It’s a wonderful sunny weekend morning, you’ve been up early and that itch to work in the garden and spruce up your beds needs to be scratched. You patiently wait for your partner to wake up or best friend to get to you because today you are going to your local plant nursery.
Like most people, you are lured in by the ‘pretty’. Bright colours and beautiful green foliage beckon you to purchase them. You’re amazed, taken aback and load your trolley with every colour you can find. Your voice of logic, usually the person with you who just doesn’t understand the joy plants bring you, is freaking out about the prices. “How on earth are you willing to pay R299.95 for a shrub?” Linda is freaking out.
You think about it, are you actually going to listen to Linda? Uhm, no, you want that Philodendron, and you’re going to get it. You get to the cashier, with your prized selection, clearly well impressed, you also got Linda a Peace Lily, because she has like zero houseplants or chill. What the heck Linda.
As you punch in your pin at the pay point, you realise, you’re probably going to have to stretch that brown rice and chicken diet a little longer than anticipated, because this trolley load costs more than your monthly groceries.
But it’s not all gloom and doom. You get home, Linda makes a mimosa (because she’s freaking out about your spend). “Linda, you need to Calm Down,” you say with a slight melody (Taylor Swift Credited), “plants bring me joy and look how amazing they look in their new home. I get to enjoy them for so much longer and I’d rather spend this much money on plants than a pair of shoes”. You look directly at the pumps she’s wearing. *Linda adds Vodka to the mimosa.
BUT IN THAT SENTENCE, YOU’VE MADE 2 VERY VALID POINTS:
1. ENHANCING YOUR PERSONAL SPACE THROUGH GREENING
You attach a certain non-monetary value to the plants, dependant on the amount of fulfilment you receive from it, knowing it is an investment and you are greening your own personal space and thereby increasing your overall health; here’s one of hundreds of blogs to prove it: https://plantscapers.com/5-reasons-indoor-plants-make-you-happier/
Simply put, they bring you joy and as Mari Kondo says, only keep things that bring you joy.
2. THE COST OF GROWING A SIZEABLE PLANT
The time factor. Think about if you have ever grown anything from seed. Especially something that is not an annual (a plant that only lives for about a year from germination). A perennial (a plant that lives for more than 2 years) grows slower, each species has their own propagation method, soil and moisture needs, some can grow from seed, some do better from cuttings, it’s a tedious process, but once you get them growing, you have to keep them alive until they are a reasonable size. Sometimes, this means growing the plant on for more than a year – the longer you grow it on, the bigger the plant. But the bigger the plant, the more it costs to keep it alive, ergo, you want to buy a pretty big shrub in flower.
It costs more because it took more time to grow said plant. Don’t even get me started on trees.
So see, ‘expensive’ plants aren’t that expensive if you take into consideration the time associated with growing them to reach a size that you would want to buy them at.
You trade your money for time and it saves you the trouble of nursing seeds into shrubs.
So next time Linda comes at you with her ridiculous notion that you spend too much money on plants, educate her, and be honest about those pumps.
“As is imitation to flattery, so is a landscape designer to nature. Being an avid user of the Mediterranean palette, whether it be plants, colours or textures, my mythical paintbrush is dipped in regions and I paint in themes.”
MARK MAC HATTIE
READ MORE OF MARK’S BLOGS HERE
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