Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Did I ever tell you about how I single handedly killed a redwood tree?

I'm not much of a green thumb kinda gal. Never have been.

As a child, it was forced labor to get me to go out into the garden. I hated it. There's a perfectly good reason for that, I think it has to do with pheromones, which at the time, all I knew back then was that bugs loved me. In fact, they still do. So while everyone else was digging potatoes or picking strawberries in 90 degree weather, I was doing it in jeans.

My family made fun of me for it, but it beat getting eaten to death by bugs.

I still suffer from this, but have grown more stubborn and tolerant. My husband loves that quality about me.

I vowed that I would NEVER tend a garden in my life. So far, that's pretty much held true for me. I was pretty much burnt out on snapping beans by the time I was 9. I remember thinking that when I was a grown up, if I wanted green beans, I'd work 4 extra minutes at work, and go buy a damn can.

So far it's totally been worth it.

Every once in a while, I get a bee in my bonnet and am hopeful and optimistic that I can grow something. Anything. I once did really well at petunias for about 3 months, but grew tired of pulling weeds and watering daily and let them expire on their own.

This really does pertain to redwoods, I swear.

So anyway, one time when Gene was living in California, I went to visit him for a few days. It ended up being one of my favorite trips of all time. I'm not a fan of California as a whole, but I fell in love with northern California. We took a weekend, rented a car, and started driving to the redwoods.

We ended up in a town called Garberville, which can only be described as Cicely, Alaska from Northern Exposure. If you've ever watched that show even once, you'll get what I mean when I say that all the locals we met were odd, but quite loveable.

This is also where I picked up the phrase "Sing me a song cowboy" ... As a very odd local saddled up between Gene and I and asked him to sing her a song on karaoke night. This is also the place where Gene picked up that low cat growl noise I make.

This is where I had my first and only Calamari steak. Yes folks, that's squid, a huge slab of it. It was actually pretty good - for being a girl from Iowa that didn't have mexican food until she was in high school.

Anyway, this place was magical, and if I only had 2 places left on earth that I could ever go to again, this would be the second. The first would be England - but that's another post someday.

We travelled through the Redwoods, and I really wish we would have carved out 3-4 days for this, as you spend the first whole day looking up in amazement. If you've only see photos, or seen this on television, you will never understand it until you see it in person. I said many times, that I completely expected bigfoot or a dinosaur to walk out between two trees at any moment.

Now, it seems obvious that when you go someplace that you fall in love with, you want to find a way to take a little piece of that home with you right? Well, I did. I found a redwood. A tiny, 1 foot tall redwood that was for sale in the redwood gift shop. It was $2.00

Now I know, that Missouri is nothing like northern California. Duh. I KNOW that well. However, I read while I was there, several reports of people taking them home, and growing them successfully for years inside their homes in a big pot. Heck I knew I could do that!

So I carefully carried it home in my purse, with the little twigs sticking out of the top. Every once in a while, checking to make sure that it wasn't getting bent, or broken or twisted out of shape. Quite frankly, I babied it. When I got it home, I found a huge pot that I'd once planted something in, but now couldn't remember what I'd killed in that process. I got some potting soil and did my thing.

He wasn't doing well over the next few days, even tho I did all the things I thought I should. It might have been too much of a shock. Finally, on a very gray and drippy day (much like the middle of a redwood forest), I took it and sat it outside for the day, and that was it. It was too much, and it died.


So yesterday, i kept all this in mind as I sat out on my latest attempt at killing some of God's creatures.

In the past few years we've lived here, I've really tried to improve it a little at a time. Most of this work as happened inside, and the outside looks a little neglected and a little too ghetto for my liking.

I'm trying to go for the "no, hobos really DON'T live here" kind of look.

I'm also cheap.
Did I mention I'm cheap?

So I decided to try my hand at raising some of my own flowers from seed. Having no experience in this department, I felt a little like I was in 4th grade again, waiting impatiently for my potato to grow leaves as it sits in the window.

Did I mention I'm impatient?
I'm impatient.


I picked up this tray at walmart for $6.00 I thought it was a good deal, and also quite polite that they gave me some easy to follow instructions. Look at these little interesting compressed pellets.


Wondering how they compress fancy dirt. And how do you tell your family that you work on the line, compressing dirt disks for a living?

Following directions, I figured it would take maybe 15-20 minutes to make my little peat pellets expand.



I never thought I'd say that dirt was pretty.
Look at all that pretty dirt bokeh.

4 minutes later...
I had a pile of uncompressed dirt.

It was good entertainment for 4 min.


And this is what I've decided that I will kill this spring:


It was chosen because of:
Light availability
Purdy colorsssssss

$1.00 each:


I paid $1.00 for that! That's anticlimatic!
Delpheniums first. 2-3 seeds per pot. Really? They are the size of a flea! I wear acrylic nails.
It was "interesting"


Don't eat these.


This is fox glove, also known as dust.


Don't eat this.

It took me approximately 1/2 hour to plant 71 pots (I was shorted one!!!) I'm anxious to see if this actually works, and if it doesn't I'm out only $8.00


But before I plant these, I have to wrangle with some voles. Yep, I have a vole farm out here. I'm selling dead voles 10 for $1.00

You can mail cash and money orders to......

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