Thursday, May 28, 2009

Plant Watch 2009

On Monday, after we returned from our trip, I looked sadly at my drooping hydrangea plant in it's pot and asked Brian if he could please throw it away. It wasn't so much drooping as it was shriveled up without an ounce of life left in it. I don't know what happened. I made sure to give it plenty of water before we left on Friday morning and when we returned on Sunday it was apparently too late. Are two days really too long to be away from a hydrangea plant?

That's when my husband gave it to me straight.

"Jenny," he said, "You're a wonderful cook. And writer. And you're a great mother and an awesome wife. There's a lot of things you are good at. But green thumb you are not."

He's right.

**Sniff. Sniff.**

My grandpa could grow the reddest, juiciest tomatoes you've ever eaten.

My grandma can coax even the most finicky plants to thrive with delight.

Come summertime my mom's flower boxes are overflowing with blooms.

My dad and his lawn were BFF and I'd challenge anyone to find just one dandelion or one sprout of quackgrass residing in our lot.

But somehow I didn't inherit any of these green genes.

When we first moved into our house from apartment living five years ago, the thing I was most excited about was planting flowers. Apartment living doesn't lend to that task very easily.

I went to the local nursery and spent an obnoxious amount of money on planters and soil and tools and flowers of every variety. By the end of the summer it was clear that the money spent was one big waste.

The next summer I bought only the easiest-to-grow variety of flowers. In the end, only the geraniums survived.

Now, each year when spring arrives, I buy only geraniums. I figure an alive and boring flower is better than a whole bunch of dead ones.

This pill wouldn't be so hard to swallow if it were all my fault. If I had forgotten to water them. Or if I put shade-loving flowers in brilliant sunshine and vice versa. But that's not the case at all. When I buy a flower or plant I read those tags very carefully. In the summer I water my flowers every morning as the experts say to do. But still, mother nature is working against me.

So I'm instituting Plant Watch 2009. I bought this beautiful hanging plant on Monday. This is the type of flower that will usually be dried up in a month under my care. So I'm holding myself accountable. Throughout the summer I'll post photos of this plant and if anything starts to go downhill I want you, my readers, to tell me what I'm doing wrong. But here's hoping that doesn't happen. Here's hoping it will look even more beautiful and vibrant come September. I'm not holding my breath.


  1. If it makes you feel better... Brian tells me our house is the Plant Hospice. It's where plants go to die.

    He thinks he's funny...

  2. I am so with you! I am deseperate to be a gardener but I'm also just tiny bit lazy and a tad more unlucky. I gave up on planting in the ground and stuck to herbs and peppers in containers and one very sorry updside down tomato plant. I'm finally getting the hang of herbs, but flowers are just a lost cause.

    Also, if it got cold at night, that might have hurt your hydrengas. They are great down here, but harder to grow up north.

    Good luck!


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