Many times my husband has brought home a plant to surprise me: miniature roses, an African violet, and bamboo that was beautifully intertwined in an Asian decor pot. I killed them all.
This past Christmas/Holiday Season, he brought home a poinsettia for our dining room table. Within a matter of days, it was dead. My children were a bit disturbed by this. They kept saying over and over, "She killed it. It was so pretty, and she killed it. How can she forget to water it?"
As a joke, earlier this year, my husband bought a collection of cacti for me. "Even you can't kill these." He said with confidence that we may finally have some greenery in our home. The kids laughed along with their father and cheered at the thought that their mother wasn't going to kill this plant...or so they thought.
Within a few weeks' time, all but two of the cacti were dead. You should have seen my husband and I trying to fish out the dead cacti. OUCH! They still hurt even when they are dead!!! Little, barely visible, needles were coating our hands and arms where the towel did not protect us. The kids looked on with a combination of horror and amusement. "Plant killer!" my children called me. They had obviously reached a point where they realized I may be able to cook, but I can't grow anything, inside nor outside the home.
I've tried to grow a garden, but with the hard, solid clay we have as a yard, even weeds have a hard time thriving. I have tried and tried to grow a decent tomato, but the soil (cough) -I mean cement- isn't giving up and neither am I.
I continue to try every year to grow a garden. Though after a few weeks or months, or perhaps sometimes even days, I'm left with nothing except an occasional weed that my daughter picked and stuck into the ground on purpose to make up for my loss. She feels sorry for me, I'm sure.
My mother recently gave me a plant for our breakfast table. It was part of my birthday present. She returned a month later to find the leaves shriveled and crisp under her fingers. They crumbled to the table as she touched them. She gave me a look of, You are still killing plants, I see. You definitely do not get the gift of gardening from me. She is talented at growing...everything, while I am talented at killing all things green. Poor plants.
Again, my children pointed in my direction with an accusing tone, "Plant killer!" Zach, my son, said I didn't have a green thumb, but instead, I had a black thumb. "She turns all green plants black because she kills them, so she must have a black thumb." He wasn't being mean. He was simply being matter-of-fact.
So, to explain the green plants in our house to any who shall visit, they are taken care of by my daughter who is sparing their lives. To explain the weeds in our yard...well, that wasn't me either.