My thumb is getting greener. Once upon a time, a plant was sure to meet early demise in my care. I just didn't get it.
Growing up, I lived next door to an avid gardener. Her name was Willa and she did not play when it came to her shrubs and flowers. My playmates and I would catch hell or high water for running across her grass and trampling her marigolds. She spent serious time tending her yard and the mere thought of anyone, especially someones little nappy-headed child, walking on her consecrated grounds was enough, I'm sure, to set her sponge rollers ablaze. Believe me when I say, that there were consequences to pay for running through her yard, namely a tongue lashing sprinkled with a few expletives that to me sounded as beautiful as her garden looked (yes, I love the art of cussin').
Fast forward some years to my mother's garden. As she matured, she too caught the gardening bug. Her yard and landscaping is not for punks. For a city dwelling, a Chicago bungalow, to be exact, The Lady's greenery is something to talk about. I used to look at her out in that yard like she was crazy. I mean, who wants their hands all up and through the dirt, and who has the patience to care for some plants and flowers until they mature, and who in their right mind would be putting certain plants/bulbs away for the winter, only to replant them in spring and start the process all over again?
Well, a few Thanksgiving's ago, on The Lady annual visit, I told her I wanted to spruce up the outside of my LA bungalow (very different from the Chicago style). Little did I know, that she would set me on a path to gardening glory! Mom set it off! We amended the soil and planted all sorts of things, and through trial and error, I must say that I have become pretty good. I lost a few things in the process so now I mainly go the container route with lots of clay pots; its easier to keep a handle on it this way. The dollar store sells clay pots, so I usually stcok up for when the mood strikes me to plant something new. I have mums, vinca, zinnia, and verbena to name a few. My tool game is on point too, I have special shoes, gloves to mactch and knee pads. I'm just missing a big sun hat, but I will wait for next summer for that, I don't wanna seem to frantic! :)
Once I get a full-fledged backyard, y'all better watch out because its gonna be like something you might see on HGeeTV, with vintage benches, a hammock, and some kinda well-behaved dog running around too.
My friends laugh at my green thumb, but I know they consider it classic Maven behavior, and they respect it.
The Lady was always right, gardening is therapeutic, and it is one of the most relaxing things I have ever done. Of course, the mimosas or glasses of wine, and the "Gardening" playlist on my I.Tunes makes it that much better. But, if you can, man, woman and child, I encourage you to try it. You'll have no regrets.
Side note to the PhDiva, get the little Capricorn's garden started!
Side note to K & K Lee, I got you next time I'm in The A.
As for Ms. Willadean, I hope she's looking down on me with approval because I think of her often when I'm diggin' in that dirt.