Weeding out the pretenders not easy

Do you know how difficult it is to determine if a plant

growth is a weed or a flower after two weeks?

If you do not know, either you are a botantist or you've

never tried to plant seeds and watch them grow. I decided

about three weeks ago to plant three different types

of flowers, mainly because I never had before. I told

a friend I'm trying to teach myself patience. Watching

flowers grow takes patience to a completely different

level.

Sure, I have plenty of sprouts. But honestly, I have

no idea if any of them are flowers. Most look like weeds.

One looks just like Joan Rivers. I even repotted some

of the tallest foilage, attempting to grow the world's

largest weed perhaps.

As always, I've turned to the Internet to determine

what the heck I'm doing. It turns out there are photos

of flower types at many different stages on the Web.

The first type of flower I planted is a sunflower. I

envision, in a few years, having a field full of sunflowers

in which I can hide and jump out to startle people as

they walk by. Of course, I need to find a field to plant

and grow sunflowers, but still, I think it will be cool.

But before I do any of this, I'd like to at least grow

one. Right now, it's possible I have some sunflower

growth, considering sunflowers probably are considered

a type of weed. I think what I have so far looks like

this

picture, only not nearly as tall. You will notice

that picture is missing a crucial piece — the plant

bulb. I know I'm not going to get a bulb the day after

I plant (which goes back to that patience thing). I

just don't know if I'll be patient enough to wait until

it looks more like

this.

According to this

Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet, sunflowers

are succeptible to weeds. So when I figure out what

is a weed and what isn't, I should probably clean up

my garden. Consider also that the length of my garden

is about the length of regular loaf of French bread,

it shouldn't take me too long to get it together.

The other two types of flowers I'm attempting to grow

are verbena and forget-me-nots. Again, I know what they

are supposed to look like, and by the pictures on the

package, I also know what the seedlings should look

like. But then I look into my French bread container

and wonder if any of the growing plants look anything

like the seedings I have created. I have seen some plants

that look similar to this

image, but I can't tell for certain. Full-grown

verbena looks nice, but seedlings aren't really that

pretty. At least none look like Joan Rivers.

So I'm pretty much stuck with two options: Either I

will try to figure out what I'm doing, or I will give

up and go back indoors. A third option would be to see

if I can grow barbecue-flavored sunflowers, but I understand

that's difficult. I found some other fertile Web sites

that could eventually help: National

Gardening and Midwest

Gardener. Both sites seem to have a lot of information

about — amazingly enough — gardening! Neither

site, though, made mention of flowers that look like

celebrities. Maybe I'll just have to start my own.

Another way to start a garden, or even add to it, is

just to buy bulbs. That way, you should be able to tell

the difference between a real plant and a plastic tree

that came with your model railroad set. Browse the list

of potential sellers of bulbs at bulb.com.

Order some you've never heard of and create your own

garden. If it works out, take pictures and send them

to me so I can pretend to have a garden. At this rate

and with zero patience, the only chance I have at creating

a garden is visiting the salad bar at Ponderosa.

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