Thursday, March 20, 2008

Does Having a Green Thumb Mean You're Moldy?

I have spent the better part of my 'free time' (read: moments when I have snuck off, unnoticed, during TV/computer time) the past few days setting up my seeds in their temporary peat houses. My windowsills look like Little People farms. I have two big folding tables set up, each with several trays on them, and one radiator balancing two more. I still have a few more to put up, too.

I'm intimidated by those last few trays. They are for the 'temperamental seeds' - those that have to be soaked, nicked, or otherwise molested before they can be planted in their tiny plots. Having previously purchased all my plants as small, well, Plants, I haven't really messed with seeds very often, and certainly have never set up this kingdom o' soil, so I never realized what DIVAS the tiny things can be!!! They make me think of Nathan Lane in The Birdcage - 'Mmmm, I'm not gonna grow unless you BOIL me some water, girl! My coat can't HANDLE all that dirt without a good soak first!'

Anyway, I'm irrationally excited by my ever-growing fifedom. For the first time, I'm also going to try my hand at veggies. I promised myself last year that if I kept all my plants alive, and managed to direct-sow a few seeds successfully, I would early-start seeds this year in the house and try veggies while I was at it. I'm hoping that I'm not going to regret living up to my promises to myself. It's starting to seem like this might be a lot of, um, Work. Regardless, they're there, and I find myself observing them several times a day, looking for that miracle seed that shoots a sprout in a record three hours. If I actually found something, I'd probably pass right the hell out.

I'm a little nervous, too, that I like them so much. What if none of them grow? What if I'm a Plant Parenting Failure? I'm hoping that even if I'm not a good parent to, say, watermelon, I'll be an excellent steward to decorative gourds and columbine. I'm trying to be a good environmentalist here, with my seeds and pots and rain barrels; if none of them grow, am I actually making the planet worse by wasting the seeds that a better gardener than I would have grown into a suburban Eden?

I have a habit of thinking that these kinds of things are a great idea, jumping in with both feet, and then too late realizing that oops, I did it again. In my wake lie many knitting needles, needlepoint strings, and recipe books. They are the roadkill of my life, flattened by my flightiness. Gardening, however, has seemed to stick for a few summers, so maybe this is my Thing. Maybe someday, several years from now, I will be that woman people talk about down the block, the one with the garden that people drive by to see. There I'll be, in a big floppy hat, little gloves, and trendy gardening clogs, glistening in the sun, waving serenely at the parade of cars as they drive by, like the Ms. Cleaver of Gardendom.

Or, I'll be the one on the 11 o'clock news, 'Dirty Woman Found Drowned In Own Rainbarrel: Tripped Over Trendy Clogs While Blinded By Ridiculous Hat'.


Kristin.... said...

I wish I were so bold as to start a garden, but 1) we still have 3 feet of snow in our yard, 2) we live in the woods, with DEER, starving DEER and 3) unless it's hardy, I kill it. Take photos!

AndreAnna said...

In theory, I'd love to garden. I love the peace and the tranquility and the pride in growing your own.

However, thank god for CSA because I can pay someone else to grow me things, because I kill all things green.

desperate housewife said...

That last sentence- ha! Love it.

Astarte said...

I need to get involved in CSA. There's some local co-op around here, but I haven't taken time to get really involved with it yet. One of my friends gets stuff through it, but has problems because they require such bulk purchases. I don't know if that's via a CSA chapter, though.