my grandmama’s garden in waverly is one of my favorite places in the world.
during my childhood summers i would help out in her garden planting this and that,
picking blackberries for cobbler,
exploring in all the greenery: corn and sugar cane; plum, pear and apple trees,
and sitting in a circle of chairs with all the cousins shelling beans.
so i fancy myself having a green thumb by heredity.
with a home depot gift card in hand
and visions of green grandeur in my head,
i purchased a few plants
determined to share the love of (the idea of) gardening
and its rewards with my girls on a small scale.
they helped put in the soil
and transplant our newbies to their new home on our back porch
off of the kitchen,
where, in theory, i’d be able to snip of a wisp of basil, parsley or oregano
to add fresh flavor to our meals.
i’ve learned a bit about gardening since then
from books and internet research
and from the best teacher: experience.
it takes knowledge, constant care and work.
i am ashamed to show how our plant looks now.
we had an infestation of slugs.
they ravaged the basil.
i won the battle but at the expense of our mint
which i killed with salt
trying to kill the slugs
in order to protect our plants.
i have never seen a slug move so fast.
to be fair, i tried less deadly ways to get rid of the slugs:
spraying with an ammonia and water mixture and
putting egg shells on the soil,
but they just came back.
salt kills slugs dead,
but, now i know, it also kills plants.
this little pot garden seemed to bring us closer as a family.
even my husband got involved checking the plant for slugs
after coming home from work,
or checking that the soil was moist before heading to work in the morning.
the basil still hangs on in a yellow-green, droopy state.
the parsley ranges in color from bright green to reddish yellow to dead.
the only bright spot is that we have 4 or 5 tomatoes that are successfully ripening.
during this journey we added a strawberry plant
which gave us its small harvest of tart berries.
small successes do wonders for the ego.