Thursday, August 10, 2006

On not possessing a green thumb.

I'm afraid to plant bulbs.

Truth be told, aside from some container gardening I've done over the years I'm fairly afraid of gardening, period. The container gardening hasn't been without peril, either: I remember tomato plants with large white *things* bulging from their stalks - a result of overfeeding or plant disease or who knows what, but I was hesitant to eat the tomatoes. Pepper plants covered in whiteflies. Basil infested with Japanese beetles. The hosta we (and by we I mean G) split and replanted on our eyesore of a hill in the backyard, only to have them chewed to the ground by the deer.

I have two boxes full of bulbs that I got from Sam's Club. Stella d'oro and "red pirate" daylilies, waiting to be planted, since, oh, early May. Prior to now I haven't had the time.

Now it's just that I'm petrified to go out there. I don't know what I'm doing. Do I dig a hole and plop it in? Do I need to water first (since the soil up there is pathetic, full of shale and dry as a bone)? Will I accidentally plant them upside down? (Not hardly, since they seem to be sprouting.) Have I doomed them already by neglecting them for this long?

I could try to draw parallels to my attempts at having a child; gardening, like baby-making, doesn't seem to be my strong suit. However, there is a difference. I have educated myself on trying to conceive. It was my singular focus prior to convincing G to go for it, and after the losses I was a research hound, reading up on every study and treatment and option and medical opinion out there. I've not put that kind of effort into gardening. I read the back of the box the bulbs came in this morning, and that's about it. I dug part of a hole and thought "is this dirt too dry?" but have not, as of yet, commenced to Googling everything there is to know about planting bulbs and making them grow.

The thing is, I don't know that I really *want* to be a gardener. Sure, the idea is nice, planting pretty things; perhaps having a vegetable or herb garden and being able to use homegrown things in cooking; having great success -- but like many other things I've pursued and quit over the years, I don't think I have the courage or the focus to spend the time on it that is necessary to be successful. Not so with motherhood. I want it desperately, despite my fears that I will not be the best at it, and have done all I can to make sure I'm educated. As prepared as I can be. Fertile soil and all that. I may not receive anything but weeds for my trouble, but I am determined to keep trying until something blooms.

Now, if only I could calm down about planting those damn lilies.


Blogger Catherine said...

You would laugh if you knew how little I really do for my gardens. Did you ever notice how most of my flower pictures are close-ups? You can hide all the weeds that way. It's true...I'll never see my gardens in a magazine. But getting the surprise pretty amongst the weeds makes it worth the initial planting...even if you neglect them later on. And yes, I could draw a parallel here too...but I will refrain. :o)

8/10/2006 12:06 PM  
Blogger Lorem ipsum said...

See those flowers in the picture there? Dead. I'm toxic to plants. I'm holding my breath till next year, hoping I didn't kill the tulip bulbs I brought back from Holland for my parents, just by looking at them.

On the other hand, are you good with pets? I bet you are. And you'll be good with a baby too. Really.

8/10/2006 7:19 PM  

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