I have never really taken care of plants. I love going into forests and gardens, and the color green is so soothing, and yet, for some reason, I’ve always thought you had to be born with the plant gene. That you’d just know you’d be the kind of person who plants would grow for. And because I never felt a supernatural connection with plants, I never tried to grow them. I remember watching the movie A Troll in Central Park several Saturday mornings when I was younger. I thought that’s what it meant to have a green thumb.
The landscape around my home was thoroughly cared for. My dad landscaped the front of our house with azalea bushes and Japanese maple trees. In the side yard we had ham and eggs Lantana camara, a huge oak tree, and layers upon layers of ivy growing thick underneath it. In the backyard there was a Japanese plum tree, a row of chinaberry trees, and a rose bush. My dad loved to work in our yard. He had the green thumb, I knew. He fought the kudzu from the rose bush. He brought home small flowers that we grew in pots on our front porch. Sometimes he’d give me the watering can and we’d look at the plastic tags in the pots to see where to best position our flowers to grow them big and beautiful. That was magic, but as far as I was concerned, it was because he had the green thumb. After he passed away, things never grew in or around our house in quite the same way.
In college, I met friends who grew herbs and tomatoes in their backyards. I couldn’t believe it! I wondered how so many people had this magic power to keep plants alive and help them grow.
This year, I’m heading the interior design at one of our stores. That design includes plants! So, I’ve started with plants that are hard to kill, simple house plants. A lemon button fern, a jade plant, a few succulents, and a pitcher plant. So far, I’ve found watering them, keeping instructions on them, and making sure they get enough light really fun. I’ve started to make little garden information cards for each plant to better remember the important things about them.
While I don’t think I have a green thumb in the sense of the troll in central park, I might just have inherited my dad’s love for nurturing plants.