Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Made in the Shade

For all of my bloggy readers that have green bloggy thumbs, please turn around and come back next post. Seriously, it'll be painful to read, so, just heed my warning.

I, am not, of the gardening persuasion. I can admire your garden, comment on your flowers, and gaze up at your trees for all eternity, but do not ask me what they are, how they got there and how to treat them. It's like I'm that guy at the bar with all of these women around, not having the slightest clue how to act or talk to them. It's like I don't have a pick up line, and get all flustered just thinking about a conversation with them.

I don't want to be a cliche, but I truly DO NOT UNDERSTAND how to keep plants alive. Sadly, I think I have even unintentionally killed dandelions, which by the way, until recently, did not know they were weeds and that people hated them.

One quick example I have for you is this beautiful tree I got as a housewarming gift. In a beautiful pot. I was determined to take care of this girl b/c to me it symbolized our new home, our future...yes, I understand I should never had committed to this and should never have put this kind of pressure on myself, but I digress. I googled this plant, named this plant, read up on how to take care of this plant....almost joined a plant "yahoo group" just to talk about "plants". I was ready, I was set, I went. I was so excited. The plant slowly began to wither, brown, basically fall apart. It was in hospice and there was no turning back. As I left her dead, brown body in the pot for waaaaaaaaay longer than I should have, I decided to dispose of the body. As I pulled her out of the pot....I saw this black thing on the bottom. I didn't know what it was until I turned the knobby thing and realized that it was the plug. I had killed her. Drowned her. Why didn't anyone say to open that thing. Was I just supposed to know? Was it that obvious???

My most recent homicide or horticide was just atrocious. I had a coupon (don't all good stories start like this??) and it was for a free 15 gallon shade tree with a purchase of $25. I was so stoked. Athena had begun to show an interest in gardening because of her school (which is a montessori magnet focusing on environmental science), so we went together to choose our purchase and our tree. It was so much fun and I was getting really excited at that nursery. I was thinking to myself....."self: you can do this...look at all of these people, people actually enjoy this. You can do it, I know you can".

I picked a magnolia (because it is he only one I recognized the name of...they are all over texas) b/c I figured they had to be easy. So, I discuss with the cashier about the care of this plant and how to take it out of the planter and how deep to dig the hole, how far away from my fence to do this, and about how often to water it, etc.

I can do this.

I take home this mammoth plant in the trunk of my car. The leaves flapped wildly while I drove on the highway....I kept telling it to believe she was in a hurricane and that it will all be over in about 13 miles. I get home, I have no shovel. I (well Michael) carried this tree to the backyard. I would now have to hire someone to dig a hole for me and to "fix" her up. No biggie, I am big into paying for services that I can't do myself. Ain't no shame in that game. We all excel at certain things. Cooking, gardening, car washing, babysitting, and cleaning aren't one of mine. Whoops, I've said too much.

The tree is beautiful. It looks like it is really going to be part of the family. We water it everyday. We have found caterpillars, roly polies, and beetles in it. It has been so much fun to watch the girls love on their new sister. Surprisingly, she starts to have leaves turn yellow....bewildered, I continue to water it and pull the dead leaves off. She is just adjusting to her new home, I say. I'm not worried. I do however, make a bee line to the phone, and call the landscaper guy.

me- Can you come out to check on my tree?

him- sure. what kind?

me- oh (feeling chuffed that I knew the name) it's a magnolia tree

him- oh those are great shade trees

me- yes, I bought it for that reason.

him- ok, well, I can come over and take a look at it and plant it for you. I am going to fit you in tomorrow, so it'll have to be quick. Make sure you've decided on a shady place for me to plant it at.

me- no, there is not a shady place in my backyard. It is super sunny. That is why I got the magnolia.

him- well, ma'am, the magnolia is a shade tree.

me- I know.

him- It needs to be in the shade.


longer pause.

him- hello? ma'am?

me (holding back tears)- Can you come and pick my tree up for a donation?


Ducky said...

LOL! That's just terrible. LOL! Well, you did learn a couple things from these two environmental science ecounters. That's more than you knew before.

melody said...

Donate it to the school so at least the girls know where their sister went :)

Domestic Goddess..Diva sometimes said...

What? I see Magnolias everywhere here, in sunny places. I was even going to buy some for my yard when I moved to our home. Never heard of plating a shade tree in the shade???

I'm sorry Barbie. Try a maple or oak. They're sturdy.

Natalee said...

Yea I agree about the shade/sun confusion. We have 2 in our front yard, full sun. Looks like you need a new landscaper instead. Love you girl!

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