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Growing a Green Thumb for St. Paddy’s Day

17 Mar Posted by in Family Life, Gardening | Comments
Growing a Green Thumb for St. Paddy’s Day
Today Kay and I engaged in hand-to-hand combat with none other than our backyard.

We raked leaves, plucked weeds, accidentally tore up part of the yard (Kay went ballistic with a root pulling so hard about three square feet of the lawn peeled away from the ground. Grrr, Mr. Hulk) and then made a run to two stores.

Upon returning, I threw fertilizer onto the pee-wee, almost dead hedge while Kay drove the scarifier to and fro. And we thought we didn’t have grass before? Well, now there are more lines than Vanilla Ice’s early 90’s haircut.

Since our lawn was mostly moss and weeds (hence the ever-present rabbits nibbling the lawn and leaving behind their bunny turds…)


Now our “lawn” is basically dirt with… hm? I wouldn’t even call it patches of grass because there are just speckles and tidbits of green.

We then raked up the top layer of mossy muck and threw down grass seeds and more fertilizer.

I would like to note that up until last summer, I had never even mowed a lawn before. Don’t laugh, it wasn’t my fault. The year I was supposed to learn how to mow the lawn (when I was 12 or 13) my dad bought a riding lawn mower.

He pretty much said…And I quote, “I’ll be the one who mows the lawn from now on so that those d@mn kids don’t break the friggin’ machine.”

SOoooo, it only took me about 20 years later to learn. And today I learned not only what scarifying is, but also how to actually scarify.

Germans are known for their gardens. Period. I think German babies are genetically born with green thumbs and instead of circumcision, they dye their thumbs the same color as the rest of the skin so as not to be ostracized if they visit another country. Ok, so circumcision isn’t applicable for the baby girls any way, but it isn’t common practice in most parts of Europe for the boys either.

For someone who has lived in Germany for two years, you’d think that I would have a green thumb by now. Nope. And somehow my husband didn’t ever receive this genetic green thumb.

However, we have to try and be pseudo gardeners now that we are one of only two crappy looking yards in our neighborhood.

As an added bonus today, we planted three bushes, laid mulch, and then after Kay made another trip to two more stores (don’t feel bad for him, he loves to shop) he came home with some flowers. At this point, it was too late to plant the flowers today. And too dark to take any pictures. Also on tomorrow’s agenda.

After dinner, Kay reminded me that today is St. Paddy’s Day!

Me: Oh, yeah, you’re right. Do you celebrate that here? (Half in jest.)

Kay: Mmmmmmm…? Not like the US does. But they do celebrate it in Ireland.

Me: (Also in jest) Are you sure they celebrate it in Ireland?

Kay: Yeah, it’s an Irish holiday. (Not catching my sarcasm.)

Me: But Germany doesn’t make German Chocolate Cakes. How do you know Ireland really celebrates St. Paddy’s Day?

Kay: (Giving me the shut-up look.) How can our chocolate cakes not be German?

Me: (Rolling my eyes because we’ve had this conversation before.)

Kay: Really though, if you want a German Chocolate Cake, we can probably order the frosting online or something.

Me: I was joking, and I don’t even like German Chocolate Cakes.

It’s true though. German Chocolate Cakes are named after the last name of the guy who invented them, Sam German, but he wasn’t actually German.

After dinner, Sophie and I started our art projects, coloring with crayons.



Then we rubbed wax on top.


Then painted them with black paint mixed with dish soap.


Sophie didn’t know we were painting them with black on top and I think she was disappointed to have to cover such a gorgeous piece of art. Luckily I had snapped a photo beforehand. (Hers is the cool one with the flower. I knew the plan so went for a rainbow approach.) 


Tomorrow we will scrape into the black paint to create colorful pictures underneath. Hopefully, any way. I haven’t tried this before at home and the last time I did it was in second grade, but with India ink.

So, although I wasn’t wearing green today and my mother wasn’t here to give me an annoying pinch… because she’s how old and still finds this amusing? We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day growing green thumbs and coloring with green crayons. Because along with not celebrating Valentine’s Day or having German Chocolate Cakes, apparently the Germans don’t celebrate St. Paddy’s Day either.

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