One of my many chores when I was a child was weeding. Oh, how I hated weeding. The sun would beat down on my back as I painstakingly pulled weeds out of the ground, trying to make sure to get the roots. My mother's interest in plants and flowers was about average sized--she planted and cared for them, keeping the yard mostly neat, but I wouldn't say she had a particular love for it. My dad religiously mowed the lawn and trimmed the trees and bushes.
My mother-in-law was born with two green thumbs and a love for all things related to gardening. I think my father-in-law was too. I wish it'd rubbed off on my husband. It would have made it easier for me.
I joke that my husband and I both have brown thumbs; we kill just about every plant we try to raise. Even the cactus. Whenever someone gives us a plant as a gift, we're given advice on how to keep it alive. It never happens. I don't know why people expect it will be different this time. It never is.
I've tried. In our old house, we had a giant flower box sitting right under the front windows of our house, along with an area for a flower bed just below. We tried all sorts of flowers and plants, faithfully watering them and trying to care for them. The perennials in particular flourished for awhile. But mostly everything just died.
As I often do, I looked around my backyard and imagined what it might look better with more plants and splashes of color. The flowerbeds are mostly bare. I mentioned to my mom one day that I was thinking of starting a rose garden. It was just another comment along the same lines of many. My wishful thinking, knowing I'd likely never follow through. Only, this time my mom took my words to heart and our Easter present this year was money to start our rose garden. I couldn't exactly give it back or use it for something else. She was very specific in what it could be used for. I suppose I could have kept putting it off--I even tried, saying it'd be better to plant them in the fall--but my mom kept asking.
And so, off we went. Anjin, Mouse and I. We spent an afternoon at a nursery, me dreaming about all the plants and trees I wanted to add to our garden, my husband wishing we'd hurry up so he could get home and take a nap, and Mouse hoping for another look at the birds, caged by the nursery entrance.
We narrowed our rose choices down to four different kinds and spent the next afternoon planting them, under the supervision of Mouse. She's quite the helper.
When I think about it, I really want Mouse to experience the joys of gardening. I'm hoping the roses will take and flourish. I have no intention of giving up so easily this time. I may not like gardening much now, but maybe if I force myself to do it, I'll eventually come to like it. I hope. And in the process, I hope my daughter will maybe develop that green thumb I don't have. It would make her grandmothers proud, anyway.