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How Green Is Your Thumb?

Aug 18, 2007
Eve got kicked out of the Garden of Eden and I took that as a sign not to garden. My not having even a pale green thumb was a sign from Mother Nature I wasn't meant to garden.

Not so with my husband. He was born to garden. He was born with green hands.

When he had a garden, I could have written "The 101 Ways to Cook or Disguise Zucchini Cookbook". The mint he conveniently planted by the back door for ice tea grew to inconveniently block the back door.

And then there were the pumpkins. Each night the pumpkin vines creepily crept closer to the house, as if guided by Stephen King.

John's garden was so produce-prolific, I regularly sent our two young sons down the street, pulling their red wagon, which was overflowing with vegetables to share with the neighbors.

Unfortunately, some of our neighbors also had gardens; and the wagon didn't come home empty. Unfortunately, the Dudleys' and the Nickersons' zucchini tasted just like ours.

Webster's Dictionary defines a garden as a piece of ground for growing vegetables, flowers, etc. Garden variety is defined as common or ordinary.

There must have been a time when growing your own flowers and vegetables meant you couldn't afford to buy them. No more! At our Farmers' Market we pay more for vegetables organically grown.

Gardening has gone full-circle. Garden variety no longer means ordinary. It means extraordinary.

My mother-in-law is an extraordinary gardener and she admits what I've always believed. Gardening is an excuse for adults to play in the dirt, using trowels instead of shovels.

When I was first married, my new mother-in-law didn't think that my growing mold in the refrigerator's vegetable drawer counted as gardening. Not wanting to disappoint her, I explained I was a human gardener.

I was planting the seeds of new friendships, which I would cultivate with shared interests. No flowers from me - just flowery speech for a few years.

Then my mother-in-law became a firm believer in human gardening. I produced two, hearty and healthy "sonflowers". Under her enthusiastic guidance, I fed them well, watered them daily, inoculated them against bugs and weeded out as many bad influences as possible.

In spite of that, neither son inherited the gardening gene; but when they've had an outdoor task, such as growing grass or planting a shrub, I've heard them yell "manure".
About the Author
KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
Take a minute to make yourself smile at
http://knightwatch.typepad.com
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