Friday, May 31, 2013

Green Thumb, Brown Thumb - Cycles of Growth

In case some folks think that because of our current financial downturn, life isn't bearable around my place, I should explain that to us, it is just one part of our lives.

Right now, I am pretty durned pleased with myself. Back east (I've lived in 4 states: PA, NJ, CA, and now NV), I had no trouble "growing things." This includes both veggies and flowers.

Once I came west, back in '79, everything changed. The southern CA climate, and now the southern NV climate, turned my green thumb brown. These days I even kill plastic or silk plants.

Although, to be fair, about 4 years ago, I managed to keep some outdoor petunias alive for a few months. Ditto, with some morning glories once. Five years ago, we planted 2 Sego palms out front. One died within a few months. The other is still alive, but only as high as my mid-calf, and my mid-calf, given that I've shrunk to "just a little over five feet," isn't very high (sigh).

That said, a neighboring couple who move to Michigan from April through September each year, entrusted one planter to my care. I almost begged them to think about what they were doing to that plant.
It's in a planter that is sort of like a window-box shape - rectangular. One half has a catnip plant in it. They have 2 indoor cats. I always have a cat. The other half of the planter has a trailing vine with purple flowers. They told me to splash a glass of water in it morning and night.

You've got to understand. "Glass of water" really worried me. After they pulled out on a weekday morning, when they were probably a few hundred miles away, my mind went nutz. Did they mean an 8 oz. glass or a 12 oz. glass or a Big Gulp glass? I've sort of compromised. I've been pouring about 20 oz. in it - an almost-full 24 oz. former-Classico pasta sauce jar.

The good news is that, now, 7 weeks later, the pair of plants are still alive and, dare I say it, thriving. In fact, the catnip plant is blooming and online it says I should now cut it back. Here I go again - how much should I cut off? I think I'll take it back down to about the height it was when they gave it to me. At that point, my own kitty will be going on a wild trip after I dry those leaves and stuff them into her one furry mousie.

More good news is that a local friend gave me 2 cucumber plants about 3 weeks ago and they are very short and small, but they are blooming. Online it says they first produce female flowers, then male flowers, then fruit, after something pollinates them. The fact that they are still alive and now first-stage blooming is very exciting to me.

Of course, I don't know how long I can maintain this spurt of green-thumb-ism. But while I am being this blessed, I'll enjoy watering them each day and chatting with them and enjoying the whole thing.

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