Turning that black thumb green

turning that black thumb green // a thousand threads
I’ve never fancied myself much of a gardener. My grandmother? Yes. My mother? Hell yes.

… but me? Even the paper flowers are afraid to set up shop in my pots.

We’ve had some success, in years past, with tomatoes. Even so much so that last year we managed to win ourselves an angry warning from the HOA. (Our giant potted plants had, at some point, managed to piss off a pesky neighbor…)

But I can’t take much, if any, of the credit for their health… the poor things would’ve dried up at week two if they’d been left in my hands.

… and really, let’s be honest… though our garden may have grown, that simple fact hasn’t changed. During the week, I’m usually on the run. Especially in the mornings, when I revert back to my teenage self just long enough to put the time crunch on my commute, and poor Mark is stuck with the plants, the kid, the dog… he even makes me coffee and sends me off with a bite to eat.

… I’m completely spoiled. And so are our – very healthy – plants.

turning that black thumb green // a thousand threadsturning that black thumb green // a thousand threads
And this time around I really can’t take credit… we were both lucky enough to have my master gardener mother pay us a visit (from Oregon) during our second week in our new home. She, masterfully of course, planted our whole new garden for us, each and every square foot.

And bless her… because as you can see, it’s already begun to produce piles and piles of amazing herbs!

But even though I’m as worthless as ever, I swear to you, something has changed… for the first time, the food has me hooked.

Flowers I’m still not sure about. Nasturtiums maybe. But vegetables and herbs? We have every vegetable under the sun set to pop up in our garden, and more and more, against my better judgement, I’m finding myself out there in the garden… hanging over them, watching them grow, and viciously attacking the pests that threaten to bruise and batter my tiny green children.

… I thought the ants were a problem. The flea beetles crawling their grubby little bodies all over the leaves of my eggplant are far more irritating, and damn stubborn too. Sure, I’d bomb them all — but we’re trying to avoid using pesticides. I’ve been experimenting with a combination of water, soap, and oil, as recommended by my mom and my trusty internet where everything is true… but I might’ve already mentioned, the damn things are persistent. It scares them off for a night, and then they’re back.

turning that black thumb green // a thousand threadsturning that black thumb green // a thousand threads
… so, like the good green mother than I am, I’ve been searching the internet obsessively, with my latest no-fail purchase being 2 10 lb bags of diatomaceous earth. Apparently the stuff is like magic… if it doesn’t kill the bugs we can throw it at our wounds and hope they heal. Like windex.

… the holy grail, though, is the nematodes. I haven’t bought them yet because they freak me out.

… sure the garden nematodes are the beneficial kind, but what about their friends?

The truth is, my thumb has been black for a very long time… it might take some time to turn green.

… wish me the luck.

turning that black thumb green // a thousand threads


  1. Kami
    Posted May 30, 2015 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    This is awesome- Welcome to the world of gardening!! 🙂 I’ll say a few prayers for ya.

  2. Posted June 2, 2015 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    I’ve always wanted to grow vegetables in my backyard but can’t find the time to do do. Also, I never get luck when I plant the seeds. It definitely needs a lot of patience. So happy to hear that you made it work. I should probably get back and try planting seeds one more time. lol. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Posted October 6, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    thank you for inspiration for our page! xx

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