There are two kinds of people: those who garden, and those who don't. Those that do are surrounded with masses of flowers, succulent berry bushes, and big fat tomatoes-- right?
I garden, ergo I am a gardener, but let's review my past:
When I was a child, my mother gave me my own plot to garden. I picked off bugs and watered my vegetable plants, which did quite well until the midsummer two-week trip to Nana's. I remember standing in front of my broccoli plants, crying, as they literally had no leaf left. The bugs had eaten my plants down to the spines.
I have never had my own home-grown broccoli.
In college, I came home for 4 months summers intent on gardening. I did secure a few small bowls of cherry tomatoes, but the whole leaving-in-August thing meant that I never tasted one of my own cantaloupes. They rotted with no one to eat them.
During my six months winter-July tenure in Vermont, I was actually on the garden crew. I learned about the beauty of greenhouses, and growing things from seed. I tried to grow my own herbs in my tiny Vermont aerie. The seeds started, sure, and then they stopped. In July, I packed up my Subaru and drove north to Price Edward Island with my mother, toting baby basil seedlings.
Four made it. I transplanted them into metal tin buckets that graced my yellow stoop in Nashville. They died in October, when I cut them off at the stalks and chopped up their leaves for a dinner party. But before you call this a success, please note that out of 6 different types of pants and hundreds of seeds, I emerged with 4 basil plants. Who were kinda spindly anyway.
And this year-- ah, this year. With my indefatigable talent for killing things, I started sweet peas, who grew fervently until I put them in the ground. They have all died.
Last night, I planted poppies, snap peas, and two more sweet peas outside. I transplanted my baby delphinium seedlings into bigger pots.
Keep your fingers crossed.
*But because my husband loves me, he did say that if all my seedlings die, we can buy annuals and transplant them ourselves. And for a thrifty Vermonter, that's saying something--- might have had to do with the tears streaming down my face as I contemplated my withered sweet peas.*
Bed #5: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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