How Does Your Garden Grow?

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!

I have one beloved pot of flowers has been my one success. I get compliments on my red geraniums every time someone sees them.

They’re from Michaels.


16 responses to “How Does Your Garden Grow?

  1. sigh…the photos don’t show. I clicked on the first one and it opened in a new window (poor tree) but the others said “Error 404 Not Found”

    Sorry about your gardening efforts. I don’t think anything grew this summer. Which, of course, means our groceries will soon increase in price.

  2. What? Is anyone else missing out on the pictures after I FINALLY got them to post? I can see them…

    Carolyn, no offense, but I hope it’s your computer.

  3. Aw, Linds, I can’t see the pictures either. Maybe it has something to do with the blogger beta?

    But I did know you were a kindred spirit when I saw your geraniums. I have some yellow flowers of the same “variety” on my porch that are thriving, and I always get compliments on those.

    And I’ve managed to kill most of the plants that came with the house. I’m with Carolyn… blame it on the heat (of course, she says that, but I bet her landscaping is as beautiful as ever).

  4. It’s not my “fruity” computer either. I’m checking now with Internet Explorer on my pc at work. Still no pictures. But wow, the blogs look different in this browser! OK, gotta get off before the Internet Police get me!

  5. Lindsey,
    I know how you feel!! I can’t tell you how proud I am to still have a few plants alive almost two months after they came to my garden! They don’t look quite as full, but they’re still there! I think it’s my first real success.

    I want to have a beautiful garden, too. I want a little safe haven to rest and read and relax with friends (though in Texas, maybe only a few weeks out of the year). I want the bags of produce like you describe, too.

    By the way, my herbs all died, too. I have two scrawny basil plants, and that’s the one herb I planted that I don’t really use that much.

    I think if I start earlier next year, I’ll have the garden of my dreams! Right now I’m starting to wonder about fall flowers. But I still have summer flowers in my pots. When do I decide to shorten their lives and plant the new season’s flowers?

  6. Okay, I’m looking at this from school and I can’t see the pictures either. Dang!

    When I describe my gardening to people who know about plants, I start getting complicated solutions: Have you pruned them? Is the container the right size? Are they being overwatered/underwatered? Are you fertilizing?


  7. Exactly! I wonder why–way back in the days when these things were established–weeds could not have been given more credit. I mean, we don’t do anything to them, and they do just fine! And some could even be considered pretty! Where in the nursery is the section titled, “As Easy as Weeds”? I need that section!

    Don’t tell me about pruning. I might cut the whole thing to pieces.

    If you suggest I overwater, I’ll quit watering altogether. At the hint of underwatering, I’ll inundate my plants with gallons of water a day.

    I stand in front of the fertilizer section of Home Depot, and wonder what in the world is 30-20-20, and how it differs from 20-10-10. I vacillate between “fertilizer for big blooms” and “potted plant fertilizer” because my plants are in pots, but I would like big blooms!

    Where, oh where is the plant that just grows?!

  8. Haha! So true! Cliff swears I can’t keep anything alive.

  9. By the way, as far as the photos go, I do see one photo–of what I think is supposed to be your herb garden. At least, it looks a lot like my herb garden: pots of dirt by the side of my house.

  10. Solution: Don’t try! Ha, just kidding. I love my non garden-savvy sister.

  11. funny thing. Listen to the song Unfaithful by Rihanna or just look at the lyrics…dumbest song I’ve heard in a very long time. This just goes to show that people these days are idiots. Have your cake and eat it too, but don’t feel guilty when you do.

  12. here’s the link to the video…see if this works.

  13. this is one of the saddest songs I have heard in a while. What has the world come to?

  14. I couldn’t see the video but I read the lyrics…it is pretty sad.

    What does that have to do with gardening, though??

  15. the song has nothing to do with gardening. i just figured you would be more likely to read this than your facebook wall, and i didn’t feel like calling you just for a dumb thing. thus…

  16. I keep checking for new posts and reading the first sentence of this one… and it makes me think every time, “Aw, Little House on Prairie Lane!”

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