"My mom called them slips," Sue said. "And she said you should never say 'thank you' for a plant because that was bad luck. The plant would die. Instead you should say, 'I appreciate it.'"
Thinking I might have inherited some of Mom's gift, I've been trying my hand at planting a few things myself, just to see what would happen. Thinking a grape arbor would be nice, I planted a raisin. Nothing. I tried sesame seeds. Same result.
Luckily, I have some green-thumbed friends and neighbors who have given me slips, and there's something about those plant slips I find extra appealing. Not just because I'm a tightwad who loves getting a freebie, but because those plants will always be connected to the person who gave them to me.
Several years ago, when I was a single mother with an out-of-control yet very dull yard, one of my former neighbors, Trish, offered to help. She spent hours thinning out plants from her yard and her sister's, then even more hours helping me replant them in my yard. A year or so later, Trish moved away, but the now lush, mature plantings continue to be a nice reminder of her.
This past year, I've found myself getting more interested in gardening. Our new house has a heavily shaded yard with an abundance of ivy. Finding the right plants is a challenge for a person who is green everywhere but her thumb.
Someday, though, I hope to have a garden filled with reminders of friends, neighbors and Mom.
And maybe a raisin plant, too.
Reach Karin Fuller at karinful...@cnpapers.com. Her columns can be accessed easily through her blog at thegazz.com.