I kill green things. I see dead plants. They are everywhere, suffering leaves and stems in a perpetual death throw whenever I bring one into my house. They are constantly filling the space I exist within, but only for brief moments before their inevitable palm dive. It seems it is my lot in life to destroy anything growing. You would think that I would have learned by now. I keep expecting my green thumb to "kick in" since both my parents, and most of my siblings, seem to have the knack it requires to garden and grow plants. I guess I'm the black weed of the family.Growing up, I did not have to bring my own plants into the home. My Mom kept a veritable forest of cactus, miniature trees and other houseplants in each room, creating a sanctuary of nature, her own indoor nursery. After I got older and moved out, I tried, desperately, to create my own natural space. No matter what plant I bought, or where I got it, it was not long for this world. I've considered that someone may have placed some pagan curse upon me, which maims and kills anything green I dare to touch. I suppose it's a good thing I stopped collecting frogs when I was 10.
I stopped trying to get anything to grow years ago. Like cut flowers, I tend to think of any greenery I bring into the house as temporary. Give me time, and sure enough, they all just wilt and die. This curse follows me everywhere. I've been planting and replanting at the cemetery for over 15 years. I gave up trying and just went with Lily of the Valley, a root plant that thrives in such conditions. Maybe they will grow in the front room? I guess I'm a "verdurial killer". The grass is always browner on my side. I practice serial horticulture. I have the proverbial red thumb.
Each week, I bring fresh flowers and place them near a picture of my Mother, reserved for such a tradition. I've been doing so since she died. It's a struggle for most to make it a week in this plant trap. I buy two potted fuchsia to hang on the balcony each Mother's Day. It has been a challenge to keep them from dying too. I've tried morning glories crawling beneath, and all over, the trellis my sister gave me for Christmas. I've done catgrass and bluegrass, treats for my pussies. I had two tiny cuttings from one of my Mom's cacti, which I've already had to replace. The tomato plant, a birthday gift my Dad gives me by proxy from my Mom, has produced many different-sized tomatoes that one day, fully ripe, I hoped to feast upon. They always seem to turn to black on the vine. I try and try to tend to the needs of these visitors, but they rarely stay through a season.
There are countless flora I have lost along the way. If the ghosts of Christmas poinsettia could haunt, I would never dare to sleep. So many poor tiny petals, and grasses, and vibrant blooms, each one born but only for me to take to slaughter. I can't even count all the carnage my care has brought to these innocent victims of herbal abuse. It has always been this way. As far back as I can remember, nature has cringed when I pass her way. Like a death squad, I stand my next shot into the sunshine, simply readying them for their end. They are duped by my sincere attempts to fill my house with anything vegetative and they start to thrive, only to anticlimax, turning from plush to crushed, from green to shades of brown. For all my years, I have not one witness of my attempted maintenance. They have all met their maker. They perish at the whims of my duties, leaving buckets and pots and trays filled with soil. If dirt was ornamental, I would have a lovely garden.
"People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die." (Plato - Classical Greek Philosopher)
Things aren't perfect in the kill zone, but they are better. Last season, many of the plants I welcomed into my home lasted longer than any others before. It was a tease, I am sure. I half expect to go out on my balcony one day only to find them all gone. I suspect that, if given the chance, each one would rather leap to their doom from the 16th floor than face cultivation at my hands. I should thank someone that my balcony is enclosed. In my house, it sure ain't easy being green. I need someone to help me stop this killer of living. Just cut off my thumbs and be done with it.I've studied the very best horticultural sites on the Web. I've read book after book, praying I find the secret to keeping these sacrificial specimens alive long enough to figure out what I am doing wrong. I asked my Mother, a thousand times, for her secret. I have asked my Father why he thinks I am such a putz when it comes to harvesting long life from my victims. I have bothered so many garden shops with silly little questions that they should post my picture, rewarding me as "
"Though the land be good, you cannot have an abundant crop without cultivation." (Plato, 428/427 - 348/347 BCE)
People are a lot like plants. When you cultivate something properly, reaching for a highly developed state of perfection, a flawless or impeccable quality, there are many factors which will determine success. There are just as many factors which will determine any inevitable failure. Growth is a journey of patience and polish while lack of proper attention will wither away a promising life. It's all about the right ingredients. A mixture of this and that may help refine and culture any specimen, but the basics, like water and food, can also limit potential growth. It is all how you use them. There is a recipe for success and a recipe for failure. I guess you have to figure out which is which.I have to learn, I suppose, to cultivate plant life like I do my own life. When you stop trying to make a rose bush grow, suddenly it will do just that. Nature forgotten will always turn wild. Overfeeding and watering it, thinking this will speed up the process, only harms the entire body. You have to measure and discern what you let in. Even one wrong ingredient and nothing will grow. Most important, so I am told, is the soil.
Without good soil, nothing can take root.
Without food for the soil, nothing can grow strong.
"And what, Socrates, is the food of the soul?Surely, I said, knowledge is the food of the soul."
(Plato - Aristocles, son of Ariston)