Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Brown Thumb

It's the May two-four, the late Queen Victoria's birthday, who's ultimate legacy here in Canada is a number of fairly important thing, but mostly a day off and an excuse to buy fireworks you don't know how to operate properly. What's a young Canadian couple to do? Well, like the name suggests, you can pick up a two-four (That's a case of beer for those of you not in the know) like the 19+ year old crowd do and go camping. You could do like the 30+ year old crowd with children do and scout the community for activities. Or you could do what the 40+ year old homeowners do and start your gardening.

Know what big plans the Dude and I have? We're going to plant tomatoes and peppers on our deck. It's hard not to feel fuddy-duddy old, but we hate camping, don't drink beer, don't have a cottage, don't have children and frankly, we enjoy fresh vegetation in our stirfry and I heart toasted tomato sammiches. Though if there were a cottage at our disposal, hot damn, would I be there. Maybe next year.

Thing about this pot-o'-veg-on-the-deck venture is that I have a bit of a brown thumb. I like the idea of gardening far more than actual gardening itself. I've never had a flare for it.

I begged my mother to let me plant carrots and pumpkins in the backyard when I was wee. The carrots never were harvested. I don't know what happened, but I couldn't really get them dug out. They seemed stuck in the earth and then I thought something had gone terribly wrong. Like maybe they grew attached to some pipes or something. Hey, I was 8 and had an overactive imagination and no upper body strength. So they stayed there and perished at some point.

The pumpkin flourished. And then the vine took over the yard. We had a small lot and my mother enjoyed flowers and this pumpkin vine was making itself too cozy near all her hard work and closing off a walkway. So she had me rip it out before any pumpkins could bloom. Which is really too bad because it's the only thing I've ever managed to make grow, and I still wound up killing it, and on purpose.

My mom often had me help her plant her flowers each year. And I would and I'd water the gardens every day. I felt I was being very helpful one day when I saw some strange looking greenery growing alongside the house in a place I'd never seen anything grow before, and took the liberty of plucking them from the ground. My mom's afternoon work was destroyed.

She had a real green thumb, often pruning other gardens when she saw it was needed. We'd be on our way into the grocery store and she'd stop and start pulling off the dead leaves and buds from Value-Mart's carnations. I didn't inherit this gift. Oh, I inherited a joy of picking at stuff, but not limited to things that ought to be picked, and rather aimed anything that can be picked and perhaps should be left alone.

But today we're going to give it a go. The Dude is out collecting the soil, pots and supports and such while I stay to shower and get ready for the day. Then we'll go select our seedlings, who don't realize it yet, but their lives will now hang in the balance of luck, a poor record of gardening and my good intentions.

And maybe we'll also grab some brunch. Happy May two-four!

1 comment:

  1. Hope all goes well with your plantings and growings. I wouldn't even attempt because I have no outdoor area and I have a hunch the furballs would enjoy eating anything I would decide to grow. I'm also the girl who killed an aloe plant. Apparently they're not easy to kill. But I did.