Weekend Assignment #211 – What Color is Your Thumb?

The Weekend Assignment is posted each Friday at Outpost Mâvarin; a roundup of responses goes up the following Thursday, so if you’d like to join in, you’ve still got some time. Karen says: Don’t worry if you don’t get your entry in by the end of the weekend. It’s called the Weekend Assignment because John Scalzi originally designed it to give folks something to write on weekends, but times have changed since then. Now the meme is launched on Thursday nights/Friday mornings, just a little later than Scalzi used to post it, and you have a whole week to respond. Still, I for one am grateful if you don’t all wait until the last minute!

Weekend Assignment #211: How are your gardening skills? Do you plant flowers and trees and even shrubberies, or do you settle for weeds are concrete? Do houseplants die in your care, or grow and prosper?

Extra Credit: Is there someone you know who is better at this gardening stuff than you are?

My coworker said to me recently, “I thought about getting you a plant for your birthday, but I didn’t want to end up taking care of it.” Looking at the row of mostly-dead plants by my office window, I can see why she’d be afraid of that prospect.

I used to describe myself as having a black thumb, but I learned several years ago that this isn’t entirely true. When my ex-husband and I separated, most of the house plants were left with me, and I actually managed not to kill any of them. Even two of the three doomed plants in my office did quite well for awhile, until things just got too busy and out-of-control at work and I didn’t have time for them. If a plant doesn’t need much more than some good potting soil and weekly watering, it can usually manage to survive in my care – peace lilies, philodendrons, and low-maintenance ferny things seem to be good choices.

But I’m just not all that interested in plants and gardening, truthfully. As an apartment dweller, I don’t have a yard anyway, and I honestly don’t miss it; sometimes I feel like we should have a couple of house plants around, but we don’t. I enjoy receiving gifts of plants more than cut flowers, though; the flowers are guaranteed to die, but if I pay some attention to it, the plant might actually hang around for awhile.

I’d say my thumb is probably a very dark green rather than completely black; I kill plants through neglect more than by poor caretaking, so if they don’t require much and I give them what they need, we seem to get along pretty well.

I know quite a few people who are better at gardening than I am, but as I said, I think interest plays a big part, and theirs is higher than mine, so they’ve cultivated the talent and the habit (no pun intended, I swear!). Are you one of those people? Let us know, please!

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  1. Something odd is going on with Blogger; the link to the original post seems to have disappeared from mine! It may come back, but if it doesn’t, you can find Karen’s prompt here.

  2. So, you aren’t going to be part of ‘The Black Thumb Society’ now? 🙂 It’s good to know I’m not the only one who has trouble, though it sounds like I may be worse. I think you are right; a lot of it has to do with neglect. I forget about plants all the time.

  3. For what it’s worth, I got a plant from IKEA shortly after starting at First Magnus. It’s probably the only plant I’ve personally kept alive more than a few months, and it almost died a number of times from over- or underwatering. It died the day First Magnus folded – and I mean ON that day. The leaves all fell off when I tried to take it home!

  4. Literary Feline – Care to join us in the Black Thumb Society, Wendy? We’re accepting new members, and it sounds like you’re qualified! 🙂

    I do enjoy cooking, and I’m pretty good at it, if I say so myself (but my stepson says so too), but I prefer doing it when I’m not rushed.