Wednesday, June 14, 2006

In the Garden: The Black Thumb Bandit Strikes

Did you know that the hardware store carries plants? Seem like strange bedfellows, drywall and daisies, but that’s the marketplace for you.

So when I went to the hardware store to get a belt for my vacuuming machine, I also picked up a couple of plants. I was feeling cocky, because my sprouts, in addition to actually sprouting, had developed leaves and seemed to be not dead.

I got a basil plant and a purple flower thing labeled “verbena.” I also bought a bag of dirt, which seems kind of stupid to pay for, but I guess ten-dollar dirt must be better than the free dirt in my front yard.

I wonder where they get bags of dirt. Is there a dirt farm someplace? How do you replant the dirt after you harvest it? Clearly there must be some agricultural science at work, because I have a strong suspicion that if I stuffed some random dirt in a bag and tried to sell it, I’d be lucky to get an arcade token.

Anyway, the plants didn’t come with instructions, so I used Housefrau Logic: put dirt in pots, stick plants in dirt, water. I did this on the kitchen table.

Housefrau Hint: Don’t pot plants on the kitchen table, unless you are doing an experiment to see what random things might sprout in the dirt that continues to be all over the floor for like a month no matter how much you sweep.

So I stuck the plants in the sun and “nurtured” them. Gave them water sometimes, admired them, kind of turned them around now and then in case that somehow helps them grow.

Could someone tell me when my capacity for nurturing packed up, bought a Europass, and started a backpacking trip from which it never returned? Was it when I broke up with that guy because his shoes had velcro? Was it when I managed to kill a stem of artificial roses? Was it when I had my uterus replaced with an extremely detailed model train set? Because jeezus do I ever kill stuff.

The verbena is all yellow and pouty, and the basil—well, I don’t know what’s happening there. The leaves are droopy and holey, one of the stems has gone completely dead, and somehow the thing has flowers on the top.

Now, generally I think of flowers as signs of successful gardening, but I was unaware that basil was a flower. I thought it was leaves that are good for eating. Just goes to show something or another, but I’m not sure what.

The good news is that the sprouts and the original Plant are doing splendidly, mostly because I have done absolutely nothing to them. Sometimes I get halfway through a glass of water and decide to pour the remains on them.

Plant does seem to have a worrisome dead branch that my mother has suggested trimming off, but nothing doing. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from observing the wonderful mystery of the plant world, it’s that if I love something, I should leave it the hell alone.

Which must mean that my friendships with people I never bother to call or write to are doing splendidly!


Blogger Q said...

Oh, I love Plant too!!
Could be that branch will leave out again. I have never known of a geranium that is as long lived as yours.
Basil is a mystery. I would eat a leaf or two. The flowers will produce seed and you can put the basil seed down in the pot and have more sprouts!
Sprouts are so charming.
Poo! You have a very "green" thumb.
I also wonder where the bagged soil comes from. I have seen Arkansas rock. Lots of it. I worry for the folks in Arkansas that will soon be out of rock. Necessary for keeping the state together I would think.

6:22 PM  

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