Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Phantom Green Thumbs

Every spring I feel the uncontrollable urge to try to grow things. I load up my sticky-fingered toddlers and wander around the aisles of greenhouses, and even through the gardening section at Wal-mart. I buy silly little gardening gloves, small spades, potting soil, pots and seeds, plants or bulbs. Considering my history, this is all ridiculously naive. It must be spring that's to blame.

I think God placed the desire to grow things in our genetic makeup as human beings, and this desire blooms right along with the rest of nature, in the spring. We just seem to know that the soil is for bringing forth new life, and we want to watch and be a part of that miracle. Unfortunately, the desire to grow things is as far as it got when God knit me together in my mother's womb. He, for mischievous reasons of His own, no doubt, decided not to give me the ability to make anything grow.

Last spring, for instance, I bought several herb seedlings and some cute pots and a nice little purple pair of gardening gloves. What else should I need? However, in no time at all they were withered, pathetic ghosts of the flourishing plants they had promised to be. One year my husband bought me a Christmas cactus that had lots and lots of buds, almost ready to open. The poor, sweet, naive man thought that I couldn't really mess up a plant that was only moments away from blooming and didn't need much water. Nope. Wrong. Try again next year, Babe. Not a single bloom opened. Not one. Every last bud fell off of its branch and burrowed down into the soil to try a new life as compost. I thought as a woman I was supposed to intuitively know how to make things grow. Nurturing and nourishing are supposed to be in my blood. What happened?

Even with this sordid and painful history, I stubbornly, stupidly, try to grow plants every spring. Today I bought some Hosta bulbs for the backyard of my new home, and some Hyacinth plants for my front porch. I know, I know, it can only end in tragedy and blame, but hey, it's spring. I can't stop myself.

If you've got a post of your own about growing (or your lack thereof) check out scribbit's April Write-Away Competition.


crissybug said...

What a great post. I think you are right...I think we are hardwired with a desire to help things to grow. Don't underestimate yourself, though. You may not have a green thumb, but I think you are doing great at growing beautiful and loving children!

scribbit said...

I like your thoughts on this, so glad you entered it. I'm a sucker for stories about plants.

JAM said...

Lovely Wife has been digging and potting and planting during the past two weeks. When stuff starts to bloom, I'll post some pics. Before I ruined my back, I was more of a mower and chopper downer of things than a grower.

Hope this year is your year. Don't give up!

SusieJ said...

What a lovely post -- I had a green thumb, and believe it or not, it just turned yellow, right out of the blue. I feel your pain.