Regular readers will be au fait with my general sense of malaise, but I’ve found you can’t be disatisfied all the time without discovering some small solutions along the way.
Recently, and by total chance as is often the case in these situations, a good friend of mine who lives in Wicklow, gave me a tomato plant cutting. It was tiny, in a little bust-up plastic pot. I thanked her and chucked it on the passenger seat of my car. After all, every plant I had ever owned until now had died a sad, mysterious death so I looked at this plant more as a lamb to the slaughter than a young plant that would actually yield fruit. Or is that veg?
Anyway, a recent house move has given me access to a very bright hallway that has a glass roof – think greenhouse. So I shoved the plant on top of my amp that lives in the hall and gave it some water every odd day.
Turns out I’m not a plant killer after all and the plant is thriving, so much so that last week I bought a big window box for the thing so I could give it a bit more room. Excited as I was by my new green fingers, I also bought a basil plant and parsley plant to keep it company in the window box.
Today I bought some tomato food (on the advice of Siobhan – thank you) and some nice compost and set the plants up in their new home.
The most surprising part of all this is not that I’m not a natural born plant killer, but that these plants make me happy. I say ‘hi’ to the tomato plant every day. He’s special because he’s the first plant that hasn’t died on me and I love him for it. And yes, I’m aware I’ve given him a gender. I give his leaves an affectionate rub at least once a day and cheer him on. I’m not mad on the herbs yet. They seem a bit lack-lustre but I’m hoping they’ll follow the tomato’s lead and start doing well.
I’m a late-comer to the joys of this sort of thing – I’ve lived in gardenless city-centre flats for a good ten years now. When stress levels hit all-time highs, my little tomato plant soothes my mind, calms me down and cheers me up. And that’s more than I can say for almost anything else at the moment.