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Memories in Green:  A Collection of Plant Stories from Our Staff
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Memories in Green: A Collection of Plant Stories from Our Staff

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Tending to plant cuttings passed down through generations, wedding gifts, gifts for healing and for grieving—Hearing plant stories in our storefronts and online overfills us with joy and reminds us of our mission statement:

We believe plants have the power to inspire, connect, and transform—They’re our reason for being, and a gift to be shared.

We sat down with some of our staff to capture memories and love of green to share with all of you.

Amalia (Retail Staff Member)

I come from a long line of perennial gardeners—all of the women in my family for five generations have had magnificent gardens! I grew up with stories of my great grandma's gardening adventures. She dug plants up in the woods behind her Ohio home and put them in the garden. Almost all the plants were natives, except for vegetables that she grew from seed. Growing up poor, she gardened for enjoyment but also for sustenance. She would walk over to a friend's house and come back with a couple clumps of plants that her gardening circle shared. Great grandma was president of her neighborhood gardening club until she was 100 years old! My mother and grandmother take after her and are prolific perennial gardeners. Although my great grandma has passed on, her love of gardening lives on through the heirloom plants that she gave to the women in my familythere are several bearded irises that thrive in their gardens to this day. Some day, I will have them in my yard too.

Claire (Living Art Lead)

My dad has always been very interested in horticulture and landscape design. He used to take my younger sister and I to plant nurseries all the time growing up. Botanic gardens were always a must on family vacations. So when it came time to science fair projects in elementary school, it was a no-brainer to do something related to plants. My dad helped me design a few experiments using tomato plants. They were readily available, inexpensive, and easy to grow in our Mediterranean San Diego climate. We tinkered with light availability and watering methods. Though my Dad helped me design the experiments, I was in charge of caring for the plants. I still remember the feeling of tending to them, and getting excited about their growth (or upset about their decline). Tomato plants still hold so much nostalgia for meespecially the smell.

Lindsay (Assistant eCommerce Manager)

When I was living with my parents during the pandemic I accumulated a lot of plants that I couldn't take with me when I moved to Oregon. My parents kept them and even though we were far away, we kept in touch of how much they've grown. I sent my mom a kokedama and she tells me all the time how much she loves it and how it makes her think of me.

Jarrod (eCommerce Manager) 

I have a hazy, sunlit memory of picking blackberries with my great uncle when I was just barely old enough to run around without tripping over my own feet. That summer he taught me how to avoid the thorns and pick the ripest berries without squishing them. A fruit-filled stickerbush—I was enamored. My great uncle passed away soon after that summer, but my memory of him is so closely tied to blackberry bushes.

Megan (Founder)

When I think back to my childhood and my first interaction with plants I am taken to a huge bay window in my home that had southern exposure where my mother kept a host of indoor plants. While I don't remember many of the plants in this collection, there is one that sticks out in my memory I was fascinated with for years.
     It was a giant Asparagus retrofractus that was planted in a large, shallow terracotta bowl. I think what drew me to this plant as a child was the fleshy, tuberous rhizomes that were exposed above the soil. They were mystifying to me. Too, I loved its soft fluffy tufts of bright green leaves. I loved to run my hands through the foliage, and when I did this I would feel the snag of the tiny spines hidden along the stems that made me think that this plant wanted me to keep petting it. It is a plant that will forever remind me of my mother.
     For me plants are reminders of people in my life past and present. I have a myriad of plants that were given to me by someone or I planted as an homage to keep their memory alive. Plants personify those that have graced my life and evoke memories of times shared whenever I walk my gardens. They are a living, ever-evolving journal of the relationships I have had and still exist. 

Bee (Special Projects Lead)

I don’t come from a family of gardeners or outdoorsy people. My family are working class and prefer not to be doing labor unless it is paid for. But when I was growing up in a small town rural community that did not  have very many sidewalks I remember the wildflowers the most. They peaked up from everywhere even in the parking lot of the one grocery store in town. My older sister and I would run around outside and find the plants we knew would make flowers, we were so impatient we thought we could help them out. We would find all the poppies on our hillside and “help” them by taking off their little witch hat flower buds. I remember that being my first curiosity about the plants, they would reliably come each year and delicate bright orange petals were all tucked away so neatly under their “hats”. 
     I dissected them to try and figure out what they were doing, because it seemed important. I would sit in the overgrown lawns of my neighbors by the dandelions because I knew that's where the bees would go, and I would watch the flower until a bee came to visit and catch it in a jar. A grateful observer of the world around me.
     Something about wildflowers will still stir something important in me. Something not planted or cared for or tamed, but thrives anyway turning whole hillsides orange and yellow and violet.  I believe I have always had the mind of a scientist and a poet and I have those early wildflowers to thank for that. I’m the only outdoorsy person in my family, but when they ask me questions about insects and trees in their yards I feel honored.

 


How grateful we are for these memories colored in green. We hope these stories help remind you how plants have helped your life and that you’ll consider sharing them with us. For bringing new plants into your lives, whatever the reason, we offer our passion, expertise, and skills to all who seek their inner green.