Whenever I talk about gardening, there is always someone who is quick to say, “I can’t grow anything; I have a brown thumb.” Now, I recognize that this may be an attempt to shut me up. “Dear Lord, don’t let her start blathering about ‘soil’ again.”
But to the small percentage who say this with genuine chagrin, my reply is: “So do I. All gardeners have brown thumbs.”
Here’s the thing. Gardening is as much about death as it is life. As with any hobby (or profession), success is achieved largely through a willingness to learn from your mistakes, and sometimes, to simply ignore them.
I’m a geek. I love science-y stuff. In college, I took Botany and Biogeography. I know how photosynthesis works and understand the C4 pathway. But often, when a plant dies, I have no fucking idea why. And die, they do.
I gave it the perfect conditions: just enough water; well-drained soil; a touch of compost. And it still got dead. In this way, gardening mirrors publishing. You can have the perfect story for the perfect market, and it still gets rejected. The only difference being, that unlike publishing, I don’t torture myself over Mother Nature’s rejection of my attempts to meddle.
I dig up the dead thing, chuck it in the compost pile, and plant something in its stead. Game over, insert quarter, play again.
And if all else fails, water the weeds.