Ms. Green(ish) Thumbs

So April, where did you go? Have I really let another month slip by without posting? Apparently.

The first couple weeks of April were rather benign. I attended classes, completed homework and wrote articles. However, during the weekend of April 3rd, I crossed somthing off my “college to do” list: I bought plants!

What? Why are you giving me that blank look? Is that not what you expect from a college senior?

Sorry to disappoint any who were hoping for a scandalous story of collegiate debauchery, but that’s not my style.

Every year since I started school, I have said that once I was in my own apartment I’d have an herb garden. Well last year came and went with not a speck of potting soil to be found.

There’s a reason for the lack of flora in my life. In the past I have been more poisonous to plants than Roundup. Remember that science project in fifth grade, the one with the pea plants? You we’re learning about dominant and recessive genes, and your teacher had you plant pea seeds in Dixie cups.

In a week every cup had a bright, perky pea shoot pushing its way through the dirt — every cup, that is, except the one with “Lizzie” scrawled on the side. I was devastated. I come from a family with very good gardeners. I felt like I was letting down the family.

Grandpa, Grandma and me at Christmas Eve 2008

Growing up, my most vibrant memories come from the days spent at my grandparents house. My grandpartent’s house sits on a rather large plot of land, a little over an acre. In my youth the layout looked like this: the house at the front of the lot, behind that is the pool house, the pool, the one-hole golf course and the garden.

Because of their advancing ages and increaseing health issues, Grandpa and Grandma decided to fill in the pool about eight years ago. The old pool house sits unused and is rapidly being invaded by nearby tree roots. The golf course is buried under tall grasses. And sadly, even the garden is gone.

But what a garden it was. Rows of cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, corn, lettuce and squash. I remember having the job of “picking” the tomatoes with my cousins. More of those glorious red orbs ended up in our mouths than the baskets. When we’d come in with our haul, the parents would remark at our smaller than expected crop. We would shrug and giggle at the tomato juice staining our shirts.

Grandpa’s cherry tomatoes were exclusively red, but here are some delicious heirlooms!

After the pea plant fiasco, I hung up my gardening gloves and didn’t touch a spade for years. I dropped the “zie” from my name and became “Liz,” who only helped her father occassionally weed the yard. The only plants that worked for me were plastic and tended to melt in direct sunlight.

That is until now. (I hope I’m not jinxing myself here.)

Back to the weekend of April 3rd. I was at the local farmers market (“no apostrophe,” according to the 2007 AP Stylebook…yes, I’m a word geek). I saw these beautiful Better Boy tomato plants just waiting for me to buy them. I also picked up some Italian parsley (commonly known as flat-leaf parsley).

Four Better Boy tomato plants and four parsley plants. Probably overcrowding the pot…whatever.

Harvest time: about 80 days, according to the lady who sold them to me.

See it has a flat leaf unlike the curly kind used most for garnishing. Apparently flat leaf has more flavor.

The above pictures were taken on April 3rd. The ones below were taken today, May 3rd.

Hello Audrey 2?

Fancy helicopter shot!

Is parsley just supposed to be a tangled mess?

Whatever I’m doing, or not doing, I’m just going to let the plants do their thing. If you have any gardening tips, please share them.

Have a wonderful spring.

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