Saturday, July 16, 2011

Calling all Green Thumbs

I am NOT a plant person.  It's not that I don't like plants.  Plants are great!  I just seem to have a knack for killing them, not helping them thrive and grow.

My mom always had plants in the house while I was growing up.  Spider plants are the ones I seem to recall the most vividly but she had all sorts of them.  Once I got married, I really didn't care to adorn my house in plants because I already knew what the end result would be.  The watering of plants never crossed my mind so they would live a very short, dry life in my home.

In fact, my idea of a succesful plant run happened just this past Mother's Day.  At church, each woman over the age of 18 (moms or not) was given a plant.  There were a few different types being passed around and I ended up with a lemon basil plant.  I was excited to plant it and use it as I had never heard of a lemon basil plant before.

We mothers are given a plant just about every year at church and every year, I manage to kill the plant within a week and a half.  Yes, I am that awesome!  But this plant was going to be different.  It would thrive, it would flourish, it would be used in all kinds of culinary creations.

It lived a total of three whole weeks...


But that's a record for me!  Never has a plant lived longer under my care.  It's even true of our garden...

When we first moved into this house, we planted a traditional garden.  Apparently, we are horrible weeders because the whole thing was infested within a couple of weeks despite my efforts of keeping them out.  So, the garden thing was put on hold for a couple of years.  Then, just last year, I decided that we needed to try something different.  Enter... Square Foot Gardening!

It was the answer to my not-so-green-thumb woes!  We have a countless number of neighbors who have had nothing but success with this method of gardening and according to the SFG book, the method is absolutely fool-proof!!!  We couldn't lose!  So, we set to work.

Anthony built me a SFG box (4x4) for Mother's Day that year {even after managing to kill yet another plant from church} and we bought the material for the soil and the plants.  Virtually no weeding required.

Oh man was I excited!  We were finally going to have a garden... our very own garden!  A succesful garden!!

The plants were thriving and we watched them grow each day for about a week.  We could see the progress they were making and then BAM!!  A late freeze hit and we were unprepared.  The poor plants were forced to endure the freezing temperatures unprotected.  The poor cucumbers didn't make it through the night **sniff**!  But the rest of the plants seemed to be doing alright for the moment.  We watched over the next week and realized that NONE of the plants had grown.  Not a single centimeter!

What was happening?  They were still alive so why weren't they growing?

Over the next couple of weeks, the plants continued to stay green but they just wouldn't get any bigger.  It was extremely frustrating and everyone around us was able to start picking fresh produce from their gardens.  Our plants were so tiny that they couldn't produce.

We finally came to terms with the fact the late freeze had stunted their growth.  We let them 'try' a little longer but after the time that each plant should have produced it lovely fruit (or veggie), they withered up and died.

Needless to say, we decided to forego the garden option once again this year and just be content to buy fresh produce at the grocery store or the farmer's market.

And did I mention that I've never... EVER, planted flowers in the flower beds in my yard?  NEVER!  I know, it's sad.  Maybe next year...

But anyway, yesterday my kids and I took a walk in the neighborhood......

{yes, C finally got the Hawk buzzed off! ;) and he left me with a double stroller, only half full}


and we noticed some odd looking... flowers?  weeds?

What are these?  They are beautiful but I don't know what they are.  Can you help me out?

And how do they get to be so colorful and in so many different colors?  Brown?  Black?  WEIRD!



Dana hadley said...

I just want to know are they real? I have never seen these before.

LeShel said...

Love those flowers but are they real? Never seen anything like them.

Brooke said...

They are real! I don't know what they are. All I know is that they are popping up all over my neighborhood which leads me to believe they are actually a weed... but I just can't be sure. We even had one in our yard, at the edge of our lawn. It was purple but it's dead now.

Heidi said...

Those look similar to some plants my dad had in his yard. They are some type of decorative onion plant, (without the onion)...the only ones I've ever seen are purple which make me wonder if that person spray painted theirs those colors.

Brooke said...

I had a couple growing in my yard, too, that were purple. I couldn't see any evidence of them being spray painted and they're not in just one yard. They are all over the neighborhood in many different colors. WEIRD!

Montie W said...

Looks like allium.