There Were Dolphins
Ten Things I Would Like To Do This Weekend


Look what appeared on my desk last week:


Whoever gave me this perfectly nice plant does not know me very well. I am very bad with plants. It's not that I want to be bad with plants; I just am.

I've tried, God knows. I had little coleus plants in my dorm room; they all died. I had a spider plant in my first group house room; it died. I tried cactus -- I mean, maybe the previous deaths had something to do with a lack of something, like water -- it died.

Joe and I received a lovely, tall potted tree-like plant for a wedding present. Yes -- dead within a year. When we moved to a nice house with a yard, I started a vegetable garden. I watered, I fertilized, I weeded. I got one tomato.

When we moved into our townhouse, my mother said, "A few azaleas would look lovely in your backyard, you know."

My best friend said, "You could have a great garden in the backyard; use the French Intensive method."

But by that time I knew better. I am the Typhoid Mary of the vegetable kingdom. The only way I can have a decent garden is to plant silk flowers and plastic vegetables.

Oh, don't get me wrong; I love beautiful gardens. Brookside Gardens is lovely; the Bishop's Garden is an oasis. My childhood backyard was full of flowers, from roses, zinnias, peonies, pansies. Lilac and azaleas bushes ringed the back; the huge vegetable garden supplied our table every summer. I love sitting a lovely garden, gazing at the plants and flowers and trees.

But I cannot, for the life of me, maintain one. I simply have a Black Thumb.

So pity this poor little green plant. I'll water it; I'll even speak to it. But I fear for its life.