Black Thumb, Green Thumb

Nearly six months ago, during the Women’s Expo in Worthington, I received a little flower pot and a packet of Forget-Me-Not seeds from the fine folks working the Southwest Minnesota Radiation Center’s booth.

At the time, I decided I was too busy to plant flowers and baby them along. When summer finally arrived, I was still too busy.

Soon, it became an easy excuse and served as a great disguise for what was really going on. I was afraid to plant the seeds, because I knew – like all other house plants I’d ever tried to keep – it’s fate would mean a slow, thirsty death.

Somewhere around mid-July, I finally opened the seed packet and scattered about six to eight seeds in the moist peat mixture. I placed the pot in the window sill and waited.
It seemed as though weeks went by without any growth. Great – not only do I kill house plants, I can also kill seed!

Not ready to give up just yet, I moved the pot to a different window in the kitchen, and seemingly overnight a handful of shoots emerged.


Well, not so fast.

There’s a reason Forget-Me-Nots have the name they do. They are thirsty little buggers … er, I mean flowers.

Remember those 90-degree days we had a little over a week ago? Twice in that short stretch of days I came home from work to find the leaves wilted over the pot and the dirt about as hard as a sun-baked mud pie.

“Oh no, you’re NOT going to die on me!,” I declared, and was pleased to see the stems and leaves perk up within an hour of being watered.

After a quick consult with Mom, I moved them back to their original window sill. The sunlight from the south-facing window was just too much for these gentle Forget-Me-Nots to handle.

I have yet to see any flowers form on the plant, which means I have to continue taking care of it – all this forced watering should not go without reward of at least a few purple blooms. Purple is, after all, my favorite color.

Don’t worry, I won’t hold my breath. That the plant is still green and  not wilted – at least not at the moment – is a miracle in itself.

While my attempt at growing house plants is certainly a sad one, I have come to realize I can grow plants outside – thanks to Mother Nature’s watering efforts. My two perennial gardens in the back yard were a real treat this year – one filled with purple irises, purple tulips, purple phlox and purple delphinium, along with rudbeckia, shasta daisy, coral belle, columbine, fern leaf peony and sedum. The only plant I killed out there was the bleeding heart. I suppose there is some irony in that.

The bleeding heart dies, and the Forget-Me-Nots had better not be forgotten!