There is no way anybody would ever describe me as having a green thumb. In one job, many years ago, I was forbidden to touch, water, or otherwise have anything to do with the plants in our room, and for good reason. If someone gives me a live plant as a gift, the first thing I do is apologize to it. “I’m terribly sorry, you’re beautiful, but your days are numbered.”
And yet, right outside my front door is a glorious hydrangea bush. It’s several years old now, and is at least five feet all around. It is absolutely covered with blossoms. It lives only feet away from a rhododendron that was here when we bought our house over twenty years ago. Last year that rhododendron had two, yes, two blossoms. In July. The thirty foot tall rhododendron across the street will have bloomed and faded before our poor little bush even thinks about it.
Maybe it’s just as well that my yard is too tiny to have a vegetable garden. Growing up, my mom always kept us supplied with loads of fresh veggies and fruits from her big garden. I miss the jars and jars of home canned tomatoes stashed in the basement, and the freezer full of green beans Mom would put up every year. My family will tell you that I make up for this lack in other ways – by overstocking everything from the store.
We’ve tried growing tomatoes in pots, placing them on the front walk in the twenty-five square feet of yard that gets any sun. No good. Even so, for some unknown reason I keep trying. Right now I have dill, basil, parsley, chives, rosemary, and tarragon growing in pots out there. The neighborhood bunny seems to be enjoying the dill and the parsley.
Hey, if I can’t go out and pick green beans for supper, at least I might be able harvest enough basil to make some pesto. And I can enjoy that inexplicably happy hydrangea.