I used to joke about how I had a black thumb. I couldn’t even keep fake plants alive. It was always a running joke in our house. Succulents died the second I looked at them so there was no way I could keep anything leafy and green alive. For years, we had a plantless house and we were just fine with that.
Then we miscarried. (Blog on that coming soon as soon as I’m brave enough to hit the publish button.)
My angel of a friend, Sarah, left some daffodils on my doorstep. I wasn’t expecting them. But when I passed by the door, I saw them sitting there. They were bright yellow and orange, smiling up at me. I loved them immediately. I got it into my head that I was going to keep these alive because that was life I could control. I looked up how to care for daffodils. I loved tending to them and they always seemed so happy to see me.
Negative pregnancy test.
I decided I wanted plants. Lots of plants. All under my control, all things I could keep alive. My mother-in-law and I researched house plants and how to care for each of them. Then we went shopping. I loved them all so much. They made me so, so happy. I got all the pots, the right dirt, set timers on my phone for when to water them and when to fertilize them. It eventually got to the point where I didn’t need the phone reminder anymore.
Two of my very first plants. Ferdinand and Muse. I still have them both and they’re huge now! Ferdinand is so big you can’t even see the planter anymore. And Muse’s vines reach the floor from the kitchen counter.
More negative tests.
I wanted… no, needed… more plants. More things to care for that I had complete control over. I never seemed to have enough. Each month we had a negative test, that day I’d go to a nursery or Home Depot or Lowe’s and get more plants. I’d take my time walking through the plant isles. I’d running my fingers across their leaves, waiting for one to call out to me. Sometimes I’d go with Max and let him pick one. Sometimes I just wanted to go alone. This was an errand where I couldn’t be rushed. I needed to take my time and let the minutes, sometimes hours, in the company of plants work their magic.
More negative tests.
Go buy more plants. But they made me feel so much better. My coping mechanism. Then I started going to buy more multiple times a week. Ordering more online. It got to a point where Mitch had to have a serious conversation with me. And if I’m being honest with myself, I needed that conversation to happen. I decided I had enough to care for (over 100 now) and that I didn’t need anymore. (It also helped that winter was coming and none of the stores carried anything anymore.)
After yet another negative test.
Our house has slowly evolved into a plant friendly home, and the home of someone who clearly has a mild plant obsession. Max helps me water them and I love seeing them every day. If I get in a bummy mood, I’ll play with their leaves and study the patterns on each. I really can’t explain it but they just make me feel better and comforted.
I’m sure there’s some deep psychological reason why I went from having a black thumb to a green hand after a miscarriage. The desire to keep buying plants has subsided for now (I’m sure it’ll return in the warmer season), but it’s turned into something a little more. Buying clothes with plant prints, home decor, painting walls in our house and even into my branding.
But now, we’re looking forward to completing the newest project, the greenhouse. I’m seriously counting down the seconds until May when the stores start carrying plants again and the weather is right. I’ve already told Mitch that I’ll just need that day. I plan to line the walls of the greenhouse with plants. Might need to rent a trailer… haha, just kidding. But I might.