It always amazes me how being in a garden center causes me to forget how black my thumb is. Standing in the greenhouse, surrounded by weekend warriors there to pick up the necessary components of their gardening projects, looking at rows and rows of pretty flowers and green leaves, I feel almost intoxicated and definitely determined.

This year I won’t kill all of them!

Then I wonder at a society that allows anyone to purchase plants so cheaply (often less than $1 per plant) and take them to their house and kill them. I consider that perhaps plant ownership should require some kind of a license–much like I think would-be parents should have to pass some sort of a basic test before they bring a helpless child into the world.

I’ve killed all kinds of supposed “you can’t kill these, I promise” plants. In fact, the only plant I have successfully kept alive are hostas–even kept them alive enough for my mom to transplant some of them to her garden. Obviously, hostas plants are incredibly resilient.

Last year, we attempted a garden for the first time. We’ve tried flower beds before and containers of plants, but we’ve never tried to grow food. I was excited and I have done a lot of reading and documentary viewing over the last two years about green living, organic eating, etc. In one of the documentaries I watched, the director had an end note suggesting that it was very important for each viewer to grow a garden–no matter how small. Well, all we had was small as far as space goes, so with that encouragement I determined that we would try it.

It could have been any number of things that went wrong: 1. I tried to grow the plants from seeds. 2. I tried to grow three different things and probably planted them a little too close. 3. I don’t really like to do things like pull weeds and cultivate my plants. 4. We may have watered incorrectly. 5. Bugs are stupid. 6. It was a really dry summer.

This year, Jason thought we should just try tomatoes. That’s why we went to the garden center in the first place–to get three alreadyplanted and growing tomato plants. Just three sounded like  safe number. We might be able to grow three plants. We will see how that turns out!

While in the garden center, I looked all over and dreamed about how incredible it would be to have gardens full of some of these beautiful plants and flowers. I may not be good at growing them, but I do love plant life. Lilies are probably my very favorite. My mom has some Asiatic Lilies in a pot that are so pretty when they bloom!

When we got home, we planted our tomato plants–all three in our little garden. We’ll see how this goes. I was feeling pretty good about it until I looked out toward the garden yesterday afternoon and saw a bird pecking around my new tomato plants. Aack! I forgot about bugs and birds and critters that might try to eat my plants. I pictured myself sitting guard in the tiny garden. Do they make scarecrows that small?

Today, I took my mom back to the garden center so she could decide on some annuals for a planter she has on her back deck. She looked around and around and finally settled on begonias. I watched her add soil to the planter and dig holes for the six begonia plants. She watered them and we admired them.

And then I watched Sam wander over to the planter and start violently sniffing at the second plant in the line. “Sam, stop!” I called.  Sniffing continued long enough to crush begonia #2.

Well, it was fun while it lasted!

If the tomatoes grow, I’ll have you all over for salsa…or tomato sauce…or BLTs….