Growing up happy.

Growing up happy.

By Cindy Stevenson

Growing up happy.

My mom has always had a green thumb. So did my grandma. Actually, come to think of it, my dad and all my grandparents did as well. Basically, I grew up surrounded by indoor and outdoor plants. My maternal grandma never passed by a plant that she didn’t pause at, reach underneath, and pinch a piece of it off. I remember watching her gently wrap the newly plucked leaf in a napkin, and then carefully tuck it away in her purse. She started a countless number of plants from her little “pinches”. Then there’s my mom. Every plant she touches seems to perk up and shine a bit greener. We’ve even nicknamed mom’s house the “Plant ICU”. It’s where, with love and patience, she revives our sickly plants and then sends them back to us healthy and strong.

Whenever I was a kid, in the 70’s and 80’s, plants seemed to abundantly fill every house and business. I remember seeing strings of pothos trellising down living room walls, and wrapped around every window. Homemade macrame hangers dawned every corner, and vines spilled and cascaded without constrain. Our window sills were always full of “starts” Mom was propagating, or of African violets soaking up the sun.

Outside, plants were just as plentiful. Our patio had giant ferns, bleeding hearts, and bougainvillea baskets hanging all around. My dad’s handmade rocking chairs accented the many potted plants that called our patio home. The outside edges were adorned in the blooming ornamental grass that had been “pinched” from my paternal grandmother’s yard. The lawn that butted up to the patio was pristine. It rivaled the White House South Lawn in it's perfection.

We also had a giant culinary garden. You name it, we grew it. We would can, freeze, and even bury vegetables for the winter. Each summer day, my sisters and I were left a list of chores to do in the garden. I would get up early and go out before the sun was hot and do the easiest jobs, like picking green beans. My teenage sisters slept until noon, and then had to go out into the heat of the day, to cut itchy okra. Whenever I think back to that garden; which was my dad’s pride and joy; I relish all the moments that that organic produce created….produce we took for granted.

As far back as my memory goes, plants in one form or another have always been a part of my life. It just seems natural they would be a key part of my business today. I love being surrounded by them and sharing them with my community. The mood and health benefits are abundant, but we will have to wait until the next post to go into all that. Until then, I will be neck deep getting all of the plants cleaned, priced, and ready for our IG sale. It's going to be a blast!

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