A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The thumb is always greener on someone else's hand

I have really nice daffodils and tulips in my front yard, and some other plants that grow well. But, when it comes to house plants, I definitely do NOT have a green thumb. In fact, the ultimate has finally happened - my artificial plant is losing its leaves!! I have a few areas in my house that are a bit too dark for a real plant, so after many untimely foliage deaths, I went for the silk. Now this. Went to turn off the light yesterday and there was absolute proof that I do no have a green thumb.

My mother was a little better than me in the houseplant department, except she had a constant string of dead rubber plants. I think it was all that wax she would put on the leaves to make them shine - suffocated the whole lot of them! As for outside stuff, Mom used to joke that she was the only person who could actually kill mint growing in her yard. I've topped her - I can kill mint and parsley. Not a small feat.

Nani Gene, my grandmother, had a garden which did pretty well. Although I'm sure it was because my grandfather took care of it. Or it could have been the pot growing in with the lettuce. They also had a pomegranate bush, two orange trees, and loquat trees that thrived.

Now my great-grandmother - there was a gardner. She could grow anything. And did. I think she may have invented compost because I remember her constantly throwing stuff around her plants - egg shells, coffee grounds, fruit skins. Nothing fancy for her, no shiny new compost bin (with or without worms). She just threw all the stuff in an old pot, waddled outside and dumped it on the roots of whichever plant was "up" that day! Very scientific.

With Italians, the garden is a thing of joy and the first thing you show any guest who comes to your house. I've had to change that tradition. I do brag about my tulips when they are in full bloom, and sometimes our hydrangea looks great. Oh, and last year I had lots of basil and sage. But, not exactly the stuff that garden tours are made of. And we never discuss house plants.


Fleur de Lisa said...

I'm laughing at the silk plant. I come from a long line of people with green thumbs. I missed that gene somehow.

Chris said...

I'm totally with you on this one. I'm afraid to bring any kind of plant into the house. Even cut flowers can scare me.

icanseeclearlynow said...

it's not that i don't have a green thumb. though, i'm sure i DON'T. i am totally a SILK PLANT girl cause i HATE the tiny bugs (flying gnats) that come with house plants.

did you get my email, sandi?


Jenni said...

Ha! You're killing a silk plant?! Too funny. :)

I can say that because I too am missing the "green thumb gene."

MMrussianadoption said...

i've killed ivy and that stuff grows like wildfire up peoples houses. that is funny killing a fake plant

Desert Diva said...

You should see the "sad little plant" in my office. I love the picture of the silk plant that dropped the leaf - that would be me. Basil is my favorite - fresh pesto is so delicious!


I loveeee gardening, but I'm very famous for killing then instantly! I just don't know how to care for my plants!!!

Scoobers said...

i could only WISH that i had my own mother's skill in making green things greener.