Monday, May 6, 2013

Who do I think I am?

I'm not sure I even recognize myself anymore. I am a self-proclaimed black thumb. If there were a post office for the plant world, I would be posted on the wall as Public Enemy Number One. I could not even keep a Christmas cactus alive, folks. A CACTUS.

Then, last summer, I got the wild hair (and a kick in the pants from my husband) to start a tiny herb garden.

When that didn't shrivel and die, I allowed him to talk me into planting some mums after our wedding (after I went on and on (and on) about how much I loved them as part of our ceremony decor on the fourteen year hour drive back to Florida). Somehow, for reasons I have yet to determine, they also survived my tending.

Now, all of a sudden, I have snapdragons

and dianthus

and dahlias

and cosmos

and African daisies

and marigolds bringing color to my flower bed.

(To be fair, the snapdragons are on their last leg, but that isn't my fault. They have simply run their course, being a cooler weather flower, and the weather is most assuredly not cool here any longer!) Not only that, but I have transplanted my poinsettia, some potted tulips and a couple of Easter lilies from a year ago. To date, one poinsettia is still alive (the other sustained damage from an overzealous armadillo); the tulips actually re-sprouted and had amusingly tiny blooms, despite the fact that I was warned that tulips do not grow from bulbs in Florida because we don't get the deep freeze they need;

and the lilies sent up new shoots that now sport fat buds that I am hopeful might actually turn into flowers soon!

My herbs have continued to produce. I am now on my second planting of basil, after the first reached the end of its life cycle. The parsley, which I was originally convinced was dying, is still sending up new shoots to replace those I pinch off for recipes. And while I could not get my chive seeds to germinate, the seedlings I planted seem to be growing.

I/We have coaxed a stupid number of cherry tomatoes off a plant that is a year old now--after getting only one or two at a time for months and months, last count says there are 41 little tomatoes in various stages of growth--

so I ventured into the realm of miniature sweet bell peppers, and that plant is loaded with mini peppers.

T built a small raised bed behind the screen porch that is now home to two full-size heirloom tomato plants,

a tiny cucumber plant,

a yellow summer squash plant that is growing like it's possessed,

a zucchini squash seedling that T got to germinate from seed,

and a half dozen tiny green onion shoots that poked through the soil over the weekend.

But I digress. Back to those mums.

Not only did they *not* die, after being in my care (and after several prunings I thought for sure would spell their demise) over the past seven months, but they have never stopped blossoming and have taken to sending up satellite plants! (Look just directly below the large plant, there are two separate baby mums there!)

And here is where I really stop recognizing myself.


(Hmmm. We could use some new mulch.)

And then I took it upon myself to attempt to nurse this sad little dainthus back to life. He never really appreciated being transplanted from my planter into the actual ground. Who do I think I am??

And now, we wait and see just how successful this venture turns out to be. As I have been taught over and over, during the past ten months, only time and patience will tell.

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