Saturday, 23 March 2013

Grow Write Guild Prompt #1: Write about your first plant

I was set up to fail with my first plant. Judging by what's aimed at kids I think most of us were. Novelty kits, beginners kits, Venus flytraps with colourful labels. Notoriously picky plants, vague instructions (water when needed but take care not to over water) and badly thought out pots seem standard.

 I once owned a gorgeous, beautifully designed novelty plant in a can. The instructions told me to add water to the odd mix of perlite and seeds and from that I would be able to grow lavender. It's just that easy. It just never germinated. But that wasn't my first plant. My first plant was back when I was a spotty teenager.

I really, desperately wanted my own herb garden but with no space for an inexperienced hands in our garden I was given a windowsill growing kit. It had compost, a tray with four sections, more seeds than strictly necessary and sparse instructions.

I can't even remember what all the seeds were. One was chives. I remember because it was disappointing.  Growing chives from seed is painfully boring. I've done it a couple of times and you can pretty much bet you aren't going to get a harvest in your first year. Ultimately worth it for an adult, not so much when you are still getting told off for scuffing your school shoes.

'sokay chives, I love you now
So I started my seeds at the wrong time of year, watching them as the germinated and did... not much for a long time. Eventually I killed them but if I didn't they wouldn't have lead much of a life. They would have been painfully cramped, lacked any nutrition, and any attempt to out them outside would have been met by winter. Perhaps they could have been micro veg but even if I'd known the term back then it would have been a ridiculous price per serving.

I never did get to figure out how to eat them. Probably for the best. They were put out of their misery when I tried to close my blinds one night. The tray knocked from the windowsill, all signs of life extinguished, compost in my carpet, me about to be yelled at.

 As you can see I was never cut out to be a gardener.

[This post was written as a response to the 1st prompt of Gayla Trail's Grow Write Guild. Check it out.]


  1. In reading the responses to Prompt #1, I've been struck by the number of posts (including mine) whose theme seems to be: gardening is not really a kids' activity. I've read a couple by people who fell in love with gardening as children, and they've made me really jealous! My response to Prompt #1 is here:

    1. I think gardening can be a kids activity. I've made plenty of kids garden. I definitely don't think seed starting should be their first foray into it though. Especially with younger kids who don't really have a good concept of time. This will take weeks sounds like it will take forever.

      Something with immediate gratification seems better. Something like weeding where you can see the result straight away.

      But this is turning into a post in itself. Something to think about for sure.

  2. I love the caption on your photo! I'm glad you and chives eventually worked things out.

    1. Not just worked out: madly in love.

  3. I hate those novelty grow kits! I want to write on the sign... "This won't work!!". It's frustrating! Thought I'd share my post from the Grow Write Guild exercise... My First Plant


    1. Awesome post. If you are going to start seeds with kids make it beans. Their germination is nothing short of epic.