Day 7: Garden
I love to grow things.
But I’m not so good at growing things.
Every year, I try. I buy a big bag of potting soil and I fill a cart with a bunch of bright flowers. Every year, I fill the pots and water and fertilize. And every year, things die.
Sometimes it’s bugs. Sometimes it’s fungus. Or mold. Sometimes the heat from the pavement is just too intense and the plants fry.
I can grow geraniums. But not much else.
This is unfair, because my parents excel at growing things. They are master gardeners in training. My mom’s christmas cacti will bring tears to your eyes. My dad’s vegetables rival those at any county fair.
When I nearly kill a plant, my mom will take it and nurse it back to health. She still has a philodendron from college. When it went to her, it was one, sad, spindly arm with a handful of leaves. Now, it covers the tops of her cupboards and is climbing up to the ceiling.
I used to try to grow christmas cactus. Every year, I bought a new one, and every year, it died.
I’ve tried squash, zucchini, strawberries, blueberries, and assorted herbs. This year, I fell in love with a beautiful rhubarb plant and for a few weeks, it was doing great. And then the leaves fell off. All of them. Now it’s just a bare bulb and I don’t think there’s much hope.
My mom tries to reassure me that it’s a light issue. As in, this apartment doesn’t get enough. I think it’s just me.
But because I am eternally optimistic, I keep trying. We have a little concrete patio, so I filled it up with pots of all shapes and sizes.
Here’s what’s in my little garden this summer:
This is my beloved Susan Komen geranium. It’s dang near the only thing I can keep alive, so I buy one every year. The little purple things were supposed to spill over the sides but the bunnies really like them so they didn’t make it.
The bucket is our old ice cream bucket. Growing up, we used to make homemade ice cream, and when the motor finally crapped out last year, we bought my parents a new ice cream maker (same company, same style). As a surprise for me, my very thoughtful dad saved this, drilled a few drainage holes, and filled it with rocks. He gave it to me during a visit home. I’m not going to lie. I cried. I’m sentimental like that.
Not pictured are the lovely hydrangea we planted last summer that has really taken off, a hibiscus that my mom gave us at Easter, and the forlorn rhubarb plant. Plus a bird bath, two bird feeders, and our patio set.
Now if only this ridiculous heat would end and we actually stand to be outside enjoying our patio. Ugh. Is it October yet?