My grandmother had the greenest thumb I've ever known. Her yard was always full of beautiful gardens that flourished and produced lovely flowers. She was particularly proud of her iris beds. Unfortunately, I didn't inherit that gene. Instead, I have something closer to a black thumb. Plants don't literally die when I walk by, but they do have a tendency to get quite ill when I take care of them (or rather, don't take care of them, since I constantly forget to water them).
But my bad luck with plants doesn't stop me from trying to grow my own vegetables. Every spring, I drag my husband down to the garden center and pick out little tomato seedlings and young strawberry bushes, convinced that this is the year that my garden will grow. Instead, snails eat all the leaves on the strawberry plants, and my herbs wilt and die. My tomato plants usually survive, but instead of producing abundant crops of plump red orbs, the branches grow spindly and sick looking. The resulting tomatoes look like miniature cherry tomatoes, as if cherry tomatoes weren't small enough to start with. On the plus side, these itty bitty tomatoes that are no bigger than my thumbnail pack a huge amount of flavor. I toss them on salads and enjoy them as much as I can. Still, I dream of salsas and caprese salads or tomato slices topped with cheese and broiled on sourdough bread.
Maybe this year will be different. This will be the year when my plants grow so tall that I have to stake them to keep them from falling over. This will be the year when I have so many strawberries that I learn how to make preserves.
To bolster my confidence, I'm currently growing a chia pet.
Since chia pets are essentially foolproof, even I can't mess this up. I'm hoping that once I get on a growing streak, I can transfer that success to my vegetable garden. I can already imagine roasted tomatoes stuffed with cheese and bread crumbs, homemade marinara sauces, and hearty sandwiches. Ah, to dream.