My mom loves to garden. She’s always out there with her hands in the dirt, cultivating beautiful plants from nothing more than seedlings. She sends us photos of lush flowers and climbing vines, proud of what she’s created. My childhood memories are flooded with visions of her fragrant vegetable garden; ripe, red tomatoes, the feathery top hats of carrots poking through the ground, and my personal favorite, big, fat peas, which she would always encourage me to pick and eat whenever I wanted. I remember walking the aisles of local garden centers with her, smelling the marigolds and pansies in damp, sunny greenhouses.
She’s taught me the best time to bury the daffodil bulbs and the seeds for those peas. She’s given me a potted aloe plant and urged me to keep it thriving.
And yet, despite the green running through her veins, I did not, in any regard, inherit a green thumb.
Not even a little.
I don’t have a black thumb, I mean, I’m not killing plants, I just have absolutely NO desire to garden.
Michael is baffled by this. He can’t understand why I don’t want to spend hours at the garden center, carefully selecting each plant. Why I’m not up to my elbows in dirt every weekend or obsessively weeding. He thinks that at the very least, it’s something women are interested in (clearly, not this woman) and if not that, then isn’t it genetic?
No, darling. I’m here to tell you the urge to garden is not like brown eyes or nicely shaped eyebrows. I wasn’t born with it.
I’m fortunate, because the previous owners of our home were very into gardening, and planted many varieties that bloom each year. Our home is surrounded by lily of the valley, red, orange and yellow lilies, tulips, daisies, violets, hydrangeas, and some things I couldn’t even name. And while I treasure the time my mom spent helping me plant daffodils all around the house (they are my favorite flower), I probably never would have done it on my own.
There’s a part of me that wants to garden, there is. I like the idea of creating such beauty from nothing. I had hoped that becoming a mother would have sparked something inside of me; something that would connect this mother to Mother Earth, or some cheese like that.
But alas, the pull to the earth has yet to come.
On Mother’s Day, we drove by a local farm whose parking lot was filled with cars. Mom’s at the garden center with their children. I was instantly transported back to those days with my mom. I could smell the earth and feel the damp air and right then and there I made a decision.
I’m going to plant something.
Now look, I’m not getting all over ambitious and committing to planting an entire garden, but something. Maybe those delightfully cheery orange marigolds I remember from my youth.
I have no idea if this activity will ignite some hidden passion, or rather just serve as validation of my anti-green thumb, but I’m willing to give it a shot. I’ll let you know how it turns out.