My grandmother had what they call a green thumb. I believe she could stick a twig in the ground and it would blossom like Aaron’s rod in the Bible. She had a garden that was the envy of the neighborhood in the Silver Lake District of Los Angeles. You had to climb two flights of stone steps then go down a series of red brick steps to her house. She had a little white clapboard house on the side of a hill with Cecil Brunner roses climbing over the door. Every year at Christmas, she put up jars of preserves and jams and we each got a box filled with her efforts. I did not inherit my grandmother’s green thumb. One birthday she sent me a rose tree and I was a little flustered. I thought I’d better plant it since I knew she would call and ask about it. I read the directions, dug a hole, made a mound, spread the roots out, covered the hole, and watered it with a hose with the hope it would not keel over and die on me. Sure enough, she called. “Happy Birthday, Dear, did you get the rose trees I sent you?” There was a pause on my part. She’d said rose trees. That was plural! I assured her it was all planted in the ground and thanked her for her gift. When she hung up, I dashed outside, dug up the rose tree, unwound the other two rose trees, dug two more holes, and got them planted. How was I to know that they wound all three together? To this day, my children might send me flowers, but heaven help the one who sends me a plant!



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