Garden changes
Creating Change, Herbs & Herbal Medicine

I’m Thirsty? – Week 1 Gardening Lessons Learned & March Newsletter Special

The indoor garden (main photo) looks like it's getting better. I (think?) I saved 2 of the snake plants and re-potted them too. My bromeliad was looking sad in its old pot, so it got moved again to a pot with fresh succulent soil. Same with my jade plants and other succulents. I've made the mistake of over watering too much in the past, but now it seems like I am under watering them. I keep seeing dried out baby leaves on some of the stems and healthy leaves on other branches. On the good side, my other plants seem to be okay with minimal issues. I'm keeping an eye on them, but so far so good.

But I'm worried about the coffee plant (left) because it's leaves are turning yellow, and its top inch of soil is continually dry. I can't tell if it's yellow from over watering or yellow from being thirsty, etc.

Seriously, though, watering my plants is the most difficult part of gardening and upkeep. Proper soil and food is a challenge since I'm never sure if they need extra food or when to change their soil, but that can be answered with a quick call to the garden center or an internet search. Pests require more details and info, but not as hard since I am a kinesthetic learner - learn best by doing.

Plants growing out of season? Well that is something I am getting used to with them. They are assertive and independent plants, my friends. Now it's up to me to pay attention and learn their language.

My new plants got moved to the balcony mid-week after I noticed their soil drying out fast and their leaves drooping. The garden center helped with that. But I still worry about over watering them. They seem to like the new spot, though, and have grown a bit too.

My container garden
About, Creating Change

Preparing for Failure: Adventures of a beginning gardener

Gardening is a memory/flashback trigger because many of the women in my family were/are gardeners and our relationships are complicated. Then there were the in-class experiments during elementary, middle and secondary school that sometimes worked, often failed and made me an easy target for bullying because gardening and plants were boring and un-cool compared to anatomy and physiology. Or all the people constantly telling me I had a black thumb and was responsible for killing so many plants/hurting animals and people. Or that I was too slow and should just stay away because I was getting in the way of their work. Lots of negative messages around gardening and working with nature, something I've always enjoyed. I was the girl with the rock collection who loved the science museum and walking barefoot on the lawn. The girl who watched bugs and let them crawl on her (until the trainers used that as punishment and torture so now I feel anxiety any time they get too close) while investigating the trees and plants in her neighborhood.

These days, I can acknowledge that people from my past most often shamed and ridiculed me about my activities when it was something I showed talent for or was good at in some way.

And that is part of why I want to start gardening. I love plants and enjoy being around them. They create community and offer companionship in their own unique ways. It's a symbiotic or mutually beneficial relationship between the plants and me (or myself?) where we take care of each other in a shared home environment. The plants bring color, life, clean air, sometimes food, and beauty into our home. In return, I provide shelter, water, warmth or cool air, nutrition, music, and some pest management.