Gayla at You Grow Girl has started a writing club for gardeners called The Grow Write Guild, and the first writing prompt was posted on the 19th, “My First Plant.”
That’s easy, right? I mean, I clearly remember my first plant was the tiny start of a Christmas cactus my friend gave me from her sprawling bedroom decor when I was about fourteen, that my obnoxious rabbit ended up eating one day while I was at school and she was occupying a box in my bedroom because she’d kindled on the worst night possible and lost half the litter to freezing temperatures before I got there to feed her breakfast. I stuffed the two surviving kits into my coat pockets with handsful of straw, and hurried back into the house to put them in a shoebox beside a heater vent, to warm the poor wee things back up. Then she’d refused them, so I had to hold her down to let them nurse for the three days it took for her to accept that they really were her own kits, and it was still unseasonably cold, so that was just easier to do in the house. She ate a geranium that day, too, and I’m certain that she dug up the pricklier cactus out of sheer spite that she couldn’t eat that as well.
Except that no, that came after the year when I was about eleven, and we had a plot at the community garden, and I had, among a few other things in my small section, the most adorable and perfectly round jack o-lantern pumpkin you can imagine, and someone stole it right out of my patch the day before I went to pick it. I was crushed.
But that’s not it, either. No, that was the one when I was about seven, and we had an acre and a half under the plow, and each of us kids had our own little strung-off section, and I planted radishes and watermelon in mine. I don’t really remember the radishes, but that watermelon plant grew one beautiful melon. It was dark green, and it seemed enormous, so much so that I could barely get my arms around it when It Was Time. I was so proud carrying it all the way back to the house myself (which amounted to little more than across the driveway), and I remember it looked so dark inside after being out in the sun. We carved it up and ate it for dessert that night. I don’t remember a thing of how it tasted, but I remember the ungainly size of it, and the heavy potential of it, as I leaned way back to counterbalance it on the short trek from field to fridge.
That one was definitely my first plant.