I love flowers and plants, but alas, lack a green thumb. Growing up, my mother always had plants in the house including the orchids she had owned since college and carried the flowers as her wedding bouquet. I always figured that plants were pretty easy until I tried my own hand at them after I moved into my first apartment.
The first plants to fall to my attempts were a couple of cyclamens. “Just water them, but not too much,” people told me. “They’re easy.” These lasted a couple of weeks.
Then there was the container garden I attempted on the porch, which had the unauspicious beginning of a severe allergy attack in the garden center as we were picking plants. I was sneezing, my eyes were swelling, and we wrapped it up about the time the hives started breaking out on my chest. The tomato plant produced three miniature tomatoes, which I still dub the most expensive produce I’ve ever bought at $1.25 apiece. The pepper plant shriveled and died. The basil was the most successful of the bunch but still had a tendency to develop an unhealthy shade of yellow-brown on and off.
When we moved into the house, I realized I was going to have to figure out the care of the landscaping or risk being the house that had the dead/messy plants. This has been a bit of a mixed bag. The day lilies in our front bed around the light post are overrun by grass that I haven’t managed to successfully weed out. My mother took a look at the various plants and explained that a few of them had most likely been put in during the selling process to make the house look nice and weren’t in optimal spots for that kind of plant. She was right, during the first spring/summer, most of those weren’t healthy and didn’t make it to the fall.
We did, however, have some volunteer tulips and grape hyacinths that came up last year, didn’t flower, and I decided that I’d dig them up in the fall and plant something that would flower and look nice. Well, I forgot, and sure enough, this spring, the plants came up.
And there were buds.
To my absolute surprise, the flowers all opened.
It’s been quite pleasant to see them on a daily basis. As someone who can get rather cynical at times, I think it’s probably a good reminder for me as a more overarching lesson about life: sometimes it surprises in beautiful ways.