not enough sun? I have no idea what caused the quick death of this plant, but I was pretty sure it was something I did (or didn't do). Since that day, I tried to keep plants alive, and have failed.(One unlucky plant live three days, but I blame the treatment it got in the store before I bought it!) It appeared that I had been cursed with a black thumb.

Well, my dear readers, this may be a bit premature, but I do believe that I may no longer have a black thumb! A few days ago (11 days ago to be exact), I decided I was going to start a container garden on my apartment balcony. So, I went and bought the two plants I figured would be the most difficult to kill: tomatoes and cucumbers. And I am pleased to announce that after 11 days, not only are they alive, but they are flourishing! The tomato plant has grown a couple of inches and even has some yellow flowers on it! The cucumber plant was in rough shape when I bought it, but it too seems to be growing like crazy! I know it may seem to silly to be excited about growing two plants, but given my track record with plants, this is monumental! I cannot wait for the tomatoes and cucumbers to appear! Hopefully the plants will live that long! If they do, I will officially call myself a gardener!

My plants (when I first bought them)!


Karen said...

congratulations!! you are two container plants ahead of me, and I am envious. Keep up the good work!!

Jennifer said...

Michelle, you are not alone in your black thumb curse. I too am unable to keep plants alive. If it weren't for Sean, we would have no greenery anywhere near our house. Example: I bought a cactus. They are hardy, and have beautiful flowers. I figured I could handle that. It lasted for 3 months before finally keeling over. I somehow managed to kill something that is indigenous to deserts! How much care can a cactus possibly need? Obviously more than I can manage.

Your plants are looking great! You'll have to share your secrets with me :-)