are green thumbs hereditary?

And if they are….where did I get mine?

I have to admit, it is not something I was born with.  My first home, I think the only thing I planted was a tree.  It was a red maple.  We called him ‘Red’.  I ordered him through a catalogue.  I was so excited.  Picked the perfect spot for him in the yard.  I named him.  I watered & spoke to him every day.  Then Dad ran over him with the bulldozer. 

And I never planted anything else.  At least not while I lived nextdoor to Dad.

Our next home was a rental, so I didn’t really put much love or effort into making it mine.  Besides we were surrounded by concrete in the city.  And I was still a bit stung from my last planting tragedy.

My third home, five years after ‘Red’ I finally ventured out to make a statement.  This was also a rental, so we weren’t allowed much space for creativity.  And I knew nothing about gardening.  All I knew was I wanted something that looked pretty in contrast to the brick.  Oddly enough, I was proud enough to take a picture.

I knew absolutely nothing about flowers or what to buy.  I didn’t know a perennial from pomegranate.   So all I bought were annuals and I was devastated when they didn’t grow back again the next Spring.  When we bought our first home out in the country with lots of room for anything.  There were two existing flower beds and another that wrapped around the veranda.   I remember ripping out dead things & buying lots of ‘perennials’ (still not knowing what they were).  But I had no idea how to properly care for them.  I was learning as I went along.  By the second spring/summer I was finally getting the hang of it.  I knew that the ‘dead things’ that I pulled out were probably perennials waiting to come out again. ~sigh~

Sadly, I had moved out before the 3rd spring, so I really didn’t get to see the fruits of my labour.  It seems with each move though, I gained more and more knowledge.  I searched the internet, I lugged home book after book from the library about plants, flowers, trees, gardening…you name it and I fell asleep with it on my chest.

I was almost bursting the first time I went to a nursery and was able to identify plants without looking at the tags!  And now…in my 42nd year…with my most important seedlings growing strong and moving away, I have more time than ever to tend my ‘plant’ gardens. 

I have apple & cherry trees, rhubarb, raspberry & strawberry bushes.  I have a veggie garden with everything from onions, lettuce & spinach to tomatoes & watermelon.  I have not only plants with names, but entire gardens.  I have birdbaths, rock formations, hand-made cedar fences (thanks to Sweetie) ornamental objects in each garden, some even with a center conversation piece.  But most of all, I have plants that are growing, thriving in a bulldozer free environment. 🙂 Sorry Dad, I had to say it!

I can’t tell you how excited I was to see my plants sprouting up this Spring saying ‘hello’.  Bigger, stronger and spreading from last year’s crops.  I can sit happily and watch my flowers & plants for hours (if life didn’t interrupt as it usually does in the form of ‘what’s for supper?’)

Some people don’t understand the ultimate joy I feel from working in the dirt, soil under my fingernails, watering late into the mosquito infested nights….

But there’s no way to say in words, how it feels to see the little petals of absolute purple or shocking pink peeking through at you, blinking in the sunlight…saying their ‘thank you’ for believing in me.

The only thing that comes close…is that first time your newborn baby opens their eyes and looks into your own.

Call me crazy…but I love my thumbs being green.

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