Friday, January 8, 2010

They Are All Mine

Here is a warning to all my clients, past, present, and future: Let me be clear. Your plants are my plants.

I pick them out, plant them where they will be happy, water them, feed the very soil which supports them, and wish them well.

I inspect them all regularly, individually, for signs of distress, and I fix what I see wrong.

I sweat it when thug plants try to take over the neighborhood, but I also know that not all babies grow up to be thugs, and so some seedlings, I nurture.
Others I yank out and throw in a compost pile.

Do you know this?

I am a slave (a very willing slave) to the needs of your plants, constantly on my knees, examining leaves, spreading mulch under the limbs, eliminating competitors.

I am a doctor who amputates broken limbs, or splints them so they heal and grow strong again.

Occasionally I dig up a plant and move it, to better compliment the scene, to give it more room to grow, or to rescue it from a stressful situation.

If your plants are in containers, I am the one who watches the temperature, doing whatever it takes to protect them from extremes of heat and cold, and wind, and rain.

I keep my pruning shears sharp and handy, tidying up as I go, snipping out a crossing branch, an errant shoot, or a fading flower.

I treat plants like this because I want them happy, just like I want my clients happy, and I want them to look their best, so my clients will notice. We may think of plants as possessions, you and I, but they are really our neighbors, as alive and co-dependent as we are.

I want every one of you to have the experience of seeing a plant as an individual, which it is. I want you to get to appreciate it, to get to know its particular scent, its form in the landscape, its ability to feed its friends, and fend off its enemies.

I want you to really see your plants, because that is what makes them your plants, too.

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