Young, Wild, and Maturing with Plants

My Journey in Gardening and Growing Up

Featured Author: Claire Shaha

Growing up, my mom had a huge garden. She watered, fertilized, and picked the fruits and vegetables almost every day in the summer. As a child, it was kind of hard for me to understand why people bother having gardens to take care of when there were so many other things you could do! I always wondered why my mom was so passionate and put so much time into her big garden, when she already had two kids and other responsibilities to tend to.

I moved from Idaho to California in 2018 for college and this was the first time I was on my own and in a completely new environment. There’s a lot of things that college students go through, being away from home, making new friends, and simply figuring out how to grow up and create a happy life.

As a 21 year old entering my senior year of college, I have come to realize how important hobbies like owning a garden or even a few plants are!

A few months ago, I got my first plant, a Monstera Deliciosa, at a local farmer’s market. It was a small, little puny thing and I was

really determined to keep it alive and let it flourish. I had never really been a good plant mother, at least not until now. My Monstera is getting bigger and bigger everyday and seeing that I had the capability to take care of something for so long has really made me not only be passionate about caring for plants, but caring for myself. Plants can be the first step a young person can take to practice responsibility and care for another being.

Hobbies like gardening can give young people a great sense of independence and in a way, these are helpful coming of age activities that are going to last throughout life. I now have four houseplants that I named Ricky, Emma, Leanne, and Nightfury. I check on my plants everyday and examine them to see if they need more or less of anything because I truly do care about them. Because of this, I am reminded everyday to take care of myself and examine my own mental and physical health and what I need more or less of in life.

Plants might seem like just a small piece of décor in your room that’s fun to look at, but it’s a lot more than that.

I am thankful for the experience I have had with plants and they have taught me that even if life doesn’t turn out the way I planned, I can always repot.

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