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Thumbs

May 17, 2011

I don’t know who came up with this green thumb/brown thumb nonsense. The only time I’ve got green thumbs is when I’ve had green ink in my fountain pen. This whole working-with-plants thing only gives me brown thumbs.

And this, I would like to point out, is my thumb after  I washed my hands. I don’t think my hands will get all the way clean until it’s warm enough to go swimming and they get soaked in a lake for a couple of hours.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Ginny Burton permalink
    May 18, 2011 23:29

    My fingers look like that, too, and I don’t have the excuse of working in a garden center. Since I’m an optician and my hands are up by people’s faces, I’ve found that I can get rid of most of the stains by sanding my fingers with an emery board so I don’t freak my customers out!

    Your elder flower post brought back some happy memories for my landlord, who is Viennese. He told me about eating them in pancakes as you did.

    You are the perfect person to ask this question about linden trees. On my block, all the trees are “little leaf” lindens except for an enormous old, old one and the one in front of my store which is five or six years old. I was told that these are “European” lindens. Well, they sucker like nobody’s business! I can send you a picture, but my treebox is full of linden suckers. Zillions of them. I go out with my pruners every month and trim out at least a hundred. They’re back a few weeks later. It’s making me crazy! Do all the lindens you see have this same obnoxious habit? I’m inclined to just forget about pruning them out and just whack them off about six inches high and consider them ground cover. They are overwhelming the liriope, which gives you an idea of how dominating they are.

    • May 19, 2011 07:22

      I thought about sanding them, but it’s not really worth the bother – it’s not like anyone but my customers gets to see my fingers (I just don’t have the time to meet any people), and at work, my hands are dirty anyway.
      I guess I could wear gloves to work, but I just don’t like them.

      Linden trees… as far as I can remember (never looked too closely at them), they usually have a ring of suckers around the base of the trunk, but nothing as bad as you describe. The thing is, though, usually if you cut off a sucker, they’ll just branch down in the soil and there’ll be even more afterwards. Theoretically it would help to dig them up and rip them off right at their base, but practically/i>, of course, that’s hardly ever possible

  2. May 20, 2011 14:39

    You are so right! My fingers look like that throughout the gardening season. Not sure who came up with the ‘green thumb’ stuff. Maybe it was someone who didn’t garden 🙂

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