Confessions of a Serial Killer

I love to grow flowers. I even love to grow flowers from seeds. When I was young, Mother would give me a packet of marigold and zinnia seeds, and I would plant them somewhere in the yard and one, two, or sometimes even three of them would come up and bloom. I was fascinated. As an adult, I have become no more adept but more persistent at trying to grow flowers. I have continued to be successful with marigolds and zinnias, but I have also added to my repertoire cosmos, nasturtiums, and vincas. One of the most challenging flowers for me to cultivate though has been the New Guinea impatiens. Funny thing about this plant — it sounds tropical, but I have seen them growing wild in the mountains of North Carolina. I have no idea how anyone grows them from seeds so I have purchased mine full-grown and watched them waste away before my eyes every time. I have tried full sun, full shade, partial shade, partial sun, warm, cool, outdoors, and indoors. My latest venture was a beautiful specimen I purchased at the Willow Tree Nursery. I decided I was going to plant it indoors, by the window, not far from the skylight in the living room. I fantasized about people oohing and aahing about this plant when they sat down in my living room. No artificial plants for me. No siree. The big red blooms contrasting with the rich, dark verdant leaves would draw attention and give me a reputation as a horticulturist extraordinaire. Imagine my chagrin the morning after I planted my impatiens when I walked into the living room and saw it gasping for breath. Quickly, I ran for the watering-pot and gave it a drink. It was a Sunday morning, and I was heading to church. I prayed for that plant during church, and God answered my prayer. When I returned home from the morning services, it had perked up and was looking great. On Monday morning, I headed toward the impatiens with high expectations only to be mortified by the sight of a once-again drooping plant. I diagnosed the situation as a need for it to have a drink of water before bedtime so I began a water regimen each evening. Sure enough, the plant perked up although I noticed that the flowers were getting smaller rather than larger. On about the fifth morning of my efforts, the New Guinea’s health began to fail. Nothing I did helped. It continued to waste away until it looked as though it had been mowed down by a hit and run weed whacker. I was a failure and am prepared to confess to being a New Guinea impatiens serial killer.

New Guinea impatiens

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About bobosbest

I am a 79-year-old retired English teacher whose writing goals are fulfilled by publishing these blogs. I have a wonderful married partner, Dimitris Tsitsiras, who is from Greece. Life is good and still an adventure.
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