Too many thoughts, too little time.

Posts tagged ‘green thumb’

A Garden Project, continued

I was on a slight hiatus from blogging. First, I was busy outside, then I was bored, so, I drove here…

What? Where do you go when you are bored?

It isn’t too bad, less than a 10 hr drive. I was there for 2 days, and drove home in time to get my kids back this weekend. I fully intended to blog a bit there, because there have been several things recently that leave me with a lot of material to write about, but I only took the iPad, and I forgot my keyboard at home, and I don’t like writing anything substantial with the touch screen.

Anyway, I spent last weekend working on my gardens.

Here is the “before” picture of a small garden between the sidewalk and the house.

I have no idea what those green bushes are, but they are all the negatives of a vine and a bush, and none of the positives.

Those things were climbing up BEHIND the siding. And they are ugly and spread, and look worse when you trim them, and if your neighbor is inconsiderate and lets garbage blow all over the place, they are really handy garbage catchers. Not one of the main things I look for in a plant. So, we had to dig them out, and by we, I mean I watched Aussie while telling him what to do. I have several hunky pictures of Aussie working on this little project, however, he doesn’t want to be identified. So, you will have to settle for this picture.

The love of my life

Anyway, we woke up Sunday morning and decided we needed this project. We went to the garden center, and piled 1,700 pounds of material into the truck. (And by we, I do mean we.) Then, we paid for it, and pushed it all out to the truck, where we picked up and loaded the same 1,700 pounds of material. You should have seen my truck, it looked ridiculous. We drove home, where we then unloaded 1,700 pounds of material from the truck. And then we moved them for the last time, as they were put into place.

Would you believe there is actually a sidewalk under all that dirt?

Aussie did an AMAZING job. He happens to be a bit of a perfectionist, which means it takes him forever to do anything, but when he does, the results are incredible. All those blocks are level. I would have just stacked them and hoped for the best. All the old dirt and mulch and ugly plants were loaded back into the truck to be hauled to my parents. Then my poor truck needed washed.

The car wash floor, that was clean when I got there. My truck is still muddy and filthy, by the way.

Now, for the finished project!

In my infinite wisdom, I started this project during on eof the hottest weeks in our history. My poor plants.

I am SO happy with how it all turned out.

Plants and Life

Forgive me if this sounds too New Age-y, but I’ve been thinking about it all morning.

Positive and negative energy.

I’m sure you’ve heard people joke around about talking to plants. It seems amusing, even I can admit that. It’s been a running joke at our house I can keep cut flowers alive and pretty far longer than I can potted plants. I’ve killed so many plants I may very well be on some sort of EPA watch list. That certainly hasn’t been my goal.

I remember when I first got married, my grandpa gave me a couple Aloe Vera plants. admittedly, those are not hard to grow, but they were alive, even through lack of attention for a few years. Eventually, things went down hill quickly and drastically in my marriage, and the plants both died within weeks. Completely unable to be revived. I remember crying as I threw them away. Our fish died about the same time too. I felt, apparently, I couldn’t keep anything alive, not my marriage, not my fish, not my plants. It was incredibly depressing.

Not one to give up, I’d try again and again. I’d bring plants into this house full of anger and poison, and they would die. Is it any wonder, when I look back I felt parts of me were dying too? DA finally left, I was so heart-broken and angry. I’d keep bringing home plants, just to watch them die, no matter how much attention they were given. I left that house, but kept my attitude…2 yrs of watching daisies and ferns and various other plants turn brown, shrivel up, and die.

I was eventually able to get my own apartment, and because I am stubborn, I bought a little bamboo plant. I watered it and took care of it, and it thrived. I was doing well, and finally getting a handle on things. Winter came, and our heat wasn’t working, and the landlord wouldn’t answer his phone. I had space heaters, but they tended to trip the fuse overnight, so, we’d wake up to a 40 degree house. The kids and I began sleeping in the same bed, with an electric blanket, and 10 other blankets. We considered it a win when we woke up and the house was all of 55 degrees. I began to panic, and wonder if maybe I wasn’t a good mom, maybe the kids should be with their dad. I couldn’t even keep them warm in the winter.  Now, the little bamboo plant started to die. I started staying up at Brad’s more often, because he had heat. Even if he wasn’t home, the kids would be warm. And I left my plant behind. But, I was happy, the kids were happy. When I went home, I’d try to remember to water it, I’d look for the warmest place to put it. I always kind of figured THIS was the day I’d go home, and the plant would be completely dead. But, it kept surprising me.

We finally decided to actually live together. The almost completely brown bamboo plant came with us. And, it found a home in the kitchen, where it somehow slowly turned green again. Deciding to try my luck, I bought an orange and a lemon tree, and put them in the kitchen window. I hoped I’d have them a month. 9 months later they seem to almost double in size every week. I bought 2 more bamboo plants. Bamboo is supposed to be lucky, right? I figured it couldn’t hurt. Again, months later, they are fine. Several weeks ago, the littlest Monster asked for an aloe vera plant. I only found them for about $15 and I didn’t quite trust that my black thumbs had turned green yet.  2 days later I found a small, dying, plant on clearance at the store, for maybe $1, it was the plant he wanted, I also found another plant that looked like it should be beautiful, but it was barely hanging on. I bought them both, brought them home, and replanted them. They are thriving.

I am not surprised. I honestly think my old house was filled with poison. The yelling, the screaming, the lies, the abuse. I think if I hadn’t gotten out when I did, the kids and I would have followed the plants, and little by little we’d die until there was nothing left of us to save. The useful part of me would just dry up, like the gel in the plants leaves, while the rest of me just tried to survive.

I hate myself sometimes for allowing the kids to live like that as long as I did.  Especially the day I had to tell them daddy wasn’t coming back, and they were relieved.  But now, things have changed. Our new home isn’t full of the hatred the old one was. It’s full of love and it’s happy and comfortable. The boys have cousins with much bigger houses, and huge yards, who want to come here and play because they “love it here”. My mom comes here to relax. And, it always surprises me, because, I’m proud of our little house, but, it’s no show place. When we have a party, you practically have to stack the people. But people like to be here. We like to be here. There isn’t any more yelling and screaming and fighting. Even the bad days are handed respectfully.

And the kids, the plants and myself, are thriving.

That first little bamboo plant sits in the kitchen, if you look closely, it is actually 3 plants, one is beautiful, one is doing great, but still carries some scars from the bad times the base of the plant is poor, but it has new growth coming from it, and the third twists around one, completely gone and beyond repair. Brown and dry. I suppose I could trim it back, or completely cut it off, but, I don’t. I keep it as a reminder. Maybe I’m reading too much into my plants, but, this little plant is my reminder for how to live. That you can go through a lot of bad, but, you can pull through and still be beautiful in spite of your scars. And, the perfect one, if how we can aspire to be. And that dead one is a reminder of how neglect and hate can destroy a life. How bad energy can suck the good right out. How, just showing up once in awhile and doing the bare minimum isn’t enough. You actually have to put some effort in, some love in. Here is my little bamboo plant I’ve had for about a year and a half now. Pretty good for someone who has never been able to keep a plant alive longer than a couple weeks!

Image

And, now, wish me luck, because today I planted a small window sill herb garden and am really hoping I do , in fact, have a green thumb.

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