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Fiascos al fresco OR, How I Discovered My Green Thumb's Really Brown

Posted Thursday, March 15, 2012, at 9:09 PM

It's time to plant a garden; but this year, my family will be relieved to know -- I'm going to suppress my optimistic, denial-ridden delusion that I could, in fact, actually tend and nurture a plant to maturity and to actually bearing fruit.

I'm not going to plant anything. I am simply going to enjoy my clumpy, clover-ridden, dandelion-filled lawn. Instead of trying to grow things, I'm going to take up bird and rabbit-watching. Clover is green, cool to your feet, draws the rabbits and is very hardy. And if there were no dandelions, what would grandchildren gather for impromptu bouquets for grandmas?

This way, there'll be plenty of clover blossoms and yellow dandelion flowers for neighborhood children to pluck and give to deserving moms, grandmas, sisters or friends.

It's time I accepted reality instead of trying to fight it.

Though I come from a long line of folks with green thumbs, that gene apparently skipped me...is there such a thing as a brown thumb?

I've killed cactus and botched dozens of container plantings of tomatoes. I've even grown (sort of) zucchini plants that never produced one squash. No kidding.

About 15 years ago, my attempt at a vegetable garden seemed to be -- miraculously -- kinda, sorta, almost actually succeeding. April -- radishes harvested. May -- looking good, nothing dead. Carrots coming along great. The peppers did develop some sort of black spot disease; but still, this was a good year. Four compact rows of early corn were doing well and had nice, full ears on them. By mid-July these were almost ready to pick.

Just a few more days....I answered the phone at work, always glad to hear from my young son.

Son: Is it bad if there's a whole bunch of those big, black crows in the corn?

Me: Um...Not for the crows.

So much for my best effort ever at a mini corn crop.

One spring a few years later, discouraged by numerous attempts to grow a small flower garden, I stuck sprigs of silk daffodils along the walkway that leads to our home.

For a few days, I had a beautiful flower garden. But even this was not to last. Neighborhood dogs dug them up. Not sure if that's 'cause they thought they were real or 'cause they thought they smelled funny. Anyhow, the kids still tease me about that summer; "The Year Mom Killed Silk Flowers."

Some people just aren't meant to be gardeners.



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Lynn Wade
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Exploring the obvious and the not so obvious in search of the oh, so elusive "something to do' that's all around us.
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