Green Thumb

I take joy from many things. Here are just a few of them:

~Family time

Gardening, you’ll notice, is not on that partial list. It’s not even on the full list. That’s because I despise it. My total disdain for the activity was likely brought on by a combination of my couch potato tendencies as a kid (when all of my little friends were outside, I was inside practicing my Ubbi Dubbi skills) and the fact that my sister and I spent many weekends pulling weeds out of the landscaping around our house and especially under that godforsaken magnolia tree, whose lower branches were left untrimmed so we had to do our work crouched over in a position similar to that of a fetus. Funny, that’s also the position we both assume to this day when the topic of “gardening” comes up in conversation.

I couldn’t put it off any longer, though. My “landscaping” in the front yard–and I put that in quotes because honestly, nobody would really call it that at this point–had become overgrown and full of weeds. It was also full of a variety of small trees that were dropped there in seed form by birds, eventually growing not quite tall enough to look like a plant that belonged there but too big to easily extract from the ground. My section of tall grass was starting to grow in for the year and I hadn’t bothered to go out and chop down the old, wheat-colored remnants of last summer.

The final motivator for me to get out there was my friend Jen, who started tweeting and blogging about her garden after a long, cold, bitter–well, it actually wasn’t that bad this year–winter. She loves to garden, and has worked so consistently on hers that I’m pretty sure she can just snap her fingers and her flowers grow while she hangs out with the birds and other local wildlife, like this.

I spent two brutal hours out there, and it wasn’t pretty. First, I cut the old tall grass out. Funny, it didn’t look much better.

2012 04 07 12.51.04

So that was annoying.

Also annoying? The four-legged member of the family who was very vocal about her disgust at being brought back inside after she wouldn’t behave herself on the leash in the front yard.

After sending multiple tweets out about how I was considering setting my garden on fire and just starting over, like this one:


I decided that the garden wasn’t going to magically transform all by itself.

As I got busy pulling weeds, D stepped into the back of the garden area as if he was on a mission.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

He replied, “Oh, just getting this.” He held up a gardening glove from the pair I had been searching for before getting started. (I had finally asked Jim to let me use a pair of his work gloves. The day only has so many hours in it, you know!)

I laughed a little too hard, perhaps, when D said, “Yeah, that glove has been laying there for two years.”

First of all, I don’t think it’s been two years since I’ve done anything out there.

Has it?

Okay, I guess it has. But more importantly, what happened to the other glove?

I found it an hour later, very close to where its partner had been.

2012 04 07 15.07.11

I just left it there for a while so I can think about whether it needs to be thrown away or if I want to stick my hand in there.

After nearly hitting myself in the head with the shovel handle while digging out those little trees, getting covered in mini burrs from something that was probably ragweed, and stabbing my fingers repeatedly with the thorns from my wayward climbing rose, I threw in the towel for today.

Green thumb? Absolutely not. Unless you’re talking about it being green in regards to my envy of people who have professional landscapers.


  • Toni

    LOL! I would just hire someone to come in and do the first cleanup of the year. Then…you can either upkeep it…or it should be good for at least another two years. 😀

  • TheNextMartha

    So, you’re saying that your garden now has the ability to conceal gloves for years on end. Girl. You need help. This post is like the opposite of mine. You hate gardening so much it makes me laugh.

  • houseofJules

    I think you & Jen need to do some tradesies. You do her ironing & she does your landscaping or something like that. I’d help, but then I’d owe Jim a quarter.

  • tracey

    Did you throw in the towel or the TROWEL?? GET IT?!? I made a funny. After a day full of kids annoying the shit out of me, and being a right old grump, I am making FUNNY HA HA’s.

    And your garden is pristine compared to mine. Except my veggie section. That is gonna rock again. The rest of the overgrown yard be damned, I will have an awesome veggie garden. I plan on letting it take over the yard eventually. 10 square feet more a year. Bigger and bigger until the grass no longer exists except for the patches that remain in the cracks of the pavement.

  • Grandma W

    Just do a little at a time and don’t let it overwhelm you. And for G sake get a new pair of gloves. Now you know you could tell the boys that they could clean that up as a present to you. I would try anything at this point.

    Good Luck.
    Grandma W

  • Tara R.

    Ah… another gardener after my own heart. I need to weed the flower beds around my house, either that or get a pair of goats to keep the weeds down.

  • mrs4444

    Melisa (or Meslia, as my keyboard wants to type), this post cracked me up, as I completely relate. I have two beautiful raised beds that my husband lovingly made for me, and I haven’t touched them in years. I blame it on the too-much-shade aspect of our yard; that’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it!