Gardening Advice From a True Brown Thumb

My co-worker and fellow blogger shared this article with me in which the columnist challenged people, in the new year and the new decade, to look at a few things through fresh eyes.  The writer listed 52 suggestions, one for every week of the year. This week’s topic is gardening.

I’m a self-proclaimed brown thumb. I’ve been pretty unsuccessful at growing plants or keeping them alive. I’ve killed ivy and aloe even, supposedly two of the easiest things to grow.

I’ve had a slight turn of luck the last few years. I grew the above moonflower plant — from a seed even! An 8- or 9- inch seedling that I got at Earth Day my first year at NASA is now a 5-foot talk oak tree in my backyard. There’s a plant near my front door that’s survived the last 6 months or so of my care. And the orchid David gave me for my most recent birthday is still alive and blooming.

But I don’t think that means anything other than I’ve paid special attention to care for those plants. I think that’s what it takes to be successful at gardening, paying special attention. To do it right, you really should love it. But you at least have to care enough about the plant to remember to water it and give it light. I often love the beauty of plants but don’t have the patience or attention span to care for them. But I also know that when I do — when the oak tree or orchid are significant to me — I’m more likely to take better care of them.

If something is important enough to us we will nuture and care for it and help it grow and thrive. If it’s not, we just might forget about it and before we know it, it’s brown and withered.


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