May madness sent me to greenhouses and discount stores, lusting after flower displays, amassing bags of manure as if hefting bags of gold. My car (a.k.a. the Flowermobile) resembled an escapee from the Rose Parade.
For awhile, I dove into dirt with the joyful frenzy of a toddler dressed for Sunday school.
I cooed at my baby plants, positive they would star as celebrities on the cover of Burpee Catalog. All this, despite 35 years of profound evidence to the contrary.
Each August, I finally face the truth: flowers growing between railroad tracks look better than mine.
No wonder. We own the only infertile piece of ground in Indiana.
Still, I nurture my flowers. I even read my blog to them every week. Yet the little rebels conspire to make me crazy.
Maybe some of their gripes are legitimate. My flower pot arrangements look as if Alien Florists, Inc., designed them. My petunias now realize the awful truth: they were adopted by a gardener with a mutant thumb.
“Be patient,” I advise. “In time, those lumps will shift to the right places.”
My mother told me a similar tale when I was 13.
It has never happened — for the petunias or me.
While I sleep, a flora/fauna mafia operation flourishes. Impatiens on one side of the flower bed strike protection deals with the rabbits. How else can I explain why impatiens thrive there, unmolested, while the other side resembles the Garden of Eaten?
My flowers do not appreciate the armies of weeds I’ve fought, the lethal squads of mosquitoes I’ve defied to water them. No gratitude is expressed for expensive gourmet fertilizers I’ve served them. Just flower attitude: I will bloom if, when and where I please.
Meanwhile, the only thing that grows prolifically is my Visa bill.
Finally, I snap. Instead of pampering the little ingrates, I bike through the countryside. But I find no refuge from flowers there. Fields of elegant Queen Anne’s lace mingle with masses of fuzzy blue bachelor’s buttons. Blooming morning glories overrun miles of fences and fields.
“Rub it in, Lord,” I mutter. “Even cow pastures look better than my yard.”
Still, I can’t help but enjoy His exterior decorating and appreciate once more where flower power comes from. Even a Better Homes and Gardens guru can’t grow one petunia unless the Master Gardener supplies miracles of seed, soil, sun and rain.
The biggest miracle of all? He lets gardeners with mutant thumbs help Him.
Tell me about the Flower Power in your yard.