Oh, how I have tried to master my father's plant prowess. But alas, I labor in vain. It's not for lack of trying and it most certainly doesn't seem to be hereditary.
Up until now, I was a firm believer that I could conquer most anything if I could find a good book about it. When I first got married, I taught myself to cook. From a book. Five years ago, I taught myself to knit. From a book. I learned how a car engine works. From a book.
And this also I have learned... I canNOT learn the art of foliage from a book.
When I made my first go at greenthumbery, I gave each plant a name. I once had an ivy named Harry and a cactus called Bob Saget. (May they rest in peace.) It has never been so much a game of growing things as it has been a pursuit of keeping them alive. It didn't go too well then, and it continues to not go well now.
(I think people were concerned when we decided to have children. I know Lee was... but thank God I turned out to be a significantly better parent than a gardener!)
Note the crispy leaves. I am smart enough to know that this is not good. So in hopes of staving off "crispy leaf sydrome"...
Enter the Aqua Globe. Note that it is empty. Because it hasn't been filled in weeks (or dare I say months??). I think this one has some fight left in her, though... here's hoping!
This really used to be alive. The Man threw it out and called it an eyesore. I'll admit, it was a little crispy, but I still had hopes of salvaging it. Note the empty Aqua Globe.
This was the African Violet my Peanut gave me for Mother's Day. At least I've got the sweet pot she painted me. I can add it my collection of "flower-pots-turned-into-pencil-holders." Note the absence of an Aqua Globe. Doomed from the very beginning.
Annnnndddd I rest my case. I cannot grow anything. I once found the perfect garden sign. It simply said, "I tried, but it died." How lovely it would have looked in my dried up flower bed. I will spare myself the humiliation and not share any pictorals of my outside endeavors.
Last spring, I planted petunias and marigolds all around the outside of the house only to have them devoured by some beloved woodland creature! I drowned my tomatoes, starved my peppers, and neglected the surviving petunias on the porch.
This spring, The Man forbade me to spend money on anything green and leafy.
I was feeling slightly more ambitious this year and at the urging of my more-than-capable father, I decided I could start everything from seeds. This greatly appealed to my frugal self and The Man could hardly argue with the price of seeds versus plants. How hard could it be? I started tomatoes, strawberries, pumpkins, watermelons, peas, green beans, onions, daisies, snapdragons, marigolds, sunflower, and petunias. It was going to be utopian. Really.
As it turns out, The Man threw out everything (again!) before I could photographically document the horror it became.
I can never figure out the whole watering thing. How often? How much? My efforts always turn out moldy or dry. Aqua Globe has offered me little solace.
Perhaps it is just as well. There is always the farmers' market and I am extraordinarily blessed by friends and family who take pity on my poor gardening abilities. Just this week, our family was endowed with gifts of tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, blackberries, and fresh Iowa sweet corn!
As the season of harvest fast approaches, I anticipate the baking, cooking, canning, and freezing of nature's richest bounty (be it mine or someone else's... but, most likely someone else's).