I love the idea of gardening. It’s so Little House on the Prairie. I could be such an earth mother, serving my guests from the bounty of my land, delivering Wal-Mart bags of surplus vegetables to all of my friends. I tear into my Better Homes and Gardens every month and carefully clip articles about family-friendly outdoor oases with lush flowering plants edging a thick green carpet of grass. I especially gravitate toward gardening projects that boast “low-maintenance” or “foolproof” or “hardy.”
Okay, stop the music. Here is the problem: everything dies. I think to myself, “How hard can it be? Plants grow naturally all the time! I will place this plant (which comes alive and flowering from the store) into some fresh dirt, and give it sun and water. Simple enough, right?
Allow me to take you on a tour of my latest gardening adventures.
I wanted a vegetable garden in pots on my front porch. Stephen said I couldn’t, because it was too shady. So I went and picked out a lemon tree at Home Depot, which did not need much direct sunlight. It produced some very green fruit that grew to about the size of an eyeball and then plateaued. Until the move, that is, when it took a definite turn for the worse.
I thought the lemon tree looked lonely, so I got some begonias, which are also shade-loving plants. Their bright pink blooms looked lovely against the green of the lemon leaves, until the blooms withered and fell off and the leaves of the flower turned yellow and crinkly. The move was the final nail in their coffin as well.
When Stephen and I went on the South Beach Diet, many of my new recipes called for fresh herbs. Being the frugal housewife that I am, I decided that an investment of $20 in order to grow my own herbs would save me money in the long run. Besides, from all of my research on the internet and my conversations with fellow herb-growers, I learned that herbs will grow anywhere under any circumstances. Oh yeah? Well their crinkly leaves and crispy brown stems suggest that they are not, in fact, growing in MY garden!