i tried. it died.


As I mentioned a couple of days ago, my sorry saga of life as a gardener is the source of much hilarity within my family. I have the unenviable skill of killing most plants I come in contact with. I start off with great enthusiasm but seem to kill them either with kindness or neglect.

My husband is somewhat better in the horticulture department - although there is the family legend of the native bush out the front of our last house that wasn't thriving, so he set fire to it......
(apparently in Australia a bushfire causes plants to regenerate and seeing this was an Australian plant it should therefore improve if it was exposed to fire).  To cut a long and sad story short, the plant burned to the ground and never recovered, and the heat generated from its incineration also wiped out half the plant next door to it and that looked rather sick from then on.


I tend to work my "grey thumb" on indoor plants in particular - I see a lovely little fern and think how nice it would look in my kitchen - where it then succumbs to the heat and lack of direct sunlight, or I buy a Cyclamen (a particular favourite around Mothers' Day) that has several lovely blooms and even more buds just waiting to burst forth into abundant glory. I see it in the shop and think how healthy it and robust it looks and how it should be able to withstand a bit of neglect. Before I know it, I have bought it and brought it home - it looks great for a few days but then the demise begins - usually it's because I have over watered it or under watered it or something and every stem is slowly and progressively drooping over the edges of the pot and the poor little thing has to be committed to the compost heap.

Gardening disasters and a grey thumb


Along with plants, I also manage to murder goldfish (or any other small fish in a tank). I see a picture of a lovely fish bowl with a couple of goldfish gliding around some pond plants and a little castle or deep sea diver and I start planning where I could set up my little fish tank. Off I go to the pet shop and buy two unsuspecting fish and place them lovingly into their new carefully prepared home. They look very content and swim happily around for a few days, weeks or occasionally even a few months and then the downward spiral (or upwards float) begins and before I know it they have gone to goldfish heaven. Sometimes I optimistically buy a replacement, but mostly I pack it all away and forget about it - until I get lured in yet again by a tempting vision of fish paradise and the cycle begins again - you would think I would learn!

So, I guess I'll stick with cats - they seem robust enough to withstand my parenting skills and they can always meow at me if they need any extra care or attention. 

Goldfish disasters and a grey thumb


So I have finally admitted that I am the death wish to plants and fish and they are much better off without me - no matter how much I assure myself that "this time it will be different" I still manage to repeat my blunders over and over. My daughter-in-law has even joined the club of those who know my lack of skills and when we bought an outdoor pot and a magnolia to put in it, she asked if it would be okay - so now I have to try to keep the poor plant alive so that I don't disappoint her - or have my flaws extolled to future generations!

Update - the magnolia died in less than 12 months (partly due to it being poor quality stock) mostly due to my lack of plant parenting skills!


Are you a green thumb / thriving house plants everywhere kind of person or are you a bit of a plant killer too? How are your fish keeping skills?


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Cresting the Hill - a blog for Midlife (Middle Aged / 50+) women who want to thrive