How Plants Changed My Life

Before 2020 (I have a feeling a lot of stories will forever begin with that, anyway) I killed a lot of plants. Every plant that came into my house unfortunately decided it was better off not here. Like for real, all of them. Cactus, Succulents, Flowers, Orchids, other green plants that I don’t know the name of. My mom would buy me planters for outside the front of the house, and even those, dead. It became a running joke with everyone. I killed plants. I didn’t mean to, I always loved plants, but they did not love me back. Maybe I loved them too much, tried too hard, over watered them? Who knows. It will forever be one of life’s great mysteries. I started to hate garden stores. I stopped buying plants. Then 2020 happened, Covid and lockdowns happened. I know there will be some people in my life that will like to say that they started me on plants. They didn’t. Sadly that was TikTok. Like most people I got so bored during lockdown that I downloaded that app. I was instantly drawn to the people showing off their plants. There was something peaceful about it. I started slowly, getting “easy” plants, the “hard to kill plants”. I was still scared I would kill them, so when people would bring it up, I would brush it off, or make jokes about it. As lockdowns continued, as the anxiety and depression raged, I slowly started getting more and more plants. Garden centres became my happy place. Winter of 2021 / Spring of 2022 I really gave in to my plants.

Winter of 2021 I spotted a beautiful little Monstera at the grocery store and decided to buy it. I did not think about the walk home and -20 degree snow storm outside. The poor plant had almost fully given up by the time I made it home. This was the first plant I had to try to really take care of, bring back from the brink. And I did. It’s alive and thriving and pushing out two new leafs right now. Just look at those beauties! I’m obsessed!

I noticed as my plant collection grew, I was changing. I got up early in the morning (and I am not a morning person in the slightest) so I could catch them in the early morning sun. I would sit and watch as the sun moved and danced along the window, sipping on my coffee. I would spend my quiet mornings while the rest of the house slept checking my plants, always so excited when there was new growth. Learning how each plant needed different things, different soils, different lights, some thrived on bottom watering, others didn’t. It wasn’t all green and happy, some plants still died. But I didn’t give up. I kept trying. Kept adjusting, learning, trying new things.
Summer of 2022 I took what I learned and attempted to garden outside, got some outdoor plants and created my own little oasis. It was so blissful. Waking up early in the morning to go outside and walk around in the sunshine checking on my plants and watering when needed. Or evening drinks outside with my palm tree and birds of paradise tree. Picking fruit and veggies from plants I had grown from seed. Picking enough greens to feed our pet rabbits. I found so calming. Who would have thought?!

These little routines changed me, calmed me, and taught me. It is ridiculous I know, but people and plants are so very much the same, each one is unique and different, with different needs and thrives in different environments. I wasn’t thriving or growing in the environment I was in, and I had to change it. The patience I showed my plants, I started to apply to myself. They became part of my self care routine. When I am stressed and anxious, I sit by my plants in a cozy spot. I watch the sun dance on their leafs. I love having these little connections to nature in the house and all around me. Especially during this dark, cold, and gloomy winter. These plants calm my soul, they reach deep inside to my inner most dark anxiety and fear filled places and calm me.

Having my plants has changed me and calmed me. Ridiculous or not, it’s true. I am now a Plant Lady, I talk to my plants, I love visiting different garden centres, I love being surrounded by nature, big and small. And honestly, if it is something that will help with my anxiety, I am all for it! I will take all the plants I can get as long as they are helping!

Any other plant people out there feel the same? Or am I own on this adventure?

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