Any gardeners out there? Any black thumbs? I used to have quite the super power of picking up a plant and it just coil up and die. It wasn’t until after I had my first child that it so wonderfully changed me. The incessant need to control was ripped out of my hands so quickly with unpredictable baby wants/needs/schedule.
Looking back, having a child birthed an overnight learning of putting myself second. Which I had never realized how the “need for order” and selfishness really went so hand-in-hand. I had to learn to take a backseat and relax a bit more about what’s going to happen as well as how it is going to happen. It was truly a breath of fresh air realizing I was not in control. I did not realize what a relief it was to take on the extra weight of the responsibility I self-afflicted. Thus, I attest my now “green thumb” to this self bettering endeavor.
Tips for Beginners
Let’s get to it, if I were giving tips to any #plantlady wannabes, I would suggest you to release your need for control. Plants are very much like kids so before you run out and buy 10, let me so gently remind you, kids (plants) are simply complicated. Simple in the fact they basically just want a couple things: to be fed and attention. Complicated in the facts that they need to be fed the right amount and the attention varies to needy to your touch makes them cringe. See, so easy. Each plant has its own set of basic needs and recommendations so start with a plant that is hardy, robust if you’re a beginner. The beauty in being a plant lady is I have been surprised at the realizations I have had on a spiritual level.
At the height of my jungalow styled home, I have had 20+ house plants inside and growing 30+ different herbs, fruits and vegetables in the garden plus bushes around the exterior of the home. I am usually always propagating something… but in most cases, I start with a seed. Now, not all seeds grow. Some seeds take different amount of time, sunlight and watering schedules in order to flourish. And usually the days leading up to me thinking, is this a goner?… It breaks through the soil. But hey, is not that when we want to give up in life’s circumstances, when we’ve been buried for what feels like too long and then magically, a breakthrough. Some seeds you could completely neglect and almost all will die, but I have always had at least one that was a fighter and the strongest in a bad growing environment. The overcomers of this world. I love a good under-dog story! Those are the plants I am most proud of.
One of the basic reasons I used to have a black thumb is I would be on one end of the spectrum to the other. I would either never water a plant or drown it. No in between. But this also stemmed from not being able to be still, watch and wait. Consistency is key. Patience is necessary. You have to truly engage in what plants need and be able to notice small changes daily. When you have day after day of cram packed schedule, you miss the point.
As I re-read and try to process how this will be received, let me mention, I am not a master of zen by any means. However, I do work really hard to be present or I will miss when a plant is starting to turn, but more importantly, I miss when people/areas of my life are being neglected too. As many distractions there are in this world, I know personally, I have to take some time each day to listen to the silence or at least the hum of the washer/dryer and focus on my breathing. It sounds super odd. It used to take me a handful of minutes to quiet my brain to even try it, but for the 10 seconds I was able to do it, it hooked me. Now, I am able to be still and quiet my thoughts for like a whole 4 minutes and 40 seconds. 20 minutes is my goal in case you were wondering so, by 2064 I should have that accomplished. It is a growing process.
After prepping soil, laying seeds, watering, waiting, seeing growth, continuing to water and repeating several times you then get blooms.
Blooming is probably the shortest and best season. Life’s sunny seasons never seem long enough either.
Beaming with proudness and staring in awe of the plant is thriving because of you, its a beautiful opportunity for reflection. What has grown you? What grows you now? What drowns you? What feeds you? What weeds need pulled in your own life?
These are just a collection of questions gardening has helped me answer. How interesting it is to me that my most proud moments in life are wrapped with consistent hard work, wanting to give up at times and a perfectly timed breakthrough- just like being a plant lady. I don’t know if the plants are grateful for my TLC, but I know I need them. I need them to teach me, grow me and help me to keep bettering myself.
Would love to know what plants have taught you or your thoughts on the insights, leave a comment below!