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Posted: April 18, 2013 8:00 a.m.

Gardening: Not just for girls and old women

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My love of flowers is pretty well-known. It’s my one real nod to femininity. In fact, I had an orchid in my house that I loved like a child. It recently died and I nearly shed a tear. Not kidding. It’s interesting that I love flowers so much when I have such a black thumb. If I plant it, it usually dies.  Maybe because I just want it to bloom and look pretty without requiring me to do boring things like give it water. Greedy, needy plants.

Right now the pansies that I have been fussing over for months are dying a slow, painful death. This, I understand, means it is time to plant again. According to my mother who knows about such things, spring planting happens after Easter. I’m a couple weeks late – shocking – but this weekend I’m going to get my plant on.

I have high expectations for myself. This is likely going to prove problematic, since no matter how pretty I make things they will never live up to the mental image I have of my yard. Typically my planting has been relegated to a couple of small pots since I kill everything. I didn’t feel like planting things last year, so this year it’s all me and my kid, who likes sticking his hands in the dirt, then complaining because his hands are then dirty. Sigh…

In my mind we will have a small container garden on the back porch with jalapenos (which I intend to cook with but will likely forget), tomatoes (which the birds will probably destroy) and maybe cucumbers (which will overtake my porch like some “Little Shop of Horrors” monstrosity). Also catnip, which our elderly cat Abbey will dig up, roll in and then come inside the house like some methed-up fur ball, zipping and yowling.

Of course we’ll have plants in the two big pots and some hanging baskets for the front porch. These I am confident I won’t destroy. Well, probably not. Some moss and ivy in some head planters – which sounds scarier than they are – in the back, and then, the yard. I have this picture in my head of bougainvillea trailing up the front pillars of my little college like some old-school New Orleans flat. They will likely trail out and not up, then be mowed over by my yard men. The jasmine I plan on planting will probably do the same exact thing.

The end result will most likely be half-burnt looking flowers on the front porch, bunches of vines on the ground, half-eaten veggies and a higher water bill. Instead of coming home with a smile on my face looking at the beauty surrounding my house, I will pull a face and instantly become cranky because I am worthless at something as simple and southern as planting a garden.

However, may your weekend planting go off without a hitch or a garter snake or any weird creepy bugs getting on you, and may your garden bring you many months of pleasure and reward. If you see someone lurking behind a tree and gazing at your flowers, it’s just me. I won’t hurt anything.

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