My dad works at Weston Nurseries in Hopkinton MA. He works selling beautiful gardens to the richie riches, and generally thrives on making green things grow. All while I was growing up, he planted the most wonderful vegetable gardens. I loved going through in the late summer and plucking up the cherry tomatoes.
The smell of them on the vine is one of my favorite scents. Our yard was also always overflowing with beautiful daffodils in the springtime. He did (and still does) a really good job making everything beautiful.
When I was a freshman at Umass, I decided I wanted to get a plant. My dad was really excited when I told him, and picked one that fit my specifications. Not too high maintenance, and one that doesn't need a lot of sunlight, as my crazy roommate had hogged the entire gigantic picture window in our room.
It was a cute little green viney thing that sat on the bookshelf of my desk. As the semester marched on, and things got more hectic, I basically forgot that it existed. Leann confessed at the end of the year that she had been keeping it alive for me, sneaking water into the pot when I wasn't there.
Over the summer the plant thrived when I brought it back into my parents house. It grew so substantially that it had to be repotted. The vines overflowed the sides of the pot and skirted the floor. Subsequently, it became too big for me to fit in my teeny tiny Baker dorm room. Or at least that's what I said. I knew that if it came back to school with me, it would probably die. My parents kept it, and very quickly I forgot about it.
Last year, when Paul and I were still living in Amherst, my dad proudly announces that he still has my plant, and that I can take it back now. He had taken really good care of it for 4 years. He had put it in a nice new hanging basket with plenty of room to grow. I was kind of touched that he still thought of it as my plant.
As soon as it was warm enough, I hung the plant outside in our little fenced in lot. An unexpected frost came, and within a week the poor thing was stone cold dead. After 4 years of careful diligence, I had totally killed it.
My mom had also given me a little potted plant kit for Christmas last year. The pots were about 2 inches wide and came with seeds for Basil and some little pink flowers. They came with soil, fertilizer, and specific directions. I thought I followed them really well, but nothing ever sprouted.
However, for the gardening inept like me, there seemed to be a saving grace - hydroponics. Garrett got Paul and I one of those Aerogarden machines as a wedding present. I was really excited. These things are supposed to be fool proof. You don't need to water the plants, and every two weeks the machine automatically alerts you to add more nutrients.
Well, I guess I'm a fool:
The pictures are kind of blurry, so if you can't tell, they're dead. Dead before even making it out of the sproutling stage. The holes in the pic above are where ones clearly kicked the bucket right off the bat. The only one we're really holding out hope for is Parsley.
I don't know what happened. The little foam things they grew out of looked like they got moldy. We also waited about a year before we set it up, so maybe the seeds were duds. I also suspect that Roosevelt sits on them when we're not home. That sun-simulating light gets nice and toasty like a sunbeam.
At any rate, the verdict is in. Green thumbs are not genetic.