Hobby, Habit or Need by Diana Politika


Everyone has done it at some point. Perhaps in grade school. Perhaps as a result of spending time with grandparents. Maybe you were eating a poppyseed muffin on the way to the car. Somehow, a seed rolled off that muffin and into the dirt by the sidewalk. And there you have it. You have just grown a plant.

Plants are grown for a number of reasons. Some find them interesting in their own right. There are lots of oddball plants that will stop the casual observer in their tracks. Others need the plant for scientific purposes. Even the lowly aspirin began as a willow. Perhaps it’s practical to grow a vegetable garden in these times. Or for function. Think of a windbreak or a visual screen of the neighbors hot tub. Many find the nurturing of picky plants to be just what they need. The quiet challenge of growing something that in most cases refuses, for one reason or another, to survive casual attention. And then there are those who grow a plant(s) for the calming effect that it imparts. The brain can only think of one thing at a time. One cannot fret about the ills of the world while pulling a weed, planting flowers or picking fruit.

For whatever reason, we’ve all done it. There is no right or wrong way. There is more than one way to skin a potato. Whether you grow strawberries in a garden or in hanging PVC tubes, there are as many techniques as there are ideas. Don’t be shy. Don’t be discouraged. Plants have a will to live. So you killed an okra plant or an orchid. So what? I’ve never been successful with African violets until I spent 5 minutes reading about it. Often, mass market, cheaply produced plants aren’t sold with the goal of survival. They are produced to go across a bar code reader. Go out and get yourself a good quality plant from someone who can give you good quality information. Whether you do it for hobby, habit or need, it’s very satisfying.

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