The Evolution of an Off-Green Thumb

If you had asked me when I was younger, or even four years ago, if I’d be working at a landscape company, I probably would have laughed good-naturedly.

I’ve never had much interest in plants, not to mention was ever able to keep plants alive. I tried growing things in my window, hopefully staring at the pot on my windowsill, hoping that something would magically grow although I forgot to even water the poor thing. Eventually, I decided I did not have a green thumb, and left it at that.

My dad, on the other hand, has had the greenest one since I can remember. Over the years, he’s cultivated our front and back yards into something of beauty, taking great care of each citrus tree, grape-vine, rose and blade of grass. He’s knowledgeable about what plants need, how much light they like, and experiments with rooting cuttings and growing his own plants from them.

I didn’t go outside much when I got older, preferring my books and computer to itchy grass and incessant bugs. Every once in a while I’d venture out to eat an orange, a kumquat or mandarin, or for my dad to show me something in the garden.

Then I started working at a landscaping company. It took a few months, but I started learning a lot about plants, their different needs, and their names, which is helpful in being able to source and order plants for jobs.

Soon after I moved into my first apartment, I took home the devil’s ivy plant that had managed to survive in my room at my parents’ house (no thanks to me) over the previous few years. My dad joked that it was “used to me” and that it didn’t need much watering, so it should be fine.

Yup...I'm pretty sure it's used to me.

Yup…I’m pretty sure it’s used to me.


He also sent along a small, lovely African violet and said, “Don’t kill this one!” as I nestled it carefully in my luggage so it wouldn’t fall over on the two-hour drive home.

Not mine (Mine isn’t currently blooming) but it’s similar to mine. Look how adorable!


Both plants seemed to be okay with my hasty watering methods and haphazard worry about them dying. As I’ve grown busier and am in a new apartment, they’ve seemed to relax comfortably into my busy life, and be a comfort to me in my usually stressful and crazy days.

It hasn’t been all sunshine and flowers (pun intended). My dad brought me another ivy plant that had been sitting outside on the bench at their house all summer, and was used to sunlight, and lots of water. It was gigantic when I got it, the leaves sprawled all over everything on my bookshelf that I precariously set it on, not sure what to do with it. It didn’t take well to being inside, and its leaves withered, died, and eventually, in the move, the plant completely died. I was sad, especially since my new apartment had a good place for it to be outside where it normally liked it. My dad, ever the optimist, brought me an orange seed for the pot. We’ll see how it turns out from here.

I spent a lot of time trying to find a specific plant for work, and ran across photos of lovely Ligustrum japonicum (Japanese privet) bonsai trees. Taking on something like caring for a bonsai tree is a little more dedication than my devil’s ivy and violet currently require, but it’s something I’m interested in.

Like this one.

I’m glad that I’ve added yet another interest to my arsenal of things that I enjoy. They not only bring a smile to my face, but they provide some oxygen and life into my apartment. I don’t think I could ask for anything more from them. šŸ™‚

(Edited to insert photos that I forgot the first time).

So...what do you think?

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