Sunday, April 19, 2015

My Not-So-Green Thumb

Years ago my mother grew African violets.  They thrived in her family room. They were healthy. They were beautiful. Even though most of my attempts at growing plants were failures, I thought perhaps I had inherited the African violet gene.  So I bought a plant, put it near the window in my bathroom, nurtured it tenderly, fed it African violet food, and watched it shrivel and die.  I bought another violet and another.  They died, too.  I felt like the Dr. Kevorkian of the African violet line.  Lest I murder any more lovely violets, I quit buying them.

Last week I had lunch at a friend's house and admired the lovely orchid on her window sill.  "They're so delicate, they must be hard to grow," I said.  "Not at all," she answered.  "I just put four ice cubs in the soil every Friday.  That's it."

 Now I have a yen for an orchid.  Wouldn't it look charming in my bathroom window?  Even I could put ice cubes in the soil once a week.  I saw a stunner at the supermarket this afternoon, a glorious deep purple, not unlike the color of the African violets I destroyed so long ago.  I craved that plant. It cost $34.  I looked at the other orchids, which cost less, but none of them could compare.  I wandered around the display, mulling over the prospect of buying it.  I worried that I might kill it and thought of how I would feel as it gradually....or quickly turned brown and died.  I worried that my cat would try to eat it.  Are orchids poisonous?  I decided $34 was too much to spend on a plant that had no future.  But I've been thinking about it all day, all evening.  Maybe.  On the other hand, maybe not.



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