Making My Brown Thumb Turn Green


A few years ago when living in Indiana my friend Marla took me to meet a friend of hers, and this friend was very good at gardening. Me, I’ve always been a brown thumb. I forget to water, then I over water, I set a plant out for a little sun and it ends up fried … you get the picture. So when this friend of Marla’s gave us a little pod of moonflower seeds, I was hopeful … but didn’t really expect to end up with the green leafy plants this woman had.

As I expected, I planted my moonflower seeds and was not successful at producing a plant much less any moonflowers. I hadn’t given it much thought again until earlier this year when selecting some plants to decorate our front porch area. I love vining plants and as a kid (with mom’s help) grew morning glories each year. I remember when I was about 8 years old walking out the front door to catch the bus and all the pretty purple morning glories were open. Moonflowers and morning glories are related, by the way, which is why when I decided to return to my childhood and grow morning glories to climb up the posts of my front porch, I decided to try moonflowers as well. That, and I always felt a little guilty about not taking care of the first set the way I should have.

My moonflower plant is doing well at producing bright green, heart-shaped leaves. This photo is about two weeks old, so it’s actually a bit taller now. Still no blooms but the summer’s not over yet.

I feel like my failure at growing moonflowers the first time has been redeemed. I’ve also learned that the ability to garden relates to priorities which is a reflection of maturity. The failure of the moonflowers and the many other plants over the years was because I did not place priority on it, which led to neglect.

I can’t say for sure what made the difference between today and several years ago. I’m a mom now so perhaps my nurturing instinct has kicked in. Also, I own my home now and take greater pride in its look and appeal. Whatever the reason, the four-foot tall (and growing!) moonflower plant is proof that time has changed me, and apparently my brown thumb too.

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