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Do you know those people who have such a Green Thumb that no matter what they touch it grows?

That’s not me.

I, on the other hand, have a thumb in whatever color is the exact polar opposite of green on the Gardeners Color Spectrum Wheel. Like Magenta maybe. A Plum Thumb, as it were.

Back in sixth grade, when we first moved to the suburbs, to Plum … yes, really … I joined the 4-H Club. Our neighbor was the group leader. And as my project for the year I planted Marigolds …  anyone can grow Marigolds, right?  … and maybe Zinnias. For some reason I have repressed memories of all this.

But I do recall that nothing came up.

As in nothing.

When it came time for the competition, I wrote some pathetic piece of drivel about how I did indeed plant the flower seeds. And maybe the bugs ate the seeds. And the sun was in my eyes … and … well, suffice it to say they gave me a Pity Ribbon.

Oh it didn’t say Pity Ribbon, but we all knew what it was.

My Mother used to have a non-green thumb as well … and I took comfort in the fact that perhaps it was hereditary.

Then her thumb turned green.

She and my Father now have a back yard that closely resembles a Monet Flower Garden. With lots of flowers whose names I can’t pronounce. Well, won’t pronounce.

Once I had my own place I got a Coleus. Nobody can kill a Coleus, right?

Mine died.

A friend gave me a Pony-Tail plant that required virtually no attention. It lived for years until I told a friend about it.

Then it died.

When my oldest daughter was born, someone brought in a plant to the hospital … in a cute pink booties planter. Tall and spiky, more like a cactus than anything else, it required no attention. I went months without watering it.

It lived for twenty-five years until my oldest daughter was pregnant. I told her I was going to have the plant re-potted and the planter cleaned and give it to her.

And it promptly died.

I still try … this year I did a few Tomato Plants and some Herbs. I usually have good luck with Herbs.

Here are some pictures of my gardening efforts this year.

First we have the Chives. These are weed-like herbs that grow again and again each year … like weeds. They were really healthy  … until we took down the ceiling in the front room earlier this summer.

The next two pictures are of some of my Tomato Plants. You know, the kind that promise Hundreds and Hundreds of Juicy Little Tomatoes Far Into the Season.


One plant has two little green things … the other has one.

The next picture is of a plant that Santa took and placed in a position of honor when he was doing my yard earlier this year. It was to show the successful results of all my gardening efforts.

It is a weed.

But just so you don’t think I have all bad luck with plants … the last picture is one of  a few pots of herbs … Basil, Parsley, Whatever …

Now about the Little Corn That Could … and the Tomato Forest.

Unlike me, my friend Texas Linda has a green thumb … and worse than that, she doesn’t even try.

At all.

Last year … or maybe early this year she was cleaning out her refrigerator. And there was a tomato. Far past its prime, but not too mushy that you could not recognize it.

“What on earth are you going to do with that?” asked Gay David.

“Well, I feel sorry for it.” said Linda “Instead of just throwing it out I am going to toss it over by the wall there … and throw a handful of dirt on it.”

“Give it a proper burial, eh?” said David.

Flash forward many months … and absolutely no effort … later. And here we have the Tomato Forest which has sprung up from the lowly rotten tomato. The Tomato Forest has provided Linda, David, Me and about four other friends with a summer full of tomatoes to our hearts content. It even has flowers at the front of it all.

But the story does not end there.

One day I was getting out of the car in front of her house. I noticed a little green thing growing up in her brick sidewalk.

Literally. In it.

“Can you believe that?” she said proudly.

“Believe what?” I replied.

The corn. That’s corn that is growing up there in front of your car. In my sidewalk. Corn. Imagine that.”

Corn? … like in out in the fields corn? … like in Knee High by the Fourth of July corn? … like what we never see in the middle of a city corn?  … like you didn’t even plant it there corn?

Yes. Like that.

And there it was all right. An ear of corn.

All through the summer there has been an ear of corn growing there.

No matter what the weather was, the corn grew.

No matter who walked by, the corn grew.

A man who shall remain nameless had the poor grace to open his car door directly on to the little ear of corn and promptly lopped off the top of it. The corn grew.

As a matter of fact, it grew a side shoot to compensate. And the corn grew.

The UPS man pulled up and saw it and proclaimed it the neatest thing he had seen in a long time. I think the corn smiled at that … and the corn grew.

A brick got in the way? No problem, the corn just pushed it out of the way … and the corn grew.

Close as we can tell, the corn is the byproduct of some errant bird or other animal who had eaten corn at some earlier time … and then deposited the unused corn courtesy of their digestive tract.

It’s as good a theory as any I suppose.

Linda said that if the little tassel is actually an ear of corn … and if the Little Corn That Could actually produces a little ear of corn … she is going to take it and freeze it and thaw it in the spring and plant it on purpose.

 I would have it bronzed.