We moved from my parents' first home when I was six. I remember my parents talking about the trees they had planted nearly ten years before, and the flower beds of what I thought were "impatients." As the ultimate in frugal do-it-yourselfers, my parents took to landscaping their new house with "pompous grass" which can cut you and willows, azaleas and crepe myrtles in various shades of pink. Now that they've been in their house since 1987 the landscaping has filled out a bit into more of a jungle, but the first few years it was touch and go as to whether the neighbors were going to come kill us in our sleep.
There was a little scrap of dirt inbetween the back sidewalk and the house where we tried to grow crops for a few years. We did pretty well with green beans, hot peppers, and tomatoes. My mom grew up as one of eight kids on a farm, and although I think her lack of propensity with corn bothered her a bit we managed to grow a few things.
I say "we", but I mean "she." I had, and still have, no freaking clue what I'm doing. I grew some Martha Stewart parsley for 2 years but apparently that's about the lifespan of the parsley... bush? plant? herb? I don't know. I got an azalea as a birthday gift last year, one of those 1-800-flowers type deals where it's supposed to always bloom on your birthday or something - it died within a week. I realize that cut flowers are not meant to last, but I think even they hold something against me.
Now Paul and I have our own home. Our very own plot of land to do with as we wish. I know first hand how the dirty looks of neighbors can stop a clock, and we took care to choose a house and neighborhood that we could both afford and afford to keep up. I refuse to believe that I have..... that I have........ a black thumb............... I hold fast to the thought that I'm simply, woefully, ignorant. Even more ignorant now that I've moved 850 miles north and have even less of a clue about what is an appropriate yard crop. Or flower. I'd love to just waltz into Home Depot and pick up a flat of something and stick them in the ground - but I have no idea where to start.
Also, we have this twirly bush in the front yard. Do we just clip it so it stays twirly? When do we clip it? I don't want it to die. And I definitely don't want dirty looks from the neighbors.