Once you amass a certain number of plants, you also start to lose a certain number . . .
It’s a truth about gardening that we all must learn: some plants are not meant to be. We can declare ourselves black thumbs for life and never buy another plant, or we can learn from our experience and try another plant, another spot in the house or another technique.
Houseplants can be particularly tricky – I’ve killed basically any humidity-loving plant – my dry home just doesn’t cut it. Even a humidifier running day and night couldn’t keep my ferns alive. But you know what is doing well? My succulents, a neon Pothos that is a fabulous shade of green, a lovely Dracaena that replaced my failure-to-thrive Boston fern and, strangely enough, the ficus I picked up at an estate sale that has been sitting in the garage for the last 3 months. You just never know.
Gardening is like life in slow motion.
It’s a lot of learning, a lot of letting go, but also a lot of really beautiful moments. In our fast-paced world where instant gratification reigns supreme, I think there’s something appealing about tending to slower-paced plants. There’s a rhythm to them, seasons of growth and dormancy. Our job is to simply watch over them, give them light and water. It’s pretty uncomplicated and unhurried. I like having these little reminders to stop and observe for a moment, rather than running off to the next mess that needs to be picked up, or the next item on the to-do list.
Sure, it’s sad when a plant I’ve invested in doesn’t work out. A fair number of my plant charges have ended up in the trash, sometimes after a week or two of watching their inevitable demise, hanging on to that thread of hope that they’ll turn around (it was nice while it lasted wire plant, creeping thyme, baby pilea, and every other adorable, tiny-leaved plant I’ve tried). Life goes on, as it must, and it’s not long before I’m lingering in the plant aisle of Home Depot, or making a trip out to Lake Street Garden Center, “just to look.”