Monday, July 12, 2010

No green thumbs, not even out of a bottle

First off, thanks for so much warm support on Friday's post. Every comment lifted my spirits. I try not to be a downer, and I don't intend for my blog audience to be the recipient of all my moans and groans. Thanks for being there.

It's a definite sign that plants rightfully fear me.

I'm not so good with green and growing things. Either I get too much water on them or not enough, so usually I stick with the silk versions.

However, you can't slice and eat a silk tomato, or chop up silk basil and oregano. So this spring, I decided that I would plant three tomato plants, two pepper plants, and add to a window box of oregano I hadn't managed to kill last year. They reside on my back deck, save for one of the tomato plants, which is one of those Topsy Turvy planters I had to have after I saw it on TV. Why, yes, I am the living incarnate definition of gullible.

My plants have managed to limp along, and I've even gotten two knotty little ripe tomatoes from them. But no one could mistake my horticultural efforts for a green thumb.

Saturday morning, I found the whole passel of 'em wilted beyond belief, practically coding on the table. I rushed water to them, hoping I wasn't too late.

Off I went to town, for shopping, which included buying two cans of hunter green spray paint to resuscitate a patio furniture set I'd inherited from my mom.

It's a overgrown bistro set, one that my mom had since I was probably The Kiddo's age. Back when she bought it, she paid the earth for it, and I thought it was so cute in its black wrought iron state. It was Mama's pride and joy.

Over the years, Mama repainted it white to match with the changing styles. But as she grew older -- and sicker -- the thing rusted away in her back yard. I’d no idea how rusty it was, or how much it needed a face-lift, until The Sister and I were examining it.

The Sister suggested that, since it was small, it would be perfect for my back deck. We loaded the set up on her truck and hauled it to my house. Saturday was The Day that it was supposed to be turned from rusty white/black to a more stylish hunter green.

The Kiddo and I scrubbed away the biggest pocks of rust, sanded off the legs and seats until they felt fairly smooth. I kept thinking about Mama, and how I should have done this chore for her while she was still alive. The sanding finished, we dragged the chairs out onto the grass and I took the spray cans to them.

It took a lot more paint than I'd bargained for to cover the chairs. Two cans later, I still had some white spots and black spots and rusty spots shining.

Midway through, The Kiddo observed, "Hey, Mommy! You've got paint on your fingers!"

Sure enough, green speckles covered one hand. I suspected that I had green paint on other skin surfaces as well. As we inspected my hands, The Kiddo brightened. "Hey! Maybe this is how you can get a green thumb!"

But we looked closer, turning both of my thumbs this way and that. Alas ... not one fleck of green paint had landed on either of my thumbs.

The Kiddo gave me a sympathetic look, shook her head, and said, "Or ... maybe not?"

I nodded. "Or maybe not."


Al said...

so funny!
So it seems you are destined to not make a gardener, at least it gives you a great yarn to tell!

Linda G. said...

The thumb is always greener on the other side of the fence? ;)

Hope you get at least a few more tomatoes out of your garden--nothing beats homegrown for flavor.

Kelly Breakey said...

I don't have a green thumb either. In fact, my neighbor across the street does have a garden and I swear I hear the plants all cringe just a little bit when I get too close.

That's okay, because I can take all those wonderful things and turn them into great meals so all is not lost.

Next time, post a pic of the Bistro set. We want to see how it turned out.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Ha! My thumbs are black, as far as the plants are concerned. I don't think I would fool them, even with paint.


Lickety Splitter said...

I feel your hot as hades round these parts pain. You have to water most things either daily or every other day down in the deep south or else they go into cardiac arrest. I have brought mine back to life enough times to teach myself a lesson. Good luck with the plants and the rusted bistro set.