Kris of Blithewold fame asks the question, “Do you have ‘the touch’?” – the green-thumb touch, that is. Are you able to deftly transplant a seedling with an accurate amount of force and pressure that firms its position in the soil and aids its eventual growth? Or, do they end up becoming snail-bait?
It’s an intriguing question and one that I’ve not considered much – mainly because I’ve presumed that there is no other way. My ‘touch’ after all, is my touch. How can one change that?
I remember in my cooking apprentice years we would hear stories about great pastry chefs who were able to make sweet pastes in the middle of summer and still result in a perfect tart. These pastries were incredibly hard to work with once the heat escalated but somehow these epicurean geniuses were able to achieve what no other could. As their stories were told they would always be qualified with the line “they had such cold hands”. Regardless of how warm it was their hands were able to withstand the soaring temps and still massage a paste with a deftness one could only admire.
My hands were never cold. I blame my enthusiastic personality on the resultant high blood pressure and the friction my hands had to suffer. Yet, I found ways to counteract my overt disability.
I began intermittently plunging my hands into baths of ice water. It wasn’t great for my knuckles but was a success in working with sweet paste. So, while I didn’t have the ‘touch’ I found a way to get it.
The same is true of gardening. While you or I may not be naturally adept at making every plant survive, we are indeed clever enough to find ways and means to ensure we have every opportunity for success.