Plant Therapy: How Gardening Helps After Loss
Before my miscarriage, I had never grown anything in my life. I always joked about how "bad" I was at caring for plants and the idea of a garden had exactly zero appeal for me. But then, in the middle of fall, I miscarried, and my feelings towards plants totally and completely changed.
At some point in my haze of grief, my husband and I somehow got the idea to plant a garden. But here's the catch — we lived in a teeny tiny 600 square foot downtown apartment with literally no balcony space. It certainly was anything but ideal for this garden we suddenly needed. But if there's one thing true about us, it's that a little obstacle like "no space for a garden" would stop us. We went to Home Depot, bought the strongest velcro we could find, and stuck the giant planters full of herbs to our windows. It was a semi-crazy move, and it definitely didn't work very well. The planters were constantly falling down, and I couldn't water them without drenching the wall and the ground.
It didn't really matter though, because the plants gave me something to care for, to watch grow, to water, and to nurture. When I was tending to even that small pot of soil, I took deeper breaths and felt more connected to myself and the earth.
My plant lady status hasn't really decreased since then, because I still find peace in caring for plants. I can count approximately 12 house plants from my living room couch, and in our last home I had a 1/4 acre garden that fed my family for much of the summer.
I truly believe that planting and growing can be a powerful tool for finding healing after loss. It can be so comforting to plant a tree in a loved one's memory or grow a flower in a spot they loved to sit. The power of plant therapy is one of the reasons that we offer so many plants and trees in the laurelbox shop. Through our well loved Forget Me Knot Flower Garden Kit, our Plantable Seed Paper, and our line of Commemorative Trees and Roses, we offer plant options for those in teeny tiny apartments and hose with lots of space.