Unexpected green thumb

Published 9:25 am Thursday, July 29, 2010

A couple of years ago, I wrote a column about my lack of a green thumb.

Seemingly, all of my family and friends back home know how to make things grow, whether it is in a garden or on their farms. The exception would be my mom, who admittedly has a black thumb, which I assumed she passed on to me. And, hey, you just can’t beat genetics.

In my 2008 column, I wrote about having a house plant graveyard, with sad, empty pots and brown stems sticking out of the arid dirt. All I needed was a gravestone or a memorial honoring those who had lost their lives.

The house plant situation changed, however, when I bought a ZZ plant, a resilient plant that staves off neglect. I’m proud to report that the ZZ plant is still alive and has even produced shoots I have given to a few friends.

However, when spring finally broke I was looking forward to starting a container garden on my porch. Would my genetically inherited black thumb strike or would I be successful in my attempt to create a garden?

I began with just a few flowers and a cherry tomato plant. While the flowers flourished, the tomato plant did as well—just a little too much.

The plant grew like I had gotten it from the man who sold the magic beans to Jack in “Jack and the Beanstalk.” The veggie plant grew too big for the first pot it was in and had to be transplanted. In the second pot, unfortunately, it met its demise as it apparently leapt to its death from the porch and snapped in two. But I believe it wasn’t on my accord as I was giving it everything it needed.

Despite the tomato plant death, my container garden has surprisingly burgeoned with blooms of pink, purple, white and red colors. I’ve since added more flowers including petunias, vincas and begonias.

I have to admit my porch has become a retreat of sorts. Things feel a little lighter out there after a day at the News-Herald.

One look at the flowers on my porch, I’m happy that my genetic black thumb is no where to be found.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: amanda.vanderbroek@r-cnews.com or call (252) 332-7209.