I loathe vegetation.  I have no desire to grow anything green or flowery or prickly.  I do not enjoy the sight of living green plants in my home or in my yard.  I have no primordial urge to cultivate plants.

I have a theory about you gardening type people.  I believe in former lives, you were all peasants, mucking about in the soil, growing potatoes for the lucky folks in the big house.  Your urge today to get out in your yard and turn up soil and grow things is a primitive urge to return to your roots.  I believe in my former life, I lived in the big house, waiting to be served everything you people grew.  No offense; that’s just the way it is.

I don’t like digging in the dirt.  It’s nasty.  Worms live in the dirt.  The couple of times I have tried to garden, I end up getting eaten by ants.  I always see some unpleasant winged thing, crawling madly away when I unearth it.  Dirt is gross.  I won’t even go into hookworms and other parasites lurking just beneath the surface of the earthy loam, waiting to burrow their way into your skin so they can feed off of your blood.  Make sure you wear your gardening gloves!!

I don’t like flowers or plants.  They have to be fed and watered.  There are already too many things in my life I have to feed and water.  I have three children, four dogs and a husband.  I don’t need some stupid pansies to add to my burden.

I kill plants.  Long time readers will remember the chia pet I murdered.  It’s not a good idea to give me a plant because under my care, it will come to a bitter and painful end.  On that note, let me offer up as evidence the petunias on my porch.

I didn’t even know they were petunias.  I had to ask Nancy what they were.  The only flowers I can recognize without help are pansies.  Everything else blends together. 

So I have these petunias, and my son was watering them faithfully and they were beautiful.  Then he stopped watering them.  I would look at them occasionally and think I ought to do something about them, but something else would come up, like Pogo.  So the petunias got a little droopy.

In fact, they turned brown and withered down to nothing.  I was ok with this, since Halloween is just around the corner and dead plants lend a certain ambience to the house.  But their poor withered souls bothered Nancy. 

One day we were sitting on the porch, waiting for the school bus to bring the little monsters home, and she said “I think if you pull off the dead stuff, those will come back.”

“Really?” I asked languidly.  In this scene, it is obvious who is the peasant and who is the lady of the manor.  My older daughter happened to be home that afternoon, and hearing Nancy’s suggestion, she eagerly attacked the flowers, hoping to aid in their resurrection.  She definitely has some peasant blood, but from her father’s side, of course.  She pulled out all the dead, brown strands and there wasn’t much left in the pot.  But Nancy assured me they would come back.

Within the week, Nancy’s prediction came true, and the petunias were once again blooming gloriously.  I was overcome and I even watered them once.  They were so pretty.

Unfortunately, they had a little setback.  My brother in law was over and the ice machine was stuck.  A large clump of ice had frozen over the top of it, so he chipped it off and presented me with the clump of ice. 

“What do you want me to do with this?” he asked.

“Oh, go throw it in the flowers in the front,” I said.  “They need to be watered.”  What scares me about this exchange is I truly thought it was a great idea.  After all, we’re in a drought, so the flowers should be given the ice, right?  I am so conservation minded!  He looked at me dubiously, but complied.  Which is even scarier, when you think about it.

The next day, I noticed the petunias were turning brown again.

“Nancy, they don’t look so good,” I said to her during our afternoon bus waiting ritual.

“You probably need to water them,” she said.

“No, I threw a bunch of ice in there yesterday, so they should be good,” I replied.

She looked at me in disbelief.  “YOU WHAT????”

Her tone conveyed to me that ice might not have been such a good idea.

“Well, um, I had this ice and well I just thought…..” I dwindled off into silence.

She looked at me kindly.  “You know how the first frost KILLS everything???  Well you frosted these flowers.”

“oh,” I said.  “So will they come back if we pull of the dead stuff again??” I knew I was reaching.

“No, Jennifer,” she said, “you’ve killed them.”

So there it is.  I am a two-time murderer.  The plant world cringes when it hears my name; I am a mass murderer.  My picture is probably up in garden departments all over town:  WANTED FOR MURDER!!  If I walk through the doors of the Lowe’s garden department, they probably have orders to blast me with a hose full of Weed Be Gone!!

I asked Nancy what I could put in the pots after I pulled out the dead petunias.  She looked at me thoughtfully for a moment, and then suggested some nice plastic flowers.  Peasant! 



  1. Mojo
    Posted October 10, 2007 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    If only you had thought to microwave the ice chunk until it thawed, then allowed it to become tepid so as not to scald the petunias…

  2. Nancy S
    Posted October 10, 2007 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Rest assured, I am NOT the Nancy she was referring to! I’m the kiss of death to plants as well. There’s one in my office that actually hasn’t died, and I’ve had it for almost a year! I credit that to the fact that I look at it all day every day and occasionally dump my leftover water into it. I have killed plants that people swore up and down were impossible to kill. I loathe yardwork also. I want it to look nice, I just want someone else to get it that way and maintain it. With my son off to college, I have actually had to start mowing the yard again — Yuk!!!!!!

  3. Teensy
    Posted October 10, 2007 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Jen we were twins in a former life. I wish I could grow things but end up killing everything. I have a peace plant that loves me. I droops, I water. Had a Jewish friend once that called all peace plants the resurrection plants. They always seem to come back from the dead. Yep, I’d rather live in the big house too. My grandfather just rolled over in his grave with that one, he was a great gardener!

  4. Posted October 11, 2007 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Flowers are pretty, but I don’t care to grow flowers. I grow veggies that I can eat like tomatoes, cukes (the long dildo kind), squash, peas, okra, butterbeans, corn, eggplant, peppers etc. I had my first “mess” (as we peasants call it) of fall turnip greens the other day and I have rutabagas, collards, kale, mustard, and radishes on the way to my table soon. I can hardly wait to stink up the house cookin’ a big mess of collards and eating some of my pear relish with them. Veggies fresh out of the garden and some of my famous stove-top corn bread —- just the thought of it makes me salivate.

  5. dailydiatribes
    Posted October 11, 2007 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    But I must say the world needs peasants like you to keep the stew pots full!!

  6. merediff
    Posted October 11, 2007 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    i say yay to the plastic plants. occasionally, i buy the cheap flowers from target to spruce up my living area. i put the water in with the flower food they give you.

    but all my plants end up smelling funny. like moldy funny. & drooping. i give up. plastic flowers are the way of the future.

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