Since moving out however many years ago now, I have tried to keep plants in my different apartments but have never quite had the same level of success my dad has had doing so. The closest I came was in our stinky beloved old apartment in LIC where I grew a whole bunch of aeniums and other succulents. They did really well in our super-hot apartment (I swear it was 90 degrees year-round in that place). While we were living there, I tried my hand at actual gardening by joining the community garden, which was fun. I planted a few things, but I don’t think I really cared for them properly. I was a slacker about going there every weekend, and sometimes I used to just go and hang out there. I’d have coffee with my friend who ran it, and we’d do a little bit of work and a whole lot of talking. It probably didn’t help that we’re both big hand-talkers so we did more gesturing than gardening as we chatted.
Last year, up here in fancy-pants Cambridge, I planted several dahlias, but they didn’t do very well. One of them didn’t grow much, and the other two were knocked over and destroyed in a storm because I didn’t stake them correctly. Due to what I thought was a failure on my part, I wasn’t very enthusiastic about planting more dahlias this year. I even lost last year’s tubers, which I took as some sort of sign that I shouldn’t bother. (They’re somewhere in a brown paper bag in Matt’s parents’ basement. Yep.) However, Matt went and got a bunch of tubers at Bonnie’s anyway, and touched by the fact that he did this, I planted them, blindly, only knowing what one of the whole bunch would look like. It was late in the season so Matt said the pickings were slim, and I had assumed that they were probably all the same variety. Well, we lucked out big time because we got a lovely array of brilliant dahlias. And because of all the rain, they’ve done exceptionally well this year. I’ve also made sure to stake them securely and to re-stake them after storms or heavy rain. So yay for dahlias! I’m hoping next year is as bountiful in our little garden.