Green fingers

I don’t have green fingers. I cannot grow anything in the garden. I have tried looking after plants that are already grown and flowering and have managed to kill them all with my love and attention. Even the four-foot tall lemon tree that was thriving when we moved to this house, now looks like it’s been in the wars.

So I was thrilled to see some new shoots in one of our many, non-happening flower beds. I called them my serendipity plants. I watered the green shoots with much care. I made sure that the soil around these tender shoots was moist and dark. I carefully mixed some fertiliser with soil and then added it, after watching the YouTube tutorial several times. I put slug and snail pellets around the area. I raced out to put an old umbrella over the plants so they wouldn’t get washed away in the winter downpour.

I went to check on the plants every morning with equal amounts of love and fear. I fully expected these green stems to have perished in the night but they were still there and a week later, a couple more were coming up. Soon, they had very tiny, tight pods that could only be buds. My excitement was palpable. I was like a child. I checked on my ‘serendipity plants’ 2-3 times a day. I expected them to disappear or wilt. Maybe they would be gone one morning and there would be a note that said ‘Gotcha!’

But none of these things happened and my plants began to gently open their plump green buds, there were tightly wound yellow petals inside. As they opened, it was amazing to see tiny white petals at the very centre of the flowers. I was so amazed at my accomplishment that I was lost for words. I couldn’t wait to show these flowers to my best friend who is an excellent gardener. She always says I could kill plants with just a kind look.

I invited her over and stood by my plants like a proud parent. The minute she got out of her car, she shouted excitedly, pointing at my serendipity plants, “Hah! You’ve got them too! These damned weeds that won’t be killed by anything! The gardeners’ forum discusses them all the time.”