Those of you who know me well know that I don't have a green thumb. It's more like a black thumb, since any plant I touch suffers a certain, rapid death.
I have never been able to understand this. I am an intelligent, determined person, and almost anything I really want to do, I can at least become proficient at. But so far, gardening has eluded me.
Even my littlest kids know I am famous for this. Which is why, when they saw me plant a few things in our still-sparse yard this week, they actually mourned the plants in advance. "Why do you want to kill those nice plants, mom?!"
This insult is added to injury because both my mother and mother-in-law are talented gardeners, who can grow pretty much anything (although both specialize in spectacular roses). So the kids like to throw in helpful comments like, "Why don't you just let grandma do that, because she won't kill them." Thanks, kids.
At any rate, I have been taken down with a case of spring planting fever and am, once again, trying my hand at gardening. I, who couldn't even successfully plant in fertile Northern California, am attempting to create Eden in the High Desert, a place where even the best gardeners have trouble thanks to our extreme hots and colds, high winds and sandy soil. I am doomed to fail, yet I am enthusiastically trying again.
Why? Because I love to see green when I look outside, and there isn't a lot of that here naturally. Because if I can nurture six children, shouldn't I be able to keep a few plants alive? Because anything that beats me down only makes me more determined to succeed.
I am not flying blindly. When we planned the hardscape for our dirt lot over a year ago, our landscape designer threw in a planting plan that included plants suited for our desert climate. So, today I began executing that plan by planting Purple Fountain Grasses, Daylilies, Rosemary and Roses. Tomorrow I will attempt to find and plant a California Glory Flannelbush, some Blue Oat Grasses, some Honeysuckle, some Lion's Tail and a Foxtail Agave. We have a very large planting perimeter so I have begun with a 16 x 3 foot section to see how it goes. If I am even marginally successful I will extend that area on both sides until I have completed the plan.
I am mostly buying from Lowes who has a one year guarantee on all plants, and you can bet I'm saving those receipts. I will likely be needing them.