The word hoarder comes with negative connotations, that’s for sure. So what shall we call me? A plant lover? A jungle lover? I’m not sure. But what I will say is this; my plant obsession didn’t start out as an obsession, nor did I expect it. I feel as though the plant hoarder in me is a reflection of the person I am on an everyday. I love taking care of things and people, I love watching things and people grow. I am severely passionate about the things most important in my life, and my friends have taken to calling me a generous lover. This is all said not to toot my own horn, because I equally believe that it can become a downfall in the wrong situations, dealing with the wrong things. It is only said to give you an example of who I am; a passionate, nurturing, chatter box.
But plants man, they’re a bit like children in my eyes. Yes, they can disappoint. Yes, some days they’re moody and irritable and a total biotch. They’re also rather wonderful, really. If you whisper to them and water them, they’ll grow. If you take good care and pay close attention, most promise not to whimper or wilt. And even though there is no way in hell I’ll ever have 20 or so children running through our old Brooklyn home, they’ve become like babies to me. They’re an extension of my love and my affinity with cultivating lovely things
It was up on the 3rd floor railroad apartment where my fascination started to grow. I watched as my grandmother, even when her innocent limp started to manifest into something greater and more of a challenge, lean over and out of the window, and water her window box full of Gardenias and African Violets. Every spring and summer, as we pulled up to her building, there she was. Like she somehow knew, that at that very moment we would pull up. And at that moment, looking up at her, I would quietly think she was the queen of New York City.
My dear mother did nothing to stifle my love for plants either. One time, we moved out of the city and she bought a home on the top of a hill, with the prettiest yard and garden. She spent her weekends out in the sun, digging, laying, watering, growing, and showing an incredible amount of TLC to our yard. I remember that home so well. That yard, and the pride my mother wore on her face… I remember that even more. She, a young mother of five, purchased a house with the prettiest yard and garden her youngest daughter could remember.
I have to admit, taking care of my plants is work. They take patience and they take time. They outnumber me in every-single-way, and they make me happy, in every-single-way, not as much as my children or my sweet husband, but they do. Daily, they teach me things, like my children teach me. In the moments in which I water them, those are quiet moments. My mind, the one that spins with ideas and work, and motherhood stuff on a daily, it shuts down and lets in that peace that plants provide with open arms. It’s my natural habitat.