Plants 365, weeks 21 and 22

You’ll see what’s up below… Weeks 21 + 22. Missed some of Plants 365 and want to catch up? I recommend starting from the beginning with week 1.

 

Hi! I’m Jenn – botanist, CEO, potty mouth.

This is my “plant diary”, where every day for the entire year I will log my experience with plants. I’m not sure what that’s actually going to look like, but it doesn’t really matter – I just want to talk plants.

But first, here’s a little context about me: I fucking love Champagne. I don’t really like reading fiction but can digest it in the podcast form. I listen, read and observe a lot. I happily overeat carbs. I call myself a botanist because I have been a professional (as in, I pay my bills by) horticulturist for the past 15 years. The past 4+ years I have been researching plants with indigenous Mayan and Garifuna cultures in Belize – mostly focusing on organically farmed Cacao theobroma and jungle-grown Yam root. This means lots of time spent working on family farms, lots of jungle hikes, lots of eating weird things and even a bot fly in the arm (I dare you to google bot fly). Vanilla planifolia and Crocus sativus are my jam right now. My hands-on background is florals, farming, herbalism, horticulture and jungle growth. I’ve dabbled in greenhouse growing (3 years in community college, greenhouse management degree), grafting and stone work. I’d like to practice bonsai more. I’m terrible at grammar. I love holistic approaches, but loathe buzzwords and “internet experts”. I could spend less money on crystals. I should do more yoga. I am meditating more. I get angry at Terry Gross, but then fall back in love each week. Reality TV shows are a must. Woodford on the rocks with a twist and a cherry. Hip hop keeps me human. Kale is king.

Why write this? Because I want to remember and reflect on the time I spend with plants.

Ok. Here we go.

 

Thursday, May 21st – Wednesday, June 5th 2015, HMB and beyond…

 

Unfortunately I am breaking my rule of writing every day (or even every week) for this Plants 365 project. I’m trying to not beat myself up over it… but do wish I had stuck to every day. I can’t go back much, as there has been so much hurting over the past couple weeks… so I’m writing in one clump. Starting in week 23, I’ll pick it up again.

Mostly, the part two weeks have been hard and upsetting. Upon coming home from Belize I was relieved to be home and happy to see my garden and dogs – but I felt stressed. An overarching pull at my heart and stomach. Discontented. Anxious. Heavy.

Work, relationships, family, employees, expectations, demands, money, etc. Not all bad exactly, just a lot of it. Incessant needs and demands needing to be met.

I came home trying to hold onto the feelings of more simplicity and calm. For months I had been planning the Apothecary’s Tea tasting which was set for Friday. My feelings of excitement and pride for setting up such a cool event were hugely diminished by my feelings of, “What if I fuck this up”.

Friday came and went and the event was beyond my expectations, and beyond the expectations of everyone who attended. I had so many enthusiastic and gracious people thank me for “doing what you’re doing”. What the fuck am I doing, I think sometimes. Half of my brain wants to be loud and excited about my work, while the other half wants it to be 1875 England where I just rake leaves and dig perennials beds all day for some big manor house. Spending my days in a damp potting shed sounds really good sometimes.

The chocolate cosmos, love-in-a-mist, lavender, salvias and forget-me-nots are all in bloom at the favorite job.

My borage look like they have about 4 more days until they need to get pulled up and fed to the chickens.

The tropical honeysuckle vine looks tired from all the blooming. I get it.

Late Sunday night/early Monday morning, my big dog Sprout died suddenly, with no warning. Blood clot, gone within 40 minutes. I held her while she panted her last breaths. I’m heartbroken and in shock and don’t find comfort in writing about it at all. Meanwhile, little Lucky has been sick for sometime… And looks like he is getting worse from the shock of Sprout.

Not a fun couple of weeks. Trying to stay positive and hopeful and reside in the good things. Trying to take care of all that needs taking care of.

Plants 365

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