To celebrate Edith’s release week for A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die, we’re talking about growing food.
Wicked Cozies, do you grow food in your garden? Or do you kill off house plants without even trying?
Jessie: I have a green thumb for any plants that live outdoors. I have raised vegetable beds, perennial borders and fruit bushes and trees. I love hanging baskets and window boxes and pots of all sizes. I have a green house and grow lights and too many seed catalogues. My household composts everything it can. I love designing garden spaces and I love spending time in them. But houseplant care eludes me entirely. I blame it on our forced hot air heating system but it may be that I forget to water enough and I try growing things that are not really happy indoors.
Sherry: Where is the black thumb category? I managed to kill bamboo which is nearly impossible. However, I do have a seemingly indestructible houseplant a friend gave me a cutting of six years ago. It grew so big I had to divide it into two pots. This plant should be studied by scientists — it is a genetic anomaly. Although maybe my husband is secretly taking care of it to make me feel better about myself.
Barb: Brown, brown, brown. My mother-in-law’s been in rehab following a hip replacement and I’ve had an orchid of hers in my house. Honestly, I can barely handle the responsibility! The thing just sits there, haunting me. It’s making me a nervous wreck. Can’t wait to give it back to her.
Liz: Don’t EVER leave me in charge of plants. I have great intentions, and I love looking at them, but I never remember to take care of them. And when I do, it’s too late. Or one of the cats eats the plant and throws up all over the place. Which prompts a mad Google search to find out if the plant was bad for cats or not, in case I have to make an emergency vet run. It’s just not worth the drama!
Edith: I have one or more house plant in every room. A college roommate taught me how to take care of them. Water once a week, and then only if you stick a finger in the soil and it is dry. Put them in the shower or under a sink hose to get the dust off the leaves. Add fish emulsion to the weekly water in the spring and summer. Host them outside when local temperatures permit. And the garden, even a small family plot like the one I have now? I am so happy when I’m poking in dirt, training a vine up a string, harvesting dinner. (See how the lettuce have grown compared to the picture at the top of this page?)
Julie: I used to have a green thumb. I lived in a little house, had lovely gardens with healthy hostas, a ancient rosebush, and other perennials I filled in with annuals. I loved the look of white impatiens that I used to fill in the beds. Inside I had a ton of houseplants throughout. Fast forward ten years. I live in a condo (with lovely gardens), but I can barely keep my two Christmas cacti and the aloe plant alive. I have no idea what happened to my mojo, but it is gone gone gone. Maybe it was the house I owned. It was the gardener’s cottage of a large estate back in the day. Maybe Thomas Cooney (the original owner) was actually the secret weapon…I feel a ghost story coming on. The ghost of the garden.
Outside, I am green. Indoors…there has yet to be a houseplant invented that I cannot kill. That includes the African violet my grandmother gave me when I moved from Louisiana to Pennsylvania. I *tried* to keep that thing alive, to no avail. Still feel guilty about it!
African violets are tricky, Ramona. No guilt! It’s funny how outdoors and in aren’t necessarily related.
I should give you a cutting from the indestructible houseplant my friend gave me!
I will take it, Sherry! I have no pride. 🙂
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