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Green thumb, dumb thumb

Posted Aug 08 2007 12:00am

Okay, I give in. I don’t have a green thumb, I have a dumb thumb.
It’s taken me about fifteen years and a lot of Jimmy frowns, groans and exasperated sighs to accept this.

The latest stint came from a mad-overwhelming-urge to plant, plant and plant. We had just bought our house (our very first) and I didn’t want to miss out on the summer growing season. Exhausted by painting and moving (and frankly broke ‘cos… you see we just bought our first house and it’s California) I went with flower seeds instead of luscious homegrown tomatoes, summer squash and zucchini plants.

Jimmy found me one morning, about five weeks back, shoveling and turning over the weed-free dirt in the empty backyard flowerbed. He stood just inside the house by the sliding glass door. He did not look happy.

I asked, “What’s wrong?”

He didn’t answer.

Hmmm. He was obviously irritated. “What’s wrong?”

He just shook his head and walked away.

I said ‘meh’ and went on to plant my flower seeds. (Okay, internally I already knew what bothered him. It’s been sixteen years. Talking is optional at this point because we already know what bugs each other. Hence my ‘meh.’ Which could be translated as, “I’ll show you I got some mad green garden skillz. This is going to be the best gardeny-garden ever!”)

Fast forward

Two days ago Jimmy mentioned he was going to mow the backyard. The weather had been nice and cool and it would be a great opportunity to cut the grass. He then asked, “Are you done growing the garden?”

I looked out the back window and saw various growths and species of weeds, one limp-leaf dwarf orange tree and a single flower that I planted from a container and said, “Yea, it didn’t quite take off right.”

Jimmy snort laughed and said, “Really?” I gave him a mean-eyed look. “So I have permission to weed whack it now?”

“Yes.” I sighed with grumpy admittance.

That wasn’t enough for Jimmy. He said, “Remember a few weeks ago when you were out there shoveling dirt and asked me what was wrong?”

Fark. “Yes.”

“This is it, another of your attempts at being a green thumb I’ve got to clean up. When are you going to learn?”

“Well,” I said and shrugged my shoulders and scoffed in defense, “Next year I need a better watering system. You know, it’s worth it to install since we have our own house now.”

Jimmy laughed. “A great watering system is you go out there and water it.”


So after that we did the homeowner dream thing. We talked about how we should cement that whole strip in plus the side of the house (dog run) and the BBQ area.

Then — when I get the urge to plant, plant and plant — I can keep my weeds contained to a half-barrel or a large flower pot.

Note: I’m adding an ‘Adventures in Gardening’ tag. I know, and Jimmy knows, this is not my last attempt at success. I’m going to defeat those weedy bastards and bring in a harvest of deelicious things yet. Writing and parenting beyond the norm.
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