Thursday, May 11, 2006

In the Garden: Black Thumb Thursday

I have a plant.

My usual method of dealing with anything is to obsess over it while it’s new, then forget all about it for a while, and then suddenly remember and shower it with an uncomfortable amount of affection out of guilt for ignoring it. I call this erratic nurturing, and it works fine with most inanimate objects. Plants and friendships, however, tend to suffer from this approach.

Plant, though, has been alive for almost three years, which is stunning. I have killed a LOT of plants in my day. When I moved into my current house, my mom brought me this plant, and I fully expected to dispatch it with due haste. Somehow, plant has withstood my nurturing. It has been left outside overnight when the temperature dropped well below freezing. It has sat inside with the curtains closed for a week. It has gone for a month with no water. It has survived a month of being watered daily. It has somehow made it through my well-intentioned effort at pruning (unlike my LP’s hair).

Recently, I added an orchid to my things-I-might-kill family. My friend Rachael grows orchids as a hobby, and she assured me that most varieties of orchids are surprisingly easy to grow. She described orchids’ preferred means of care as “benign neglect.” Sounds easy, but I am more prone to malicious neglect. At any rate, the orchid is not dead yet.

At least, I don’t think it’s dead. It’s kind of hard to tell. When I was eight I had a tiny cactus plant that I never watered because I was afraid of drowning it, and then one day I picked it up and the plant just sort of fell over, because it no longer had any roots at all. It had been dead for months, and I hadn’t known.

I hope that doesn’t happen with people. I could leave my life partner alone in his office for weeks, thinking he’s playing a video game, and then one day walk in and find his eyeballs all dried up.

Well, today’s housefrau project (other than trying to iron, which didn’t go all that well [my mom gave me an ironing ham {it looks and tastes nothing like actual ham, believe me} and I tried to use it, but, come on, it’s, like, round]) was to plant some flowers! I found some ziploc bags of dirt in the basement (I dunno), put them in a pot, and put some seeds in it. Seems a little too easy.

I had a bunch more seeds left, so I scattered them in the dirt by my front door, sort of under a bush. Now we’ll see who’s got the greener thumb: me or nature! Oh, it is on, Mother Earth!

I’d have taken photos of the whole process to share, but 1) like anyone really needs to see photos of a container of dirt, and 2) I’d left the camera on for three days, so the battery was dead.

Sigh. Guess my erratic nurturing doesn’t work with digital cameras either.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Plant.
Orchids!? You do know your stuff.


6:00 PM  

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