The Serial Killing Gardener: Back to School Edition

There are those gardeners who are trainable. They make mistakes, they learn from them, they improve. They are in a constant state of evolution to a higher-functioning mind. And a better looking garden.

I’m so not one of them.

Case in point: as I write this, the heat is still sweltering. The corn in my county looks like fields of pineapples, and the grass sounds like a bowl full of Rice Krispies when I walk through the yard.

And what did I buy two weeks ago? A beautiful planter to put on the little patio outside of our cellar entrance. Salvia splendens, a bright red flower, really perked up the outside of our basement apartment.

How many plants do I have now that I’m a cellar dweller? Uh…just the one. The Salvia splendens. Which is now just a┬áplastic pot filled with shriveled crackly dead things. Not so splendens anymore.

Why do I do this every year? Why do I fall for the marketing at the big box stores, luring me to buy the bright bushy red flowers? Why don’t I remember to water these damn things once I buy them?

After all, I know that it gets hot in summer. My birthday is in July, and for 40-some years now, I have never worn a sweater to blow out the candles on my cake (there are those wags who will say that those candles are at least partially responsible for global warming, but there is no real evidence of that). And I know that plants put underneath porches (like this one) seldom (read: never) get any rain, even when it’s a big storm.

And yet, no matter where I’m living, I buy beautiful outdoor flowers, only to see them die.

I am a serial plant killer.

The kids are getting ready to go back to school, and I’m ready to learn something myself. I’m moving to Florida later this week, and it’s hot there all year. As I pack up the last of my clothing (and throw out most of my socks!), I’ve vowed to learn something this year: when I get to Florida, I’m not going to buy plants that I will forget to water. In fact, I may not buy any plants at all once I get there.

I’ll let you know how that goes.