Monday, May 05, 2008

Spring Gardening Tips... Don't Kill Anything!

My husband won't let me touch the plants. Somehow, I have the reputation as the "plant killer," although I really don't understand it, since I think I'm really rather thoughtful about them all. The rose plant in the kitchen, the ivy in the livingroom, the elephant plant in the hallway. The problem is, I move things around too much, when really, they should stay in place. And I do have in my history the sad story of the poinsettia that barely made it through Christmas - overwatered and underlit - and Fern, who sadly drooped to her dismal ending, lacking, perhaps, a daily musical serenade, a little extra fertilizer, a bigger planter. Too little too late. Not good. 

"A little to the left or right won't matter," I tell him, making in a slight adjustment to Ivy , like I'm sneaking into a dressing room with an Armani gown.  "Yes, it matters," he says, moving her back. "It has to do with the way the light falls on the leaves. Trust me," he says. 

Well then, I need my own project, I tell him. So it's off to the hardware store, where I happened to notice a do-it-yourself herb kit - I'm talking parsley, chives, basil - everything you would need for say, a future baked potato, and the directions say you just press the seeds into these tiny pots they give you, water everything, put the plastic lid over it, and that's it. There is absolutely no way I can mess this up, I think to myself. 

So I followed all the directions a week ago, and this morning I lifted the lid like an expectant chef, and voila, the tiny green buds were just starting to appear above the soil. "Shprockets!" I said out loud to my husband, adopting for some inexplicable reason the title of the Saturday Night Live segment of the same name. "Come look!" He ran into the kitchen, observed the tiny green sprouts, and congratulated me. My status as a purveyor of all things green, in itself was given new life. Now, if I could just get that baked potato going....

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