Several weeks ago my son and I were watching an episode of Curious George in which George learned that if you plant things in the ground, they will grow. Of course, being a curious monkey, George tried planting papers and keys and orange juice to make them grow, and The Man with the Yellow Hat explained that plants grow, and keys do not. At the end of the segment, it showed some real-live school kids putting beans on a wet paper towel on a paper plate, and then putting that inside of a Ziploc bag for the beans to sprout. He was ecstatic at the idea and wanted to sprout some beans, as well!
I dug through our pantry and found some dry pinto beans. It was the best I could do on short notice. He also wanted to try an apple seed, and we happened to have apples, so I cut one and dug out the seeds. Hey, why not? We didn't have Ziploc bags, so I used a Crock Pot liner. I'm all for improvisation. (I do this a lot.)
A couple of days later, some of the beans had started to sprout! The little guy was SO PROUD!! After several more days, one of the apple seeds even perked up and started sprouting! I was pretty impressed with that, to be honest; they weren't organic apples so I didn't expect a whole lot of "life" to be in there.
Once the sprouts got big enough, I bought a planter and some potting soil, and planted them.
See, this is where it starts to get fuzzy. My mom has a green thumb -- my oldest sister would go so far as to call her a Green Witch; I, do not have a green thumb. My thumb isn't anywhere close to any shade of green. Neither is my other thumb, or any other finger-like appendages. Plants and I, we just don't get along. Once, I had a potted shamrock that my mom had given me that started getting sick; I took it to work for the fabulous double-green-thumbed custodian, an older lady named Alice, to check it out for me, and she refused to let me take it back home. It remained there when I left the job.
So, not having any clue what I was actually doing, I put the bean sprouts in dirt, and once the apple sprout got a little bigger, I put it in dirt, too.
AND THEN THE BEAN PLANTS GREW AND GREW AND GREW. Yes, that was in all caps for a reason. THEY GREW VERY FAST AND VERY BIG AND I HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS HAPPENING, but as it turned out, the planter I got for them was way too small, and the weather was still cold, and our outside-garden (which, I may add, my husband, son, and a guy friend of ours are all in charge of, and not me) was still just in thought form. So the planter just kind of stayed in the office by the window, with the plants getting bigger and bigger and bigger.
And then one of the cats got shut in that room by accident, and ate off the leaves.
So I did all I knew how to do (which wasn't a lot) to try and get them to get some life back into them, and they started looking better. And then the leaves started turning yellow. And then the other cat got shut in the office accidentally and chewed on the plants again.
At that point I finally asked a classmate of mine who works at a greenhouse what the yellowing leaves meant. I was over-watering them, apparently. So I stopped watering them. And the dirt started molding. And then I really had no idea what to do about it. And now all but one of the plants looks really, really sad.
I kind of feel like that right now. Like I had all these new! exciting! ideas! that, once they started growing, I had no idea what to do with them, gave them too much attention, let some cats gnaw on them (or, you know, heard criticism about them, whichever), then started ignoring them, and now I'm kind of not sure where things are.
But I do know this:
We can still plant the one remaining good-ish bean plant now that the outside-garden has been created. And the little guy and I can sprout new beans and apple seeds now that I know more about what to do (KEEP THE CATS OUT OMG) and what not to do to let them grow healthily.
The same can be said for myself. It's okay to scrap what hasn't worked out, and try again with the newly-gained knowledge I have from the last round.