I don’t mind looking stupid while I’m in the process of learning a new skill. It’s an ability I developed after my thirtieth birthday. All of a sudden I’m not afraid to ask “stupid” questions; I’ve been known to ask one out loud, get the answer, and laugh at myself if necessary. I am willing to do research if there’s something I’m quite passionate about and I (usually) enjoy the journey along the way.
That’s how the script of my gardening adventure has been shaping up.
A few years ago I spotted the most beautiful orchid at a local greenhouse. As I walked up to the counter another customer looked at the orchid, then looked at me and shook her head, “My, aren’t you a brave girl.”
Bravery had nothing to do with it and ignorance was bliss up until that point. Turns out orchids are tough to care for and to keep alive. Well three years later and kudos to me for keeping the leaves green. It’s just too bad I haven’t seen a pink flower on the stem since I bought it – that one is a work in progress.
Let me tell you, I’ve really ramped things up during Growing Season 2012. The herb garden on our back step is growing out of control; we almost can’t cook fast enough to keep up with our supply of basil, thyme, oregano, and cilantro. Success!
This is already progress over Growing Season 2011 when I killed the basil after one week. The greenhouse owner scratched his head as he thought that feat was impossible to kill that type of basil. Yes, I’m full of surprises.
Ok, back to this year. I tried my hand at growing flowers from seed. Let me tell you how that’s going…it’s not. I planted wildflower seeds in two locations and I have watered them religiously – especially in those first 7-10 days. I was so excited to see them pop out of the dirt and greet them at they entered our world. It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t recognize them due to the massive amount of weeds that started flourishing at the same time.
Is that a weed? Is that a wildflower? Oh this is embarrassing. Here I am standing over a pile of dirt with my watering can letting nourishment rain down on my little planted seeds but I’m more than likely just improving the living conditions for wicked weeds.
I’m sure many of our neighbors – that we know on a fringe basis – are inside with their lights off, peering out through their blinds and giggling as I walk around the yard with my watering can. That’s how I imagine it to be any way. Fail.
My most recent fail is what brought this whole story to light: after a weekend of California-type sun in North Dakota, I walked around with a painful sunburn on my shoulders. I thought I would use part of my aloe plant to sooth the burning but the plant looked kind of dead.
It was still green, but it was as if the roots had jumped out of the dirt and given up. Maybe the plant was just mad at me. I have had it for years and I thought it was doing fine, but after my experience this weekend, it’s clear that the plant gave up long ago.
Don’t worry – I’m not about to give up. I have plans in my head for Growing Season 2013 that involve a fabulous backyard garden. I’ll let you know next year if we make it to harvest.