There are two activities in the world which history tells me not only can I not do them, but I'm so bad at them, it's like I'm the antichrist of their performance.
The first is gambling. Not only is my ability to lose money legendary, if I'm in a casino and I simply walk by a blackjack table, everyone seated around the table starts to lose money as well. I'm like a Gambling Dementor.
Luckily, I don't have any interest in gambling whatsoever, so, you know, no harm, no foul.
The second thing I'm horrible at, however, is growing anything that photosynthesizes in order to live. I can almost sense plants beginning to wilt when I come anywhere in their vicinity. I have committed more herbicide than I care to admit; and despite my friend Gayla insisting that I just need to keep trying, that all gardeners kill plants, but that it's okay because that's how I'll learn, I had generally given up ever attempting to grow anything green. I felt it was only fair to the plant kingdom.
I felt this way, that is, until I came up with my life list.
Number 64 on my life list is my goal to grow a flower from a seed -- and now that you know my proclivity for plant death, you can see why putting it on my list was a serious challenge (possibly equal to Number 87, "take a trapeze lesson"). Nonetheless, a couple of weeks ago, on February 28th (a perfectly beautiful spring-like day, which might have caused the following mental aberration), I got in my car and drove to a local nursery.
Once there, I met a cheery fellow named Ivan. "How can I help you?" he said with an exuberant smile.
"Ivan, honey, I'm about to give you the weirdest request you've had all day."
"Sock it to me."
"I recently wrote down my life list -- things I want to do in my lifetime -- and one of them is to grow a flower from a seed."
"You would think so. Thing is? I kill things. You need to give me seeds that cannot be killed."
Ivan was undeterred. He sped me around the nursery, piling stuff in my arms like little seed-grow-container-thingies, one-gallon-transplant-the seedlings-into-bigger-container-thingies, bags of turbo-charged-soil-of-awesomeness and of course, seeds. Overwhelmed, I paid for the items and came home.
"What did you buy?" Gayla tweeted.
"Umm.... looks like zinnias and foxgloves," I tweeted back. Not that I would know a zinnia or a foxglove if it got in bed with me.
"Hmm," was her response. "I don't know much about growing foxgloves from seeds, but I'm confident you'll do well with the zinnias."
It's like she's daring me to kill them.
Anyway, with Marcus' guidance (he's English, and I'm convinced his people can grow anything), I planted the seeds. I watered. I crooned sweet nothings into their little seedy ears. And then, 6 days later ...
... I couldn't believe it. Seedlings!
Now, to be honest, I wasn't planning on sharing the progress of these plants with you until I actually had a bloom, but I'm so excited about the fact that a green thing grew (I'm equally confident that I may not actually be able to keep this up), I thought I'd share the progress with you now. This week, we moved the seedlings into larger pots, so it's entirely possible that this action alone might be the cause of their impending demise, but in the meantime, behold the green things in their tiny little glory:
Transplanted (also March 10).
Isn't this one cute? I may call him "George."
Obviously, more photographs of progress (if any) will follow.
So with that, I'm off to Austin for SXSW. In addition, Marcus, Alex and I are going to take a little concentrated family time, so I'm going to try to unplug until Wednesday of next week. In the meantime, friends, have a great weekend, and see you soon.
(Seriously! I grew these! Unbelievable!)