I mentioned in my post about my new goat that I wanted to have a small farm. it’s funny because I grew up in New Jersey, in the mountains and as I got older I disliked it more and more and could not figure out why ON EARTH my parents would choose to live in such an environment and raise kids there. I wanted OUT. I wanted city and urban life. I wanted to be somewhere in 5 minutes, not NOWHERE after driving 20 minutes.
Fast forward… when I hit the big 40 and had kids approaching the teen years, that changed…significantly. I had always loved nature. Met hubby in a hiking club. Can wander for hours at botanical gardens. Can’t soak in enough shades of green after a good rainfall. There was this somewhat sudden shift that while I LOVED the convenience of where we live (and let me tell you I admittedly HATE to be inconvenienced when it comes to my drive time. I am spoiled rotten being within 1 mile of church. whole foods. target. movie theater. etc)… there was this yearning deep down inside of me to stare out my kitchen window at a green pasture, with a goat, of course.
What does this have to do with a cactus?
Oh yes, that is the title of this post. My husband has a green thumb. A.BRIGHT.GREEN.thumb. So did his grandfather. I think mine is black.
My idea of gardening goes something like this. I go to the plant nursery and pick out all sorts of pretty things and some things to grow to eat. I put them in my minivan and bring them home. I set them on the porch. When hubby gets home from work I proudly show him what I got for “OUR” garden and tell him where I would like them planted. He goes and gets his hands all dirty…no thank you.
Regardless of who bought the plants, they are put in the ground and then they require care. Nutrients. Water. Lots of water (it’s hot here in the south).
The first thing he does as he walks across the back porch coming home from a business trip is assess the plant health. My score for caring for the plants is roughly a C+ on a good week. He exclaims, “didn’t anyone water the plants” and I answer, “honey, I can either keep the kids alive or the plants alive when you are gone… I chose the kids”.
I really want to have a green thumb. I was thinking back to when I lived in an apartment my last years of college. I had an entire collection of cacti on my deck and they were ALIVE for years. I was quite proud of myself. But then these things called a husband and house and 1 kid, then 2 kids, then 3 kids crept in and my brownish-greenish thumb turned black.
But one day I had an idea. A GREAT idea. Also inspired by this really cool garden shop I visited in Seattle while out there for my son’s surgery. It was like PINTEREST material. I love mason jars. I love glass containers. How about I plant mini cacti in all sorts of mason jars? They would require very little attention. I could pretty much ignore them.
So I bought some really groovy mason jars and even decided to make my deceased mother-in-laws butter churn jar in to a cactus home. I RESEARCHED what I would need. Cacti…check. Gravel…check. Soil (special cactus kind)… check. and charcoal…check.
And I created some REALLY CUTE cacti habitats. Hubby even joined in.
They looked so PRETTY and very Pinterest worthy…see.
We enjoyed looking at them as our dinner table centerpiece. I smiled when I looked at the one on my desk. Then there was the one in the bathroom.
BUT… then I over watered or instructed the kids to over water. While I only watered them every few weeks, I over estimated just how much water they should get. You see, cacti just need a misting and a little drizzle. They don’t need so much water that they require a life jacket.
And it happened. The cactus died. I officially killed a cactus…or should I say, multiple cacti. DEAD.
So when you hear me talking about wanting a farm… our own little homestead… PRAY.FOR.ME.
Clearly I have some skills to learn before embarking on a journey like that.
Looking back… I know there are really good fake cacti out there to be purchased. That probably would have been a great option and no one would have noticed they were fake…. Unfortunately I don’t think that method will work for my future vegetable garden.
Hmmmm… back to the potting shed.
Do you have a good “black thumb” story?