I don’t have a green thumb. I want to have a green thumb but I don’t. Every spring I buy tomato plants and every year Dave begs me to put them back. Annual rituals include the ongoing joke of “Here comes my $30.00 tomato.” Still, I get a thrill when I can present my one and only on a plate, with some prize winning olive oil, a little salt and basil. “Dig in!” I pronounce enthusiastically.
Flowers are even greater strangers to me. For many seasons our southern facing deck was barren and I wouldn’t have even noticed until I started to plant tulips. The tulips began after my mom died. We used to joke that you could throw my mother a lavish party but if we collectively failed to give her tulips she would pronounce the entire affair a failure.
So I did a little research, gathered my bulbs in the fall and planted them in dirt as instructed. When little green things miraculously started to appear in spring I was mystified – awestruck. For a girl who was raised in urban Mississauga the idea that you could put something in the ground, and some months later without any further effort on my part, would grow, was an entirely mystifying experience.
And slowly, as they poke their way up further and further, until that first riot of colour appears, the young flowers smooth and tight and then slowly over the weeks, wild and open, as the wind scatters their early perfection and nudges them to their end season state. These wild things with their deep uncompromising colour – they entrance me each and every spring.