We’re looking closer to home for inspiration and comfort these days. Which is why in the midst of a global pandemic and plenty of uncertainties, gardening and growing has experienced a resurgence, both indoors and out.

Our routines have upended and we are still learning new ways to adapt. We’ve got more questions than answers. But planting and growing is essential. It’s life. It’s cause and effect, quiet and calm, delicious and healthy. And we’ve learned that our confidence and maybe a little pride are growing alongside our veggie garden, perennial border or succulent planter on the screen porch.

Plants have made things better for us, and the past six months have made that even clearer.

 

Yard to Table Goodness

I grabbed a couple tomatoes from my backyard the other night for a fresh salad—the ultimate version of farm-to-table for this urban gardener. There’s something really satisfying about eating something you’ve grown. Maybe you know what I’m talking about.

When you grow your food, you know it’s organic and fresh. It’s easier to eat healthy, get your daily servings and go meatless, even if it’s just a day or two each week.

We want to hear about your vegetable and herb gardens.

Was this your first adventure into growing your own? Did you start small in containers or take a leap into a raised bed or full garden? How did you decide what to plant? Did you harvest more than you needed and what did you do with the excess? How about challenges…what were yours and what have you learned? Tell us when you stop in or email us anytime.

Over the next year, we’ll be working to gather common questions, along with answers from all of us growing along with you. And we’ll create even more resources for future gardeners.

 

Workout Motivation

A hot (sweaty) yoga class was my prescription for relaxation. Not really an option right now. Running and walking is always available and we hope you’ve rediscovered paths and places around your neighborhood.

We’re also more motivated to move when we’re not just looking at a wall. A tall floor-sized Fiddle Leaf is much prettier, and it adds oxygen to my indoor air.

I’ve also started listening to an uplifting podcast or book on Audible while I walk the treadmill. But I’m grateful we made sure it was facing a window to the backyard. I can see the pond fountain, hummingbirds flitting between the perennials and the sunrise.

And it makes all the difference.

 

The Need to Nurture

One of the surest ways to forget our worries is to help someone (or something) else. So many of us find purpose and a warm feeling of well being when we act on our need to nurture.

It feels good to be helpful and caring.

We’re welcoming people of all ages to the joy of plant parenting. Easy-care varieties like succulents, the ZZ or Monsteras, make the transition to/back to parenthood really gratifying, without the guilt or having to call the babysitter if you want to get away for a week.

Considering that we’re spending a lot more time at home lately, it’s the perfect time to get comfortable and indulge your inner caretaker.

 

Staycation Vibes

We know you probably had to put a vacation on hold this year (join the club), but we’ve found plenty of ways to create that vacation vibe at home.

My husband and I love to cook, so creating an inviting outdoor dining area was top on our list. It feels like vacation to us to enjoy delicious meals in beautiful surroundings. This kind of adventure travel really influenced our outdoor space.

We planted for privacy from neighbors using fast-growing shrubs, for color with lush containers and perennial borders and for the ultimate convenience when cooking, with tomatoes, peppers, lettuce greens and fresh herbs like basil well within reach of the pizza oven and prep table.

Wish you were here.

 

Working from Home, and Living at Work

The boundaries are blurred, aren’t they? Kitchen tables became desks, sweats the new suits and we weren’t sure when the workday was really over. We’re still not quite sure, but we’re determined to make a better, more beautiful place to spend so much of our time.

It’s been a challenge to stay focused sometimes, hasn’t it? We stopped trying to force ourselves into on-demand, around-the-clock productivity and opted instead for scheduled bursts of progress, with breaks for inspiration.

And inspiration for us came in the form of a walk through the neighborhood or even the yard (we like to weed with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine), a pretty view out our office window, a low-maintenance, lovely plant for our desktop.

It’s no surprise that nature (even a tiny houseplant) reduces stress, depression and anxiety, lowers our blood pressure and boosts our mood.

 

Your Happy Place

When you need to get away from the news, the neighbors, your phone, where do you turn?

We’ve heard about more and more people creating Zen spaces with fountains, plants that sway and move with the wind like perennial grasses, sensory gardens, secret gardens or tiny retreats with a bench, a rain chain or wind chime and a fragrant or favorite perennial or flowering tree.

 

Give a little thought to what your happy place might look like. Then make it happen. And let us know if we can help. Because plants really do make everything a little bit better.

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