My mom is an avid gardener, and her garden kicks ass.
In the warmer months (i.e., March-November), she can usually be found doing one of the following:
- planting plants
- watering plants
- digging up plants and replanting them elsewhere
- pruning, dead-heading, or otherwise tending to plants
- weeding around plants
- shopping for plants
- reading about plants in one of her many plant/gardening encyclopedias
- talking to plants.
She takes this gardening thing seriously, and she's really good at it -- I think because she truly loves plants and thinks of them almost like children.
My brother did a post yesterday about how he found a plant in my mom's garden and thought, just for a second, that she might be growing pot. She wasn't, but that reminded us of our favorite mom gardening story.
A few summers ago, my brother removed some seeds from an otherwise empty cigarette box in the freezer and planted them in this thicket behind our beach house. Only one of the seeds actually sprouted, and it grew into a scraggly little excuse for a plant. My brother was understandably concerned for the welfare of his wee plant and frequently asked me for advice on how to make it flourish. Having once dated a boy who'd secretly converted the back corner of his mother's basement into a small-scale hydroponic marijuana farm, I was no stranger to illicit gardening, but his operation was entirely different from my brother's and I couldn't help. The plant continued to struggle, and the situation grew dire. (It probably didn't help that my brother kept pinching off bits of the plant for his own recreational use, but whatever.)
One evening after we'd returned from the beach, my brother was hosing off the dog while my mom stood nearby lecturing me on my poor care of my drooping tomato plants. My brother listened attentively and then said, "Hey Mom, come here and tell me what's wrong with this plant," grabbing her hand and tromping off with her into the bushes as my jaw dropped. When they emerged a minute later, my mom looked pissed.
"Jesus, Brian, that plant needs fertilizer!," she declared indignantly. "And it's not getting nearly enough light. Go get the pruners* and trim some of those branches back there!," she commanded, waving in the general direction of the bushes as I looked on in amazement. "Mom," I said, "do you know what that plant is?" "Well I'm assuming it's marijuana, Megan," she answered huffily, "but that's no way to treat a plant."
She then marched off to direct the chopping of limbs, and carefully tended to the plant for the rest of the summer.
*The tool my mom instructed my brother to get is actually called loppers, but she told me no one would know what I was talking about unless I called them pruners.