Unhappy Flower

Flower in my garden


Women and Adversity: Growing Indoor—and outdoor—plants

Growing healthy flowers and plants has always been a challenge for me. I tell people my green thumb is rusty, but I don’t know why they die. I am on my fourth hibiscus in three years. I keep moving it to the screened-in porch from the deck because at least two drowned when I left them outside. I admire the full, beautiful, colorful blooms on neighbors’ hibiscus, but my flowers fall off and no new ones appear.

My interest in gardening started when I was given an assignment to write about container gardening. I visited a half-dozen nurseries and was hooked. I thought having all those plants in one place was a marvelous idea! I bought a dozen plants, huge and small containers and went for it. Too bad most of them died. The most successful were the cabbage plants and purple queen that lasted through the winter.

Names of flowers and plants escape me, so I keep the little tag that comes with the plants and won’t buy one that doesn’t have it. I gave a plant lover a book on plants that she says is the best book she ever owned on the subject. She has misplaced the book, so I don’t know its name.

I did some searches and decided a basic book is best. “The Complete Guide to Keeping Your Houseplants Alive and Thriving: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply” by Sandy Baker and “Keep Your Houseplants Alive: A No Nonsense Guide To Keeping 27 Awesome Indoor Plants Alive & Kickin’” by Nell Foster sound hopeful and got some good reviews.  What I really want is to have my hibiscus survive through the rest of the year.

Article By: Jo Ann Mathews

I’ve been a professional freelance writer for several years and specialize in writing feature stories. I have more than a 1,000 bylines to my credit and have written on countless topics from autism to zoology. My columns on fashion and the Internet appeared in a Chicago area newspaper in the 90s. “Brunswick Buzz,” the column in The Sun News, the Myrtle Beach, S.C. daily, ran for seven years then “Events on the North Strand” took over in October 2013, also in The Sun News.

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