Those Garden Variety readers who are young and go out a lot at night must know my friend and co-worker, Sam Sessa, he of the Midnight Sun blog, recently named Best Blog by Baltimore magazine.
Garden writers get lots of free plants...more than we can use. And when these petunias arrived, I happily shared some with Sam, hoping against hope that he would share with me - I don't know - a round of drinks.
Well, Sam proves what the demographers think. Gardening is most often pursued by women of a certain age. And is most successfully pursued by those who actually water their plants.
Take it away, Sam!!
Photos courtesy of Sam Sessa
My family has always been good with plants.
Pop pop was a spinach farmer. Pops was a spinach farmer. And before becoming a nimbly pimbly, yellow-bellied writer-type, I was a spinach farmer, too.
But I am also a man, which makes me inherently lazy.
So when the lovely Susan Reimer offered me four pretty purple-and-white petunias, I couldn't help but say yes. I took them home, intent on getting some dirt from the nearby hardware store and going hog wild. I've had flower pot gardens for the past couple years, so I kinda know what I'm doing.
That's when the laziness kicked in. Those pretty purple-and-white petunias sat on a window sill and withered. I didn't plant them. Heck, I barely watered them. I got married. My wife and I went on our honeymoon, and believe me, the last thing on my mind were petunias.
When we got back, my petunias were almost kaput. One was certifiably dead. The other three were in critical condition. Something needed to be done.
Finally, I got the necessarily potting supplies and put those babies in some Miracle-Gro soil, next to a leftover Mexican rose. At least that's what I think that other plant is.
The point is, I wrote off those petunias. I even put the pot up on the roof deck, where no passersby could see them. I was kind of embarassed at my scraggly petunias.
But I didn't stop watering them. And, lo and behold, a week later, they went from brownish green to bright green. A week after that, they started to flower.
This first photo was taken about two-and-a-half weeks after I planted my petunias. I know, I know, I should have taken a photo of the petunias before I planted them. But I was too lazy to plant the petunias in the first place, let alone snap a photo of them.
After about four weeks, the petunias just exploded. I was so proud of them I took them downstairs and set them on the front step. They swarmed over the Mexican rose plant, which is now almost smothered in purple-and-white trumpet-shaped bossoms.
And look at them now. Aren't they pretty?
Thanks again for giving me thepetunias, Susan. Sorry I killed one. But the other three look good, don't they?