Friday, August 3, 2018

Green Thumb

I wish I had one. A green thumb that is. Everyone I know seems to have one except me.  The woman down the street had to cut back her rose bushes as they seemed to assault every pedestrian that passed by on the sidewalk. My singular rose bush grows 6+ feet high every summer and hasn't produced a rose in 3 years. Possibly 4.  It also only has maybe 4 long branches so it really isn't a bush.  It is more of a 4 limbed weak attempt at being an octopus that attacks people when it is windy. My peonies are beautiful but the flowers last maybe two days even being watered because they end up withering in the hot direct Minnesota sun each summer.  If I was smart and had done my research before planting, I would have known that they would have done a bit better in partial shade during the day rather than being blasted by the scorcher I like to call the sun.

To be honest, I have had a few indoor green thumb successes. When my friend and partner in crime Laura moved to Georgia, she planted a few cuttings from a plant she loved of her mom's. I was so worried about making it take root so it would live.  It took so much attention and at one point decided to uproot itself in revolt because it didn't like its new owner. Me. It didn't like me.  Now thriving, I have to water it maybe once every two weeks and it warms my heart every time I look at it.  The plant on the huge buffet hutch in my front entryway is a beautiful multi green hued tall fern like plant in a large green planter. I received it as a gift from my mom's assisted living facility when she passed away.  It also staged an attack on a guest one Christmas a few years ago.  I think a sleeve of a thick winter jacket may have hit the plant when it's owner was putting the parka on.  I ended up having to put a few posts in the large pot and string it up with fish wire. Now it is maybe three feet tall. Beautiful.

My mother in law gave me an amazing bright red poinsettia the day after Thanksgiving last year.  It sits in my kitchen window, now in August and has so much beautiful new green growth. I think I can continue helping it along  until it is Christmas.  I kind of want to wrap it in a bow and put it in the center of the table during Christmas Dinner.  I have jade from a client growing strong in the front living room and the kitchen window. I also have a large pot of in the front entry way.  I am nursing two flowering cacti that my sister gave me for Mother's Day. Beautiful. But the aloe. I love it. I have two large pots that were originally from my mom.  My son had a fight with the one in the front entry way last week when he decided that a dog gate should be resting on top of it.  Two chop sticks are holding it upright.  I think it can be salvaged. My sister Angie, now there is natural green thumb if I ever did see one. She had over twenty pots of aloe alone.  They all were so healthy and plump.

My friend Katie gave me a cutting of one of her favorite plants quite a few months ago.  The day she was preparing to give it to me, her middle child, whom shall remain nameless, Reggie, pulled off all the leaves.  I would like to announce it now has 7 beautiful plump green leaves.  I have no idea how this happened, but it did.  The gorgeous orchid that my husband bought me last year on the day I found out I would need to have surgery was a sad sight. I almost threw it away. I thought I would continue adding an ice cube to the tiny beige pot every few weeks and just see what happens. Green growth. New growth. I am so very glad that I didn't pitch the orchid.  When it flowered again this past March, it was then in continuous bloom for over two and half months. What? No clue how I possibly was the recipient of such beauty.

I have come to the realization that I do have a green thumb. I have proven to myself that I can keep plants alive.  I just don't like putting a whole lot of effort into it.  I have also come to realize that I don't have a whole lot of plant knowledge and I should spend some time getting to know the plants that live in my yard and under my roof. As in the actual name of the plants.  Or how often they like to be watered. If they need to be transplanted to a better location.  But let's be real. I love plants. I love the green lush plants, the beautiful colors of flowers and the vegetables growing in my garden that taste oh so good.  I just love that these things sometimes grow and that I get to play a hand in it.  The beauty of God's perfect creation will never be wasted on me. 

I have also come to realize that I love plants when they are gifted to me.  I love the person who gifted to them me and I fervently want to keep the gifted plant alive. Almost as if I want to be able to point out the plant to them when they enter my home. "Katie! Look! It is alive!"  Or to my mom in law, "Kathy isn't that the most beautiful poinsettia ever? You gave it to me over a year ago!"  Not bragging in my ability, more so bragging that I didn't kill it. 

If you are ever at my home, and I take you on a plant tour, know that it is because I love the colors, the textures, and sometimes even the tastes of all of these plants.  So thank you for feigning interest and humoring me in my tour of my 16 plants.  I love the people who gave them to me as much as the plants. 

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