March 16, 2013

Black Thumb

S  Black ThumbS. Because I'm sure both are black, considering my level of prowess with plant-y things.  I didn't buy a plant for our apartment until six years into our marriage. After K was born. (At least I don't remember ever buying any plants before then.)  I suppose I felt more capable of keep something alive after doing so successfully with a human. Plus I felt a new need to be motherly and domestic "for the sake of the child". So, I bought a pretty hanging plant called a Wandering Jew. It looked good, and had a silly, slightly racist name, but the tag also said that it needed almost no care. Perfect for me!

That plant grew and made our Colorado apartment a little more homey. (It wasn't much to write home about by itself. Except for the view of the Rockies, of course.) I felt like a better mom because I had a plant (I read plants naturally help purify the air in your home, and just believed it without further thought because it seemed right, and I wanted it to be right). Plus, K liked to stare at it when he was a baby and could pretty much only stare at stuff.

When we moved to Ohio, I wasn't about to keep the plant with us for a thousand mile trip. So, we parted ways (i.e., I threw it in the dumpster because none of the friends helping us move wanted it). I'm not very sentimental about that stuff.

For the two years we were in Ohio, I got no new plants. Part of the time we lived with Jim's parents, so it didn't make sense to domesticate their house. For nine short months, we had a duplex. But again, no plants in the house. The seduction of fall led me to buy some mums to put on our porch. They looked great. We really enjoyed them. I could have planted them in the little patch of ground around the porch so they would come up again the next year, as my mom suggested. But I didn't. Because I don't actually care about gardening and thus was very lazy about it. I might have planted them in the spring (again, can't really remember), but then we moved right away. So I have no idea how that turned out in the end.

Cut to now. We have one plant that Jim got at work as a little baby plant that has survived and thrived and is now practically a small tree. (Note: Jim should be in charge of all green things in our family.) And my mom gave me a plant she's had forever. Both have managed to stay alive (though the one from my mom nearly didn't make it).

I guess I got cocky. I wanted to grow a useful plant and bought a cute little seed kit on clearance at Anthropologie (leave it to Anthropologie to get me interested in something I otherwise could care less about). K is a kid and therefore loves the idea of growing stuff. So, I bought Miracle Grow potting soil (figuring a miracle would really help me) and we planted zucchini, lemon mint, basil and tomato. The idea of plucking ingredients off the vine in my own kitchen then using them for meals is pretty enticing.

Within a week, we had sprouts. Within a couple of weeks I had to move the plants to larger pots because we were getting leaves and they were larger.

But, within a week or two after that, they stopped growing. And now they look like this:

Dead. My florist sister checked them for me but was pretty sure they are a lost cause. Sigh.

I had even decided to do a cute counter top garden using Twinings tea tins. (I saw it on Pinterest, natch.) I ordered $30 worth of tea (not a big deal, since we drink it all the time) but with the "excuse" that it saved us from having to buy separate pots for the very useful herbs and vegetables I was growing for our family. As you can see from the picture, I had one tin in use already.
Cute, huh? These were waiting in the wings:

But alas, all the plants are dead. And the reason is probably because I have no interest in reading up on how to care for them. Beyond planting, watering and keeping them by a window, my knowledge is exhausted.

Now the only "plant" on my kitchen window sill is this one:
A solar powered daisy K bought from the Farmer's Market last spring. But, of course, it no longer sways to the rhythm of the sun because S broke it. Nothing but broken down plants in my kitchen.


  1. I too kill plants unintentionally. I EVEN killed our little solar powered daisy when I knocked it off the sill and broke its head off. So you are way ahead of me. : )