After tonight’s count, we have about 85 houseplants living under our roof. Which leads me to wanting to talk about abundance in the houseplant community and the hierarchy that seems to build when we tally up our “scores” in the form of how many plants we can cram into our spaces.
I’ve noticed a bit of toxic behaviour when it comes to sneezing at people who don’t necessarily have large numbers of plants, or a feeling of frankly, superiority, for being able to care for so many. In reality, we all have different lifestyles and a fixed amount of hours we can dedicate to our hobbies.
For a lot of hobbyists, myself included, plants are just one facet of our lives. We’ve got full-time jobs, other activities we enjoy and friends we like to spend time with.
I used to go plant shopping as a way to stress relieve and realized it was no different than retail therapy for fast fashion or cheap home goods. But lately, being content with what I have and being realistic with which plants I could care for made me re-evaluate this green hobby.
This photo is from when we first moved in, when, because we had more space, I became desperate to rebuild the crammed "jungle" of our old dwelling. Which isn't healthy behaviour and as I've settled into our new lifestyle, I've acknowledged what part of this hobby became performative and what is genuine and personal. Instagram is a weird space where it's easy to get caught up in the frenzy.
Growing at its forefront should make you feel joyful and connected to nature. Sharing information is part of that enthusiasm but getting caught up in numbers is a dark appetite that never gets satiated. Having large collections isn't inherently bad at all, as long as the intentions are right.
Here's to plant happiness, for the lover with a single potted plant to the mono-hobbyist with many 🌿✨