Botanical Community: Mindfulness, Creativity & Growth
People and plants together create something powerful.
We fully believe in the power of plants. Connecting with nature allows us to ground ourselves to something real. For years, we’ve pushed our creativity through the use of living mediums. The natural joy that comes from organic creativity and successful plant growth is a highlight in our lives. We seek to share that joyful inspiration with fellow plant enthusiasts, experts and curious beginning gardeners.
Over the past 3 years, we have been lucky enough to teach over 30 botanical classes throughout New Orleans. The time spent with our #plantkrewe has been extremely fulfilling. Experiencing people’s excitement, curiosity and positivity towards cultivating a creative plant life has been incredibly inspiring for us.
It’s been a humbling learning experience to hear so many different people’s approaches to gardening: their struggles, successes, failures and funny stories. These stories foster a sense of community within themselves. It is easy to share in the joy of a successful bloom, and relieving to discuss and hear possible solutions and similar experiences to plant problems you may be facing.
Something we’ve found we all have in common is the want to grow things, but what’s often lacking is confidence and knowledge. There are a few admissions we hear at the beginning of every class:
“I am not a plant person. I kill everything.”
“I am such a bad gardener I EVEN killed my succulent, isn’t that supposed to be the easiest?”
“I can’t grow anything.”
We simply don’t believe these statements are fully true. You may have killed a plant, and the feeling of plant guilt is real….because we care when we fail to support life. This caring emotion is a good thing, and a crucial part of what you need to become an excellent gardener. The confidence you may be lacking can be built with more knowledge and growing experience. Through proper plant research, time spent growing, and a few tips from fellow gardeners, growing magnificent plants can become a tool for mindfulness and fulfillment.
Master gardeners, experienced garden clubs, designers, plant enthusiasts and people who admittedly ‘kill everything’ attend our classes eager to learn. They sit side by side and both put their creative energy into connecting with nature, a connection we can all find joy in nurturing.
Many of the less-than-confident beginning gardeners in our classes have found their stride as green thumbs. We believe that approaching gardening from a mindful perspective can shift the uncertainty and hesitance in gardening to a growing experience for all involved. Through mindfulness, creativity and community we are able to learn, grow and share with nature and each other.
Below is a custom staghorn fern that one of our first class guests, Suzy has been expertly nurturing since becoming a self proclaimed “plant person”.
By design, nature is about connection, you and your plants are in a relationship. Plants within your space breathe in the air you breathe out and you breathe in the air they breathe out. Your plant will be dependent on your care and nurturing in order to survive. Often, this thought can seem like an overwhelming commitment. However, if we approach botanical endeavors as a ritual of reflection and mindfulness, an opportunity to enhance our space and a time to support growth…plant care often becomes self care.
It’s your responsibility to initially research how to help your plant grow by understanding it’s basic needs. After that, your plant will communicate it’s needs to you as it acclimates to your shared environment. There are a number of symptoms and signs that plants show when needing adjusted care. Take the time to observe your plants, recognize their changes, whether positive or negative, and respond accordingly.
There’s nothing quite like experiencing the joy of growth and witnessing blooms unfold, so stay consistent with your care, and enjoy the journey of empowering life within your space.
Mother Nature provides us with the ultimate palette for creativity. The biodiversity on Earth is truly astounding: mosses, cacti, succulents, bromeliads, orchids, tillandsias, calatheas, lillies, vines and many other specimen plants captivate us daily. By working with natural elements and living mediums to express ourselves, we are making a meaningful and personal connection with nature.
When cultivating a plant collection, there are many options in expressing creativity. Plant selection is the initial element of building an aesthetic. Choosing interesting planters and unique planting applications can make your plants truly shine.
We often teach classes on mounting staghorns, crafting kokedama and mixing plants with crystals. Sharing these botanical skills helps us to spread the joy of creative gardening and build a plant community that not only connects over nature, but also over a common love for creation.
"Big Bend also has evidence of a southern cousin of Tyrannosaurus rex that is as large as the biggest T. rex ever found."
- National Park Service
By gathering valuable information on how to properly care for your plants through research, trial & error and building a solid plant community, you can experience the joys of creative gardening and relax into your craft. Yes, research is often necessary to achieve growing success, especially if you’re starting out as a new gardener. Most of this information can be easily asked when purchasing the plant, googled or found on plant blogs like this!
Light: Some plants require bright light that can not be replicated indoors. Try shopping in sections of plant stores and nurseries that mimic the lighting of your space / desired plant placement. Make sure not to switch the lighting on a plant too drastically, as it can burn or become light depleted if not acclimated correctly.
Water: Understand the water requirements for your plant, and set a schedule for your waterings. Some plants are ‘low maintenance’ while other require constant care, be mindful of what level of plant care responsibility you’d like to take on. Use your watering time for reflection and a mindful evaluation of your plant & it’s needs.
Airflow: If you have central AC that stays cool, there’s a chance your plants can easily dry out, this can often be combatted with more frequent waterings. Make sure your temperature and humidity are in compliance with the plant’s needs.
Soil: Some plants, like cacti and succulents, need more porous soil mixture for draining. Others need soil . that s tays more saturated to keep the plant base wet. To avoid common pitfalls like improper drainage, root rot, pay close attention to the proper soil and drainage requirements.
Fertilizing: Most plants can safely be fertilized twice per year. We strongly suggest using organic fertilizers when possible.
Symptoms: Plants have ways of communicating their needs to us. Learn to recognize their signs of distress, happiness or complicity. Tip: Brown tipped leaves often indicate under watering, while yellow leaves with a brown base can indicate overwatering.
Once you have this basic understanding of your space and plant, you’re ready to start growing!
BIG BEND FLORA GALLERY
Experienced, admired, studied, photographed and loved by Luna Botanicals. This is our visual biophilic memory of bewitching blooms, spiny cacti, vibrant hues and incredible biodiversity in Big Bend National Park.
Opuntia macrocentra - Purple Prickly Pear // Opuntia engelmannii - Texas Prickly Pear // Fouquieria splendens - Ocotillo // Euphorbia antisyphilitica - Candelilla // Echinocereus stramineus - Strawberry Cactus