We All Have Green Thumbs

Every person here on the planet has a green thumb. If you can think, you can learn about plants and how they grow. The most healing part about growing plants is the way that they push you to admit your mistakes if you want to get better. They push you to be more critical of the situation and look at the big picture. Below are a few important perspectives on gardening and how to make your experience work for you.

  1. Plants are meant to grow without your help. Someone took that plant from its natural habitat and placed it somewhere it doesn't naturally survive (in your house or garden), so now it relies on you to give it and environment it can thrive in. And you simply aren't providing the proper environmental conditions. You have put them in this situation and now you have to show up for them. It's easy to say you are bad with plants, what's not easy is admitting you don't understand them and doing the work to gain that understanding. Are you willing to put in the work to garden

  2. Troubleshooting plant issues IS difficult because you have to have a full understanding of all the factors effecting the plant. So a general knowledge of plant biology pertaining to gardening is extremely helpful in caring for any plant. Get a book that goes in depth on all of the factors involved in gardening. There are a lot of good books for this, I will create a book list for this exact topic very soon in the future. I love using books as a guide because forums or websites on the internet are not always reliable and books are far more thought out and organized.

  3. Plants show what they like and don't like by their change in health. They don't get mad at you or disagree with you, they just get sick and die. There is no need to over-analyze the plant's health, but do be aware of changes in the plant's health and environmental factors that may have changed around the plant. Plants know that life is a cycle and they are willing to risk their life to live out their purpose, which is usually making seeds. They aren't afraid of death like we are. So you should pay close attention to your plants and make sure to note changes in health early on. It will help you discover what the issue is sooner and get to a solution sooner.

  4. Take that knowledge and put it into action in your situation. Apply it and try the methods you have learned with your plants, see if it works for you! If not, try a different method until you find one that works with everything else you are doing. Make sure to give each method an equal chance and be careful to not assume that a new method of growing killed your plants, it is very possible you didn't execute it properly! There is no actual right way to garden and never let anyone try to tell you otherwise. Everything in the garden can be done in a different way. For example, there is endless amounts of way to start seeds. In containers, in paper towel, soaking in a cup with water, directly into the soil, into just coco fiber, in rockwool cubes, in hydroponic systems, and more.

  5. Remember that any gardening advice you get from someone is based on their experience. Advice from anyone is always filtered by their experiences. Regardless, I always make sure to listen to people with different methods than me because it always teaches me something new. I have never seen a gardener that does the exact same things as another gardener for everything. Everyone had their own unique way of doing things in the garden.

  6. Plants don't always look perfect even in the perfect conditions. In fact I believe that plants can teach us to move on from perfectionism through their perfectly imperfect existence. Plants can teach us a lot about ourselves; they can show us how to get real and face our past mistakes. Are you making decisions for the best of the plant or for your ego? Are you willing to admit your mistakes in order to find new solutions?

Hopefully these points can help you open your mind to new possibilities and keep you from tying yourself down to one way of doing something. Find the best methods that work for you by testing them out and then settle on the best method and stick to it. Growing plants is an ever changing experience that is always met with new challenges and lessons around every corner. Be prepared and have fun :)

Happy Growing,

Gabby Waterman

Centaurea montana growing in my perennial garden!

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