I used to have a brown thumb. I’m not really sure if my thumb was actually a brown one or if my brain just wasn’t tuned into plants, and therefore I forgot about them, and therefore they died. As I child, I had a vegetable garden and loved plucking fresh veggies from the vine. But looking back now, I realize that in the same way parents end up taking care of a child’s first pet, my folks took care of that garden to make those vegetables happen.
Fast forward to today. I have a beautiful yard here in Tok, and the woman who lived here before me had the greenest thumb. There is evidence of extraordinary plant-life and edible things all over now that the snow has melted. And I’m intimidated. No, I’m afraid. Very afraid. Because I just don’t think I can live up to any of it.
I got a call the other day from a lovely woman who asked about the greenhouse in my backyard.
“Yes, I have one. Did you need to use it? You’re welcome to it!” I offered, feeling very neighborly.
I was at a loss. Me, tomato plants, greenhouse? I couldn’t make a connection. Yes, I saw that cute little greenhouse in the back yard but hadn’t even thought of using it. In fact, when my husband started cleaning it out, pulling last year’s dead things out of it, I asked him why he was doing it.
“So you can use it,” he replied, all proud in that “I’m checking things off my To-Do list” sort of way.
“But why? I don’t…want to use it,” I confessed. Using it meant doing stuff with plants that I just don’t know how to do and am not sure I have time to do or the memory to remember to do. Or the energy.
“What? I cleared out this whole garden for you! I thought you wanted a vegetable garden!” He was visibly dismayed.
“Honey, I think I want the IDEA of a vegetable garden. I want the fruits of the labor of a garden without the labor,” I explained, just figuring out the truth myself at that very moment. I explained how the fantasy of a vegetable garden has been with me since childhood but that my parents probably did all the hard work.
“I thought you wanted it,” he said, now thoroughly confused.
“Well, I did plant seeds!” I reassured him. “Although I can’t remember what I planted or where.”
And that was the truth. I spent several hours carefully digging holes and putting seeds into the ground then meant to write down what I was planting and where but after a few hours, I had completely forgotten. So now I have a Mystery Garden.
I’m also noticing that my garden beds are covered with a green something – probably a weed, maybe chickweed – that will most likely choke any of the great things I’ve planted putting all that effort (and it was effort as I strained, panted, sweated, and cursed) planting seeds. I’m completely paralyzed since I don’t know what it is or what to do about it.
Yes, I know, probably just pull it out. But look at the picture!! It is like a blanket already! Then again, I do love pulling weeds. I could pull weeds for hours. I find weed pulling to be a very zen activity, and my brain is in constant and desperate need of zen.So maybe I really do have it in me to do this gardening stuff.
P.S. We have those tomato plants plus a pepper plant I purchased from Patsy’s on Borealis. Hubby is “hardening up” the plants (a new term I learned last night while reading The Edible Garden), and they should be in the greenhouse in a few weeks).
Anyone know what that green stuff is and how best (without bad chemicals) to rid my garden of it? And if it is edible, how best to harvest and prepare it?