4 Tips on Gardening by a Non-Gardener

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I have a confession. Come close, please. OK...a little closer. I am a murderess. *drops head in shame* Yes. It tends to happen mostly in the extreme heat of summer and in really cold weather. I choke the life out of plants with tips of my brown thumbs.

Try as I might to fight the green monster that is jealousy, I can not help but find myself envious of homes with beautiful landscaping, lush interior greenery and even the occasional urban rooftop gardens. My Grandma Pinkie had growing hands.  She could pinch a piece of ivy and nurture it for years and years. My father has a knack for designing and maintaining colorful flower beds. And I? Their heir? I'll kill a fern as surely as I walk past it. How did I manage to own the generational curse?

Versus continuing to be intimidated by the patch of urban grass that is our front yard, I have decided to roll up my sleeves, research and take command. I have made ‘to do’ and wish lists and checked them twice, sketched out our landscape and have made up my mind to conquer azaleas, begonias, hydrangea, ivy, ferns and all other seasonal plant life.

Getting here has been a tough row to hoe (pun intended):

1. I have taken the pressure off of myself. My yard need not be award winning. Mere curb appeal should be the goal.

2. Setting a budget is essential. Because I like pretty things, I can go from zero to sensory overload in seconds. Developing a shopping list and prioritizing what comes first is helping me keep honest with my pocketbook.

3. Gardening is work and requires upkeep. We lead busy lives and have decided to arrange and plant what we have time for.

4. Plants need water and nourishment. This may seem a bit pedestrian but I have to remind myself that the greens on the deck are not too keen on 105 degrees either. If I want a margarita, they surely long for a swig of H2O.

If I overcome my fear of planting, anyone can. Like most else, making up your mind and pursuing gardening might help stumbling into a hobby.

What about you? Brown thumb? Green thumb? Any tips?

Shameeka Ayers is an Atlanta-based lifestyle blogger and author who dispenses entertaining, shelter and food & wine anecdotes and advice via her alter ego, The Broke Socialite. She also produces a national tour of curated dessert-tasting experiences, Sugar Coma Events™.  Her first novella, Instantly!: How Quickly I Realized I HATE My Job was released this summer.