Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.”Henry David Thoreau
Plants make me happy. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of raising something from seed, watching it grow, and then sharing it with a fellow plant enthusiast. When I was in grammar school at the end of every school year, we got to take home the classroom animals and the plants that hung out in the big picture windows. Even though I wanted the guinea pigs, hamsters, and the occasional turtle, I knew enough not to ask. My mom would never allow it, so instead, I brought home the begonias, spider plants, and various cacti.
I think that’s where my love for plants began. As I made my moves around the country, lived in big houses, small apartments, rentals, and shared living spaces with roommates, I adjusted my plant needs to the environment. In a small beach house on Long Island, I had to deal with the salt air and water. In Manhattan, I had minimal light in a studio, so plants that thrived under the canopies of the rain forest did best.
In Dallas, I had never encountered soil so thick and red and lost many vegetables attempting to eat healthily.
I now live in the sub-tropics, where it’s virtually impossible not to have a green thumb. The climate pretty much takes care of everything for you. I’m currently in a rental property, so this is my first foray into container gardening and I love it. Although my landlord had given me permission to work in the garden, I accepted the container gardening challenge and I’m happy with the results.
One of the biggest drawbacks to container gardening is when there’s an imminent hurricane, it’s a huge struggle to get all the containers either inside, or safely pressed against a wall or under a hedge. This year I found a succulent wedged between my neighbor’s wall and my bushes- from last year’s hurricane hiding spot! Because cacti are so resilient, he was hanging in there, a year later. I cleaned him up, moved him to his proper spot, and he is now once again beginning to thrive.
I’ve reclaimed plants from the curb, trash, clipped neighbor’s trees, and shrubs, traded for specimens I admired but didn’t have, cruised the “Dead Rack” at Lowes and yes, even bought some plants. I constantly troll Facebook MarketPlace for old pots and garden art. I scored a seahorse table base for $70, then lucked into someone throwing out the perfect size glass top table! My summer potted plants hang out on the pretty table in my front porch. Love, love love it!
I’ve even gone as far as scrounging around construction sights for discarded bricks, pavers, and cinder blocks. These items are cheap (free) and make for great height and balance stabilizers in any garden.
Wind chimes and windsocks are also a nice accent for a garden.
My son once casually mentioned our house had so many wind chimes that it sounded like the soundtrack to a horror movie. Bring on the chain saws Chuckie! I love the sounds they make!
I’ve recently also fallen in love with birdbaths. I found one for about $100 at Marshalls Home Goods and one at an antique shop in Jacksonville, Florida. Birds love them and I love watching them drink and bathe in the water I try to remember to periodically change.
Gardening is a cheap form of therapy. It’s ever-changing and so rewarding. Even the epic fails are alright because you hopefully learn from them. So, get your hands dirty, spend some time outdoors with lots of sunblock and join me on my Plant Rescue 911 Journey!