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Author Topic: Small Step - Plant Life  (Read 5094 times)
AnneNevill
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« Topic Start: April 15, 2010, 12:11:43 pm »

I've been waylaid a bit in my studies the last few weeks because I've been ill -- a cold, and perhaps anemia, which I'm getting checked out. It's hard to find the energy to study. However, after much thought, I've done one spiritual thing: I've bought a houseplant and a pot of basil. I don't know why, but in the last weeks I've been thinking over and over that I need to invite a little nature/plant life into my home. Its been years since I have had a houseplant, because I've had to move a lot both in and out of the US. But being in a very urban environment, I feel kind of cut off from the natural world. As I sit here looking at the cool green leaves of my two new plants, I feel calmer and more connected. I can already see how the leaves are stretching up towards the sunlight.

Do you keep plants? Garden? How does tending to them connect to your faith? What about people who are, like me, in a big city? Did you choose them based on any particular spiritual criteria? My criteria was, honestly, hardiness and attractiveness. As a new plant owner, I want something that will be hard to kill and easy to care for ... because it wouldn't be a very good exercise in connecting to nature and building a relationship with it if I fail to adequately care for my plant.

In the next few weeks, I'll be working on an alter. I think the plants are the first step. Now if only I can keep my cat out of them...
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« Reply #1: April 15, 2010, 04:10:48 pm »



In the next few weeks, I'll be working on an alter. I think the plants are the first step. Now if only I can keep my cat out of them...

My HPS has 3 cats, and runs, as she calls it, a plant hospice. Plant go to her home to die. LOL

I live in a largish city, but in the suburbs where I have a yard big enough to grow a few herbs and veggies, and space left over for flowers, shrubs, trees and a couple of wild corners.

 My garden has become a sort of work of intent, as over the years it has come to resemble a huge ritual circle. Fireplace in the south, small pond in the west, the house and a small inukshuk in the north, and an apple tree in the east. I guess at some point in time the altar just got too confining Smiley
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« Reply #2: April 15, 2010, 05:08:41 pm »

Do you keep plants? Garden? How does tending to them connect to your faith? What about people who are, like me, in a big city? Did you choose them based on any particular spiritual criteria? My criteria was, honestly, hardiness and attractiveness. As a new plant owner, I want something that will be hard to kill and easy to care for ... because it wouldn't be a very good exercise in connecting to nature and building a relationship with it if I fail to adequately care for my plant.

In the next few weeks, I'll be working on an alter. I think the plants are the first step. Now if only I can keep my cat out of them...

I'm planning to grow some herbs at some point and would like to expand into a full garden with many veggies, flowers, and herbs.  It is not really a spiritual only, rather mind-body-spirit sort of thing.  I think you are on the right track--start with something small.  IIRC, mint is pretty easy to take care of.  Tomatos aren't too difficult and you can make sauces with your fruits Smiley  Also, maybe a cactus?  That might not be what you are looking for, but heck, it's a start.

If you are able, some city dwellers have beautiful gardens on their roofs.  Maybe some day in the future this could work for you?

Remember nature is not only the green, but the other colors too.  You could go out and find some rocks, a feather, or even crystals to represent nature.  Go with what speaks to you.
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« Reply #3: April 15, 2010, 05:47:11 pm »

In the next few weeks, I'll be working on an alter. I think the plants are the first step. Now if only I can keep my cat out of them...

I love having plants in the house...they remind me of my mom (she loved them and we always had a house full of them). That said, I don't have the green thumb that she did. I've had really good luck with aloe plants and ivy though. Also, (and I'm sure you're already aware of this) some plants are toxic to cats...just something to keep in mind if your cat is a chewer like mine. Roll Eyes Grin
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« Reply #4: April 15, 2010, 08:31:02 pm »

Do you keep plants? Garden? How does tending to them connect to your faith? What about people who are, like me, in a big city?

I recently revamped my balcony. I do not live in the city but I have a great balcony off my townhouse that didn't get much care till now. I have had the need to reconnect as well and being very busy with family life, I decided to make use of the balcony. I went out and bought a few plants to pot, I set them up nicely around my folding chairs and put some outdoor candles out as well. Afterward, I had a sudden rush of calm come over me and I've found myself wanting to spend all my free minutes out there. I did a quick blessing to the area and it has done wonders to get me back on track. I love adding a little "life" to the house. By no means do I have a green thumb, but I got some hardy plants that I'm sure will enjoy their new home.
In past years I have had a small potted garden consisting of tomatoes, green peppers, and cucumbers. Until I move into a house with a yard, I have to keep it simple.
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« Reply #5: April 15, 2010, 11:04:07 pm »

Do you keep plants? Garden? How does tending to them connect to your faith? What about people who are, like me, in a big city? Did you choose them based on any particular spiritual criteria? My criteria was, honestly, hardiness and attractiveness. As a new plant owner, I want something that will be hard to kill and easy to care for ... because it wouldn't be a very good exercise in connecting to nature and building a relationship with it if I fail to adequately care for my plant.

I'm very lucky because I live in the boonies with woods and a pond on the property. We always have a big garden every year. I usually manage the herb part of it. Lavender, sage, and mint are probably my favorite and once established, don't die easily. Catnip has been added to the it this year so we'll see how that goes.

As far as bringing nature in, I especially love having fresh cut flowers in my room during the spring months. Sure they die after a few days but they really brighten a room while they're their. They have the added beneficial side effect of dried petals which you can save and press or just keep as is and I know of at least a few deities that quite like dried flowers as offerings.

I second whoever suggested the aloe plant. It is hands down the most useful, easy to keep, hard to kill plant indoor plant we have. I don't know how many times I'm nicked myself on a corner or burned myself while cooking and used that aloe plant for it. It's nice because it forms a sort of natural band aid/botanical scab over the injury which keeps it fairly protected and soothes it.
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« Reply #6: April 16, 2010, 05:45:51 am »

I second whoever suggested the aloe plant. It is hands down the most useful, easy to keep, hard to kill plant indoor plant we have.

Just chiming in on the "hard to kill" part.  Even I couldn't kill it, and I've killed both mint and ivy.  I forgot about watering it for so long the soil was just absolutely powder-dry when I finally remembered, and it was still going strong.
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« Reply #7: April 16, 2010, 04:09:51 pm »

If you are able, some city dwellers have beautiful gardens on their roofs.  Maybe some day in the future this could work for you?

Remember nature is not only the green, but the other colors too.  You could go out and find some rocks, a feather, or even crystals to represent nature.  Go with what speaks to you.

I may ask my landlord for permission to use the roof occasionally. It would be nice to be able to plant a pot of herbs up there, or to be able to enjoy the outdoors. Former tenants abused this privilege, so I have not yet asked to use the roof. We've been good tenants for two years now, though...

I will look for other natural objects to collect. I don't think I want to buy crystals, though, since I don't know how they were mined...
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« Reply #8: April 16, 2010, 04:16:42 pm »

I love having plants in the house...they remind me of my mom (she loved them and we always had a house full of them). That said, I don't have the green thumb that she did. I've had really good luck with aloe plants and ivy though. Also, (and I'm sure you're already aware of this) some plants are toxic to cats...just something to keep in mind if your cat is a chewer like mine. Roll Eyes Grin

Thanks. The basil should be no problem, since it is edible. The houseplant is actually listed as toxic, much to my horror. I had researched plants which were safe beforehand, but must have misremembered which list this particular plant was on. Argh. I may have to give it away if the kitty shows interest in chewing. He has not been interested in the houseplant, however, especially since the basil smells so much nicer. While I assess his behavior, it is easy enough to put the houseplant out of reach.

I wish the (very extensive) "toxic plants" lists would be more clear about whether a plant is just tummy-ache inducing or the vegetable equivalent to antifreeze.
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« Reply #9: April 16, 2010, 04:18:27 pm »

I recently revamped my balcony. I do not live in the city but I have a great balcony off my townhouse that didn't get much care till now. I have had the need to reconnect as well and being very busy with family life, I decided to make use of the balcony. I went out and bought a few plants to pot, I set them up nicely around my folding chairs and put some outdoor candles out as well. Afterward, I had a sudden rush of calm come over me and I've found myself wanting to spend all my free minutes out there. I did a quick blessing to the area and it has done wonders to get me back on track. I love adding a little "life" to the house. By no means do I have a green thumb, but I got some hardy plants that I'm sure will enjoy their new home.
In past years I have had a small potted garden consisting of tomatoes, green peppers, and cucumbers. Until I move into a house with a yard, I have to keep it simple.

This sounds lovely and calming. I grew up on a farm, and now live in the city. I love both, and wish I could incorporate the extremes better. Perhaps next time I move, I will try to find a place with a balcony of some sort.
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« Reply #10: April 16, 2010, 04:21:12 pm »

As far as bringing nature in, I especially love having fresh cut flowers in my room during the spring months. Sure they die after a few days but they really brighten a room while they're their. They have the added beneficial side effect of dried petals which you can save and press or just keep as is and I know of at least a few deities that quite like dried flowers as offerings.

I second whoever suggested the aloe plant. It is hands down the most useful, easy to keep, hard to kill plant indoor plant we have. I don't know how many times I'm nicked myself on a corner or burned myself while cooking and used that aloe plant for it. It's nice because it forms a sort of natural band aid/botanical scab over the injury which keeps it fairly protected and soothes it.

I think buying flowers regularly would strain my budget, and the public parks would not appreciate people picking their flowers... but hopefully the potted plants will do something to bring that spring feeling into my home.

How do you use the aloe? Just break a piece off? The fruit and veggie stands here actually sell big chunks of aloe, and I've always wondered what they were for!
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« Reply #11: April 17, 2010, 12:40:21 am »

I think buying flowers regularly would strain my budget, and the public parks would not appreciate people picking their flowers... but hopefully the potted plants will do something to bring that spring feeling into my home.

How do you use the aloe? Just break a piece off? The fruit and veggie stands here actually sell big chunks of aloe, and I've always wondered what they were for!

Just break off the tip and the inside can be rubbed straight on. It's also really good for sunburn.
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« Reply #12: April 24, 2010, 02:53:41 pm »

I think buying flowers regularly would strain my budget, and the public parks would not appreciate people picking their flowers... but hopefully the potted plants will do something to bring that spring feeling into my home.

Where I live, I can get decent bouquets of cut flowers for $8-$10 (sometimes less... lots of times I can get small bouquets for $5) at the grocery stores and some of the drugstores. If you put the little packet of plant food in the vase with your flowers and you trim the ends of the stems off before you put them in the water, you can usually get at least a week out of the bouquet. Sometimes I can even get two weeks out of them.

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« Reply #13: April 24, 2010, 05:19:54 pm »

Where I live, I can get decent bouquets of cut flowers for $8-$10 (sometimes less... lots of times I can get small bouquets for $5) at the grocery stores and some of the drugstores. If you put the little packet of plant food in the vase with your flowers and you trim the ends of the stems off before you put them in the water, you can usually get at least a week out of the bouquet. Sometimes I can even get two weeks out of them.

The $4 flower bouquet we got at HEB for Chavi this year lasted almost two weeks.
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« Reply #14: April 25, 2010, 05:33:50 am »

Where I live, I can get decent bouquets of cut flowers for $8-$10 (sometimes less... lots of times I can get small bouquets for $5) at the grocery stores and some of the drugstores. If you put the little packet of plant food in the vase with your flowers and you trim the ends of the stems off before you put them in the water, you can usually get at least a week out of the bouquet. Sometimes I can even get two weeks out of them.

In the supermarkets here you can get bunches of roses or carnation etc from £1.50 upwards and they can last up to 2 weeks-I find carnations last the longest and you get some amazing colours.
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