Minimalist gardening

Gardens are a form of autobiography.
~Sydney Eddison

If you weren’t already aware, Texas is in the middle of a massive drought and heatwave. This means that my poor little tomato plant hasn’t produced shit. It’s surviving, but not doing a whole lot else. Ah, well, my tomato plants hardly ever produce more than one little tomato, anyway (although said tomato is usually ridiculously tasty). I do it for fun.

I seem to lack my mother’s green thumb. She can grow anything. I think the difference is that she loves gardening. I just want to occasionally throw water at my plants and call it a day. Or a week. In the immortal words of Mitch Hedberg, my plants all need to “think like a cactus.”

But instead of asking my plants to change their biology, I instead change my plants. I’ve got my little tomato that tried but didn’t this year, and my cactus. My aloe vera is indoors, and isn’t doing so well since it’s almost constantly assaulted by one of my cats. But now I’m adding a new plant to my repertoire…or at least I’m going to try it out. Moss rose. The reason I’m “trying it” is because I stole some cuttings from the duplex down the road from me, and I don’t know how well they’ll take in this heat. Knowing moss rose, though, they’ll probably take it and run.

That’s why I chose it. Moss rose, like me, is a notorious lover of the Texas climate. The small bushy clump I pulled cuttings from has had no attention whatsoever…it lives in the front yard of a college town duplex. It gets ignored, and yet the thing is big, bushy, and full of blooms in our months-long triple digit heat and no rain in sight. In fact, it looks very similar to this plant. Hell, I didn’t even realize it was an annual…it seeds itself that well. Not to mention it seeds everything in the immediate vicinity, too. If they take off, I may just spruce up my complex’s rock gardens…

This is one thing I’ve learned from trying to educate people about fishkeeping…it’s best if you pick pets or plants that suit your care style. If you’re a fusser, get a fussy plant or a fussy fish. If you’re an ignore-and-enjoy kind of person, pick something hardy that is well suited for your climate (or fishtank). Know how you roll and don’t think you can change the biology or care requirements of a plant or animal. Sometimes it’s good to go with the flow.

*shakes fist at moss roses* Grow my monsters, grow!


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