Damn you, Home Depot Garden Center. Damn you.
Sunday afternoon, David and I went to the Home Depot Supercenter near his house. He needed to pick up a few plants to replace ones that didn’t make it through the winter, and I needed to buy a universal remote for my garage door. Really. Just a garage remote.
How does Home Depot do it? I don’t even really like plants, but walking into the garden center, surrounded by all the lush, tropical foliage, I morph into Mr. Green Jeans from Captain Kangaroo (obscure, self-dating reference to 1970s children’s TV show). I become overwhelmed with the desire for snapdragons and marigolds. It’s magpie syndrome full force, but instead of Shiny! Bright! Flashy! Must Have!, it’s Daisies! Marigolds! Orchids! COVET!
Walking down the aisles of plants and flowers, visions dance in my brain of plucking vine ripened tomatoes, sweet peppers and basil from the terrace. Images of summer sunsets frame themselves with flowering vines and hanging baskets rife with vivid blooms. Do they mist something besides water and pesticide into the air?
Let’s get real. I once killed an Air Fern. (I watered it.) What am I thinking?
The hallucinogenic drugs do their trick: thirty minutes and $50 later, I’m leaving Home Depot – the Plant Devil – with a 30 lb bag of potting soil, 3 new pots, two heirloom tomato plants, marigolds (the ones with the little lion faces, my favorites!) and deep black purple petunias. Oh, yeah, and a garage remote.
Back at the condo, I dig out my grandmother’s sterling soup spoon (yeah, garden tools just don’t hold the same excitement) and get to work. Somehow or another, I end up with more dirt on me and the terrace, but they’re all planted. I even found an ancient box of Miracle Grow to dose their first drink.
Looking around my freshly planted terrace, I feel both a smug sense of satisfaction and a deep fear that I’ll somehow let them down, forget to water them, somehow fail as a “plant momma.” Sad, really.
But as I walk in the house, I see that both my African Violet and my Christmas cactus, (both given up for dead, even though I had replanted them in larger pots several weeks ago and have actually remembered to water them since) have buds, flowers and new growth. Maybe I’m not a lost cause, after all.
Hmmm. Maybe I’ll go back to Home Depot for that tomatillo plant. Then we could make salsa verde.