Lessons from a House Plant

I LOVE plants. I grew up pretty much always having a backyard, and with that different kinds of gardens. My mum was always tending to vegetable patches, growing flowers, sprouting herbs and sharing home grown tomatoes. It very much came as a surprise to me, when I seemed to show ZERO ability to take care of plants.

I mean really zero. I remember when I was 7 trying to get my gardening badge in Brownies, and completely forgetting about my little indoor patch until my mum had to literally throw it out because everything had gone so terribly.

When I moved into my most recent apartment I knew that I was desperately going to need some green space, and the only way to do it was get my (green) thumb dirty and ask for help.

The first plants brought in to my life was an Orchid and a money tree. The orchid had already bloomed so I thought Yes! Fantastic, I just have to maintain this. The money tree seemed simple enough, so no real problems there.

A few weeks later, I adopted a peace lily and a second orchid, growing our little plant family to four.

We chugged along quite nicely for a couple of weeks- me, filling the plant pots up with water, letting the roots soak them up, and then emptying what was left over.

And then the leaves started to fall.

I had NO idea that orchids were flowers that bloomed and then fell in their own cycles, and was immediately filled with dread when slowly but surely the petals started to fall.

I thought the falling flowers meant that the plant was now dead. Although it would have made sense to dispose of it, something made me keep on to them. I thought maybe I could will them back to life?!

After a few weeks of abandoning my two blessed orchids in a corner, I realized there’s a Sheridan Nurseries very close to me, and that if I swallowed my pride they would probably be able to help me.

I packed up my orchids and peace lily for a field trip, and made my way over to the nursery.

Given that I felt like I had completely failed and was about to get scolded for plant abuse, you can imagine my surprise to hear they were actually totally okay! That the falling petals were normal AND despite the recent neglect had really healthy roots! I was given a quick and thorough lesson on how to take care of Orchids properly (turns out they are actually one of the trickiest plants to take care of), and after a repotting and orchid feed purchase was on my way back home.

Two months later the first of now FIVE flowers has blossomed on Orchid one, and Orchid two is close behind it. Every day since our visit to Sheridan Nurseries I have spoken to my plants, sang to them, told them they’re beautiful and strong. To see them blossoming now literally fills me with such happiness and pride.

Because it doesn’t even really feel like it’s about the plants. I feel like they represent exactly how life ebs and flows. We aren’t designed to be in blossom all the time, because we will eventually stop appreciating it for the beauty it is. Plus, each time we shed a layer, we grow again, potentially even more vibrant than before.

I swear, these plants are built with such grace and resiliency, it makes my heart smile. Now if you are not a plant person, this all might feel a little extra dramatic. And maybe it is. BUT it is honestly the pride I feel knowing that even though I wasn’t sure what I was doing for a while there, I found the people I needed, and now every day I get to look at something living and beautiful that brings me joy.

Thank you Orchids for teaching me about patience, grace, eating right, and blooming big.

D xo

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