Who Wants a Green Thumb, Anyway?

Last week, I boughtwhat I thought was a really vibrant bunch of cut basil for $3 from our local co-op. (I do love me a good tomato-basil-mozzarella sandwich.) To my surprise and delight, though, when I got it home, I realized it was a whole living plant!

The long-suffering basil.

I killed my last basil.

Sort of, anyway. It was a passive death—I never pruned it, so it turned into a shrub, basically, with wooden branches and no leaves. It doesn’t seem to have survived the winter.

So I happily potted this new one. It was about 65-degrees out last Sunday, so I gleefully put the pot out on the balcony in the sunshine.

It snowed that night. Oops. I was quick enough to bring the baby plant inside, so it survived that first mishap. It wilted, of course, being confused at the multiple changes of scenery.

I nursed it back to life over the course of the week—and then forgot it during the next freeze.

It’s, um, not doing so great now. I pruned off the worst of the frostbite, and it’s living indoors until the weather stabilizes.

Meanwhile, I bought a “resistant” succulent that I can only kill by overwatering.

Will it continue to look so firm and perky?

We’ll see.

Okay, I’m really not that bad: I have a potted lilac bush that survived the winter and is budding out as we speak. My chives are healthy and returning from their winter nap, and if the mint died, that’s okay, because it was only half sweet mint and the regular stuff just doesn’t taste good in mojitos. (I have my priorities totally straight: can’t you tell?)

I should take my own advice, though. A friend once told me that she can never keep plants, and I said this: “Plants grow everywhere, all the time. Put them in the ground, make sure they have sunlight and water, and they’ll take care of the rest.”

She stared at me, then laughed and said, “I’m overthinking this, aren’t I?”

Probably. We’re all guilty of overanalyzing, obsessive worrying, and general compulsive head-behaviors.

What simple things have you over-thought, readers? How do you overcome the obsessive what-ifs? And how do you keep your freaking potted plants alive?