I have never thought of myself as a gardener. My mother was a fantastic gardener. My youngest sister is also.
Me? Not so much.
But, this year I decided to plant a few flower boxes on the back porch, and, with my son's encouragement, a tomato plant.
Fifty dollars later, and after scrounging up some pots from the side of my house, I had planted mimulus, pansies, fuchsias, marigolds, herbs, lavender and geraniums. I also had two sunflowers volunteering thanks to the bird feeder. And a little tiny grape tomato plant.
Every morning, before the coffee has finished brewing, I head onto the back porch to tend my little garden. I pick off the dead flowers, see if water is necessary and ooh and aah at their progress. I even have bought some fertilizer to help them along. (impressive, no?) And yesterday I plucked up the courage to re-pot (yet, again) my tomato plant. It was so root-bound, and I apologized profusely to it.
The picking off of the old blossoms makes me think of my mom. She used to have baskets full of fuchsias, and every morning I remember her picking off the dead-heads, as she called them. It is a fond and loving memory.
The flower boxes make me happy, the herb garden enhances my dear husband's wonderful culinary experiments, and the arrival of more and more little green tomatoes just makes me feel, well, proud and accomplished.
I am already planning for next year's boxes - strawberries I think!
So, I have to change my view of myself. I am not, yet, a fantastic gardener, but I am gardening and learning and loving sitting out on the porch admiring the view.
It helps me think fondly of my mother.
And that is a good thing.