I have always said that I am terrible at plants. I don’t have houseplants, I don’t know much about the things growing in my yard, and every time I’ve tried to have an herb garden it ends in shriveled brown disaster. All these plants? Dead by the time we sold our house (two months later).
I didn’t think it mattered much, until this spring. During Lent, I took a photograph of one thing every day that brought me joy. Looking back, I was surprised to see how many photos were of the outdoors – flowers and plants and sky and trees.
It turned out that nature brought me a lot of joy, and since I wanted to carry that joy with me throughout the year, I resolved to spend more time outside – and to give plants another go.
Spending time outside is easy and pleasant. Our porch is my favorite place on earth, and I could sit there and watch Bebe and Hazel chase each other around the yard all day.
Incorporating more plants into my life felt like a challenge.
I have killed plants from Florida to Massachusetts and points in between. I have watched tomatoes flower, grow…and then wither from blossom end rot. I have neglected herbs and slaughtered orchids. I am unpersuaded by the Joanna Gaineses of the world, who stick plants everywhere and hashtag photos with #crazyplantlady.
I’m just crazy. No plants required.
However, I sucked it up and bought some baby plants. I went to an actual plant nursery and grilled some unfortunate employee for 30 minutes about the care and maintenance of the plants I was getting. I ended up with two different tomatoes, one jalapeno pepper, one pimiento pepper, and a variety of easygoing herbs.
Almost two months later, everything is still alive! Holy smokes!
My cherry tomato plant is making tomatoes. LIKE A BOSS.
(Sorry it’s blurry, I got excited.)
Yes, I have to set reminders on my phone so that I water these guys. But they are bringing me unexpected amounts of gratification, as well. Now when we sit on the glorious porch, I am surrounded by my plants. I use my basil, parsley, and rosemary all the time, and even the mint has made several appearances this spring (especially around Derby day). I even brought home an orchid to keep inside. It’s…..um…. not doing great, honestly, but I’m trying to find a spot it likes.
This is the most success I’ve had with plants to date. I don’t think I’ll become a #crazyplantlady any time soon, but developing new skills and challenging myself to keep something alive has been pretty rewarding.