Math = Love: My Humble Garden

## Monday, April 28, 2014

### My Humble Garden

My parents love to garden.  My sister loves to garden.  My grandparents on both sides love to garden.  And, they're all really good at it.  I, on the other hand, am not good at gardening.  I'm pretty sure the green thumb skipped a generation or something.

Last spring/summer, I set out to plant my own garden.  I didn't know if I would be staying in Drumright or not, so I made it a container garden on my back deck.  I planted a ridiculous number of herbs and flowers.  The seeds sprouted.  I watered them.  Then, they quickly met their demise.  I began again.  More herb seeds.  More flower seeds.  Again, they grew.  And, again, they withered.  It probably didn't help that I spent a large portion of my summer away from home at workshops and conferences.  The plants that did survive up to that point did not handle the lack of watering very well.

My grandparents came to visit me over Labor Day weekend.  I proudly showed them my few remaining plants on my back deck.  I remember saying, "I'm not exactly sure what these are, but I didn't kill these!"  My grandma took one look at the plants in the planter and said, "Honey, these are cottonwood trees.  You need to get rid of these!"  Oops...

I have a tendency to spend my time doing things I'm good at.  I'm a good reader, so I read voraciously.  I loved school, so I became a teacher.  Solving equations is the equivalent of a puzzle to me, so I teach algebra.  I love logic puzzles.  I love to make things from yarn and fabric.

Gardening does not come easily to me.  In fact, I'm terrible at it.  When I look at an equation, I know exactly what to do.  I know what order to do everything in.  I manipulate the variables and constants precisely to isolate the variable.  When I look at a plant, I'm unsure what to do.  The leaves are a little yellow.  Does it need more water?  Or have I been watering it too much?  I'm so thankful for the ability to send pictures of plants to my mom to get her advice.

It's good to be reminded what it feels like to persevere in doing something that doesn't come naturally to you.  It's something I ask of my students every single day.

This year, I'm trying again.  Except, I'm starting with plants that somebody else has already started.  I'll have to work my way up to growing things from seeds.

Here's my current humble attempt at growing things.  Or, maybe I should say keeping things that other people have grown alive!  I've got aloe vera, a pineapple plant, daisies, some type of ground cover, petunias, and a plant that I think my mom called a Wandering Jew.

 Happy Spring, y'all!

1. Tips: Don't over water, use miracle grow potting soil, use plant food, and again don't over water!

1. Thanks! Now, I just need someone to invent a formula or something that tells me exactly when to water my plants! :)

2. Sarah, I completely understand your gardening issues, I have them as well. I always said I have a black thumb. I mean heck, I managed to kill Geraniums after being told that was impossible. Good luck this year! I hope you will share your gardening triumphs with those of us who can only dream. =)

3. Thanks! I'm definitely going to need all the luck I can get!

2. I wish you luck with trying this thing again! Just don’t give up easily, doing so won’t make you any better at anything for that matter. This humble garden is pretty good start, and everything’s looking good so far. Hang in there!

Richard Zimmer @ Tapestry, NJ

1. Thanks, Richard!