I'm a terrible gardener. In fact, I'm not a gardener at all. About the only green thing I've successfully raised to this day is mold. But this past weekend I took on the gardening challenge. Maybe all the neglected issues of Better Homes and Gardens had an influence. Or perhaps the urge to grow my own basil rather than pay $1.99 for a stem made more sense. Then again, it could have been a more noble calling, like creating a learning experience to share with my kids - even if it turns out to be a disaster.
Late Saturday morning, after my husband took off for Connecticut, I took Zuki to Home Depot. Since my husband had the car, I took the shopping cart and made Zuki ride his Razor scooter. I walked and Zuki scooted all the way to Home Depot from our house a distance of about one and a half miles. Although it was hot, it was comfortable enough for a nice stride. Was it good enough for the Prince? Of course not - right away the complaints started. I'm hot. I'm tired. Can I have some ice cream? Can you carry me? I ignored it.
Once we got there, the prospect of playing with dirt overrode every nuisance. He was excited. We loaded everything we needed but couldn't find the seeds. I asked an employee where we could find zinnia seeds since we saw everything but in the nursery.
"Hmmmm," he said scratching his chin. "They're probably around there." He pointed towards the barbeque grills.
Oh yeah, why didn't I think of that? It's only natural that one would want to buy seeds while looking at barbeque grills - duh!
"I don't know if you'll find zinnia's, though," he continued. "They're hard to find. If you don't see 'em, try the end caps around the light bulbs."
Who ever made the floor plan for Home Depot must be a genius.
Luckily, we found all the seeds we wanted by the barbeque grills. There were lots of seeds for zinnias and Zuki was so happy he grabbed five packets. He also grabbed seed packets for eggplants, cucumbers and pansies. Said something about being hungry.
Knowing kids and their need for instant gratification, we also purchased some potted flowers to transfer. I picked the PW (Prize Winners) because Home Depot claimed they were hard to kill. Not exactly in those words but that's how I interpreted it anyway.
My walk home was again riddled with his complaints but the promise of soon getting his hands into dirt had him hurrying along on his scooter. As soon as we got home, however, our plans changed. He gobbled two slices of Papa John's pizza and sprawled out in front of the TV. So much for an early afternoon. Knowing his short attention span, I let him have his fill of the tube and sure enough, even Ben 10 Alien Force got boring after the third recorded episode.
When it was time for our little gardening project, it was like the blind leading the retarded. Zuki had a grand ol' time when he mixed the fertilizer into the soil with his hands. Apparently, he decided to do the same thing after we planted the seeds. Lord knows whether any of them will make it up or where they'll sprout from. It will probably grow in spaced like his teeth. That was disaster number one.
Then we moved on to transferring the potted plants. He saw the long roots on the plant and said, "I'm done." Those were his exact words.
Apparently, they looked like tentacles and grossed him out. Whatever, dude - sheesh.
I finished the rest off by myself as he sprayed the garden hose all over everything - including me. That was disaster number two. It didn't matter though because I probably botched the whole transplanting operation and if it dies, then I'll say it's all Zuki's fault. You guessed it, that was disaster number three.
Meanwhile, we'll know by July how Zuki's zinnias fared. Hopefully they will do better than his Siamese Betta fighting fish - may he rest in peace.