I beg your pardon; I never promised you an herb garden


Until quite recently I believed that I had a black thumb.  I have killed the hardiest plants, including cacti, which are purported to be indestructible.  When I moved here, only one houseplant had survived my years in a NYC apartment.  I left it behind with the Super’s wife, hoping it would have a better life with her.  But everything changed for me last week, when I noticed that something STRANGE was happening in the pot of my Jerusalem Cherry Tree.  

As an aside, I feel compelled to mention that I received this particular plant as a gift from someone who did not know about my tendency to hasten death in houseplants.  During the last 18 months, this beautiful plant had lost its bright orange berries and more than half of its leaves, but it refused to die.  In fact, it grew steadily until even I realized that it required a transplant to a larger pot.  Within a week of its transfer, the plant began budding and small, white flowers appeared among the leaves.  I took notice, but maintained a strong skepticism about its survival following such a radical procedure at the hands of an incompetent practitioner.  

Last week, my negative self-talk was drowned out once and for all when I walked by the plant and noticed thin green shoots, which looked like tiny blades of grass, sprouting up around the perimeter of the pot.   “What on earth?” I muttered aloud.   Turns out I should have asked “what in earth?” instead.  You see, my children go to an environmentally savvy school, where they can be Junior Master Gardeners and other students’ parents can adopt-a-spot and tend to the flower beds on campus.  Last April, in celebration of Earth Day, they planted seeds in small, decorated pots and brought them home.  Assuming that I would fail to nurture the tiny seeds into actual plant life, I just left the pots in the garage.  Then 9 months later, when I needed additional soil to transplant the Jerusalem Cherry Tree, I saw little point in purchasing a new bag.  I had already calculated the likelihood of this plant’s death at 99.9%.  In an effort to reduce, reuse and recycle, I tossed the soil from the Earth Day pots into the larger pot, watered the plant and placed it near a window where I could ignore it for a while.

Apparently, herb seeds can survive many months of abandonment in a garage.  Now I have an herb garden growing alongside my flowering Jerusalem Cherry Tree in my powder room, and I am beginning to reconsider my capabilities as a cultivator of life.  Spring really is a time of growth — all kinds of growth.


Comments (1)

I had forgotten we had the I kill plants gene in common.
You are so multifaceted. Preacher, teacher, potter and farmer.
I love mothers who work on growth. No wonder you are my friend (beware though I am not willing to share my mic with you at open mic night);
even though you are absolutely hysterical!
I sow loved your planting. Be sure to sow us some more seeds soon!

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