Because I have been, at one time or another, a professional horticulturalist, a person who is actually paid to make plants happen, you would think my garden would be a wonderland of perfection. And you would be right. My green thumb is equaled only by my good taste and God-like creative abilities.
Seeds, for example. How hard is it to sprout seeds? Seeds sprout every day all over the place. Obviously seeds give me no trouble. Here’s a tray of morning glories and moonflowers I planted a month ago, out of a packet I carefully saved from 2007.
Above the morning glories you can see the small tray of rare Pasilla peppers. They can be tricky to sprout, but they’re really no problem for a professional like myself.
See that mildew? I grew that. Locally sourced, sustainably raised.
Below are my “Thai Roselle” hibiscus seeds. One is really plenty. I didn’t need all ten of those seeds at all. In fact, I’ve definitely read that hibiscus tea is not delicious, and it gives you cancer.
Here are some sweet pea seeds. These are a variety called “Cupani,” which I’m told is one of the oldest cultivated varieties. Before planting sweet peas, it’s important to nick or scratch the hard seed coat so water can get in and revive the dormant seed. This year I decided that sounded stupid, and naturally I was 100% correct. Those are some beautiful violet weeds.
I planted four whole packages of sweet peas this way. Considering the time I saved with my new planting technique, I’ve definitely recouped my losses.
Of course, sometimes seeds get a little confused. Here are some beet seeds my dog spilled:
These beets are wrong. They were disrespected by a small dog, and yet they persist in growing right in the middle of my path. They were not carefully cultivated, watered, or tended. What were they thinking?
And it’s not just beets that are wrong. This potato shoot sprouted just before a massive cold snap. Serves it right. Maybe next time it will think before it starts growing, all willy-nilly, like we’re in Florida or something. You’re in New York, potato. Be smart.
In fact, even the frost was wrong. It completely toasted the above potato, while a foot away a second sprout remains completely unscathed. GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME, FROST. I refuse to allow that kind of sloppy work in my garden.
Naturally, I have more success indoors, where I have control over all aspects of plant care and growth. Here’s a closeup of my papyrus plant, carefully nurtured through the winter, and ready to be planted out in the water garden, along with about four million aphids.
The aphids living on this plant have just returned from a course at a beauty college. They just know that the 80’s are coming back, and they have given my papyrus a fun and flirty leaf crimp. They are also learning how to make cocktails, and have sucked all the juices out of the young stem to make plantinis at their nightly parties. (Aphids are a lot of fun, but don’t give them your email or you’ll have to slog through all the Instagram photos of their band.)
So as you can see, I am clearly a Master of the Garden Arts. You may feel as though you will never achieve the same level of artistry as me, but don’t be discouraged! This kind of skill simply comes with time.