Posted in Container Gardening, Uncategorized

Another attempt at summer container- gardening for this Black Thumb Gardener

For us, summer requires some sort of gardening.

This will be our fourth annual attempt, and I dearly hope our plants will survive – maybe into early autumn. What I lack in skill is made up in perseverance and enthusiasm.

My kids and I started this project shopping for basic gardening supplies, planters, and vegetable seeds, as well as 2 kid-sized shovels that Ellis refused to part with at the store. When we started filling the planters with dirt, Elliot asked me about the instructions on the seed packets. I nonchalantly told him we’ll do it “mommy’s way.” He sighed loudly saying “NOT AGAIN! They’ll die.”

I admit my response did not model a good learner’s attitude, so we compromised: finish up potting as quickly as possible (I could feel my muscle aches kicking in) and we’ll research together on the computer and munch on afternoon treats.

I knew gardening was not a simple endeavor, but the amount of information and how to’s take it to a whole new level: gardening is science and art intertwined.

Through a field trip to a local nursery and online research, we made some interesting discoveries: nurseries sell live jarfuls of ladybugs and earthworms; we started pretty late in the season for planting seeds; planters need holes for draining and don’t leave plants to sit in full saucer of water; terra cotta planters are heavy and expensive; plastic planters are lighter and cheaper; morning glory seeds, if ingested in large amounts, have hallucinogenic effects; Orchard Supply Hardware will plant your flower for free if you buy a plant and planter at the store.

It’s been one week since we planted our seeds, and yesterday we were surprised to discover little sprouts peeking out of the dirt.

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Look closely and you’ll see tiny green sprouts. The plant was watered right after taking the picture.

We’ll see what happens to the rest of our planted seeds: green pepper, small pumpkin, and basil. To perk up our gardening moods, kids chose one kind of potted flower from OSH to water as their own.

If we are lucky enough to taste our homegrown vegetables this summer and/or save seeds for next time, we will celebrate our mini harvest (another excuse to eat cake). Even if we don’t, I’m happy we tried again.

In any case, my black thumb may become a thing of the past soon.

Posted in Nature observations and thoughts

A little flower blooms despite hostile conditions

Words from my six-year-old son gazing at our abandoned plants: “Mommy, we are terrible planters. Everything dies.”

My gardening skills are disastrous. I could take a perfectly thriving plant and kill it in days. But my hopeless optimism convinces me to plant seeds each spring. Occasional crops that sprout drive this desire: a mini watermelon; a tiny zucchini; couple of jalapeno peppers; and a handful of green beans and basil.

  • Our many gardening attempts through the years. The photos above show the flowers and plants at their best. Photos were not taken at their worst state.

In spring 2017 we opted to plant flowers instead of vegetables. We implemented good gardening habits: watering daily, supplementing with vitamins, and trimming. Then, life got busy and flowers neglected.

Maybe it was denial or laziness (probably the latter), but I left the plants to just dry up. I think I silently hoped they would disappear or disintegrate on its own. Other times I convinced myself that it had a cool vintage look. However, the recent rain and warmer weather bloomed new flowers; little spurts of life in dried soil and stiff stems.

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We screamed with surprise! The resilience of these little blooms remind me of beautiful wildflowers blooming along the highway and in unlikely places. So wild, charming, and untamed.

Life is resilient too. When we think there’s nothing left, something begins to sprout and gives hope that all is not lost.

β€œLike wildflowers; You must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would.” – E.V. Lucas