I wasn’t aware of this until we bought our first house, but I was born with not just a brown thumb, but with all my fingers brown, both on my hands and on my feet (technically called ‘toes’).
Within the first year of the purchase we killed just about every plant on our property. Mostly through dumb ignorance resulting in abject neglect, but during that time I also discovered that it is possible to kill by caring too much. Too much weeding, too much water, fertilizer, pesticide… you name it, we did it. We’d sunken a fortune into our front yard, only to watch it go down the drain – literally. We became known as neighborhood serial plant killers. My experience taught me that gardening is rocket science par excellence and I am not a rocket scientist.
Still, if there was any hope for our yard, any hope at all, we needed a rocket scientist or gardener, or both.
Not a lawn mowing service that rolls around once a week, makes a lot of noise and leaves after 30 or so minutes.
And not purveyors of unsolicited gardening advice – God knows we had plenty of those but the only good they taught us was never to trust gardeners with manicured hands.
I looked closely to the right and to the left, but there was no one in sight. Finally it dawned on me that there was one thing that remained. A long shot and rather foolish one, but at this point I had nothing to lose. So I took a deep breath and exhaled a foolish, impossible prayer.
God, you who created this world out of NOTHING, make me a gardener.