plant killer

I want to have a green thumb, really I do.  And I’m so close, my mom, that woman can bring plants back to life, and she loves to garden; but while I love the idea of gardening successful outcomes often elude me.  This actually creates a bit of a dilemma for me, part of making a home means having green plants in it, I even had a couple plants in my dorm rooms, but I have a heck of a time keeping those plants alive.  When we moved here I took a look at the lighting (crappy, all our windows are north facing, 5/7ths of them are also covered by roof overhangs) and available spots for plants and just decided to not even try.  Then mom came to visit and bought me a little herb garden in a pot.  I didn’t kill it so the following spring I decided to grow basil (fail), nasturtiums (fail – aphid prone and our complex was overrun), mint (just didn’t thrive, then killed in our harsh December), and parsley (again failure to thrive).  Oh well.  But now I’ve found a garden store and it has the cutest succulents (oh how I love succulents).  So last fall I bought a jade plant, now jade plants are often on the list of “nearly impossible to kill”, exceept look what I did:
dead jade plantYup. I’m a plant killer.  My neighbor and my grandmother were quite surprised, but I don’t think my mom was.  I think I managed to first dehydrate and then drown this plant. Of course a lot of my plant killing tendencies have to do with wanting to grow the wrong plants for my conditions. See, I love plants that require full sun, and dry conditions but my last two houses have been damp and shady. So I’m trying to learn. This year I discovered primroses and it seems they actually like shade so grabbed 5 little pots when they were on sale at my nearby used-to-be-local big box.

primroses

day of planting

primroses + 3 weeks

3 weeks later

I think I’m doing okay so far. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I suspect that gardening is one of those skills that I will just have to work at. Try try again and all that. So I am. I’m slowly building up my gardening book collection (The Bountiful Container, Gardening for Dummies and I’m eyeing a few more titles) as well as gardening blogs in my RSS reader. Plus I think gardening is a bit like knitting, you generally get more help at a small local nursery/garden store than those big boxes so I’m trying to give them more of my business. They helped me pick out a liquid fertilizer last month (I think it is a 3-3-3, very basic).

And I’m trying to grow more herbs agin. This year I picked a mint in which the tag claims it likes partial shade. And I bought a new rosemary plant (the one in my herb pot also sucumbed to the unusually cold December or was it the unusually dry January or February? however the chives and thyme are still alive).  Whenever I start planting things I get excited, I think, “oh wow that wasn’t hard at all” and then start plotting great plans.  But I’m trying to take it slow, and only use plants that others claim grow in shady conditions.  This weekend I’m going take the plunge with radish seeds…

mint & rosemary

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April 30, 2009. Tags: , , , . Gardening.

3 Comments

  1. Zarah replied:

    It sounds like you’re on the right track. I’ve have good luck with native plants too, although it sounds like maybe you’re stuck with container gardening for the moment.

  2. Chris T. replied:

    I’m a plant killer too. But I have high hopes for California. You can grow cactus quite successfully there!

  3. anotheryarn replied:

    My grandmother in southern California has a huge jade plant the size of a shrub (3-4 feet tall) in her backyard, it has been there as long as I can remember, probably planted before I was born. And I’m so searching out the native plants once we have a proper yard again.

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