Green Thumb?

When A and I were looking for a house, we were generally in agreement on the majority of the details we hoped it would possess, but none more than this: we didn’t want a big yard.

I mean, really. It’s so much work. Who wants to be shackled to their home every weekend, mowing the lawn, raking the leaves, and pruning the bushes?

Well, so much for picking a house with a small yard. When we fell in love with our house, the yard–all 7,000 square feet of it–played a rather big part in our decision-making process.

When you have that much space in your backyard, you really have no excuse not to garden. And at this juncture, I would like to share my gardening philosophy: if the end result doesn’t include something edible, it certainly isn’t worth my time.

I am putting this philosophy to good use right now. I’ve become somewhat obsessive about planting a winter veggie garden. Who knew it would be so addictive? As in, waking up in the morning and heading outside to look at the beautiful plants type of addictive. Watering the budding garden early in the morning to the leaves won’t fry in the afternoon sun type of addictive. And then watering again when I get home to quench the thirst of those greedy little salad leaves.

Anyway, thanks to advice, seeds, compost, and tools from my sister (whose front yard was once photographed by a Martha Stewart Living editor who happened to be strolling by), my winter veggie garden is well on its way.

You might say I got a bit excited. There are currently 21 veggies growing in the garden: beets, cilantro, parsley, carrots, tomatoes (yeah, I know it’s not a winter veggie, but they’re growing), potatoes, garlic, green chard, stir fry greens, green chard, radishes, broccoli, rucola, radicchio, romaine lettuce, butterhead lettuce, freckle lettuce, green frilly lettuce, onions, kale, and a couple of more things I can’t remember right now.

My well-organized winter veggie garden.

At this point, I should also mention that I don’t consider myself to be a green thumb by any means. If we must color my thumb, I would say black is a more appropriate color.

Plants come to me to die.

In the past 18 months, I’ve received three beautiful orchids, all of which are now sticks in a pot.

One time we had a dinner party when we lived in Italy, and our guests brought us a beautiful potted plant. We put it in the living/dining room, where we were having our meal. There was much eating, drinking, and on our guests’ part, smoking. So much so that the poor plant became oxygen deprived (I don’t want to know what our lungs looked like after that night). We went to bed and when we woke up the next morning, the poor plant was completely yellow and lifeless.

Poor thing didn’t even last twelve hours.

But I have high hopes for the veggie garden. I’m motivated. I’m ready. I’m not letting any smokers near that garden. Beautiful salads await.

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