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Gardening in the Garden City

Photo courtesy of IrishFireside/Flickr

As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers.


In Montana, perhaps this old adage should be modified to reflect the fact that in all likelihood, there will be more showers in May. And probably June, too.

But I digress — the real reason I want to talk about flowers is that everyone seems to be planting them right now. Everyone except me, that is.

The first neighbor I met after I moved into my apartment complex was quick to mention that the landlord was “totally cool” with us planting whatever shrubs or flowers we wanted in the small garden boxes in front of each unit. This was in November, mind you. Spring was the last thing on my mind.

No, scratch that — gardening was the last thing on my mind. If you detect a sense of bitterness in my writing about gardening, you’re spot-on. I absolutely hate it. Why? Well, to be blunt, because I suck at it.

In my 24 years on this earth, I’m pretty sure I have killed every single plant that has had the misfortune of coming under my care. That geranium I brought home in first grade? Goner. The cactus I bought with my allowance in fourth grade? Waste of money. The lawn at the house I lived in during college? Scorched.

Most recently, my mom gave me a pot of yellow daffodils for Easter. But despite my best efforts — I watered them! I sunned them! I even talked to them! — they wilted within two weeks. (Sorry, Mom — I tried, I really did!)

Sometimes it’s hard to see all of my neighbors out enjoying the beautiful spring weather, bent over their tiny shovels and their bags of Miracle-Gro. In a few weeks, their gardens will be abloom with a colorful collage of leaves and petals, and mine will be full of rocks and dandelions.

Oh well — I’ve always liked yellow anyway.

Brooke is a 2010 graduate of The University of Montana, where she ran track and cross country for the Grizzlies. She is currently working as a writer and editor in Missoula.

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