Mad plant lady

Mad plant lady

Mad plant lady or mindful nurturer of nature, Victoria Jackson loves how her cluster of pots at home teach patience and bring pleasure

Now it’s a year on, I’ve been thinking back to how lockdown hobbies spread magically across the country with some activities and interests becoming popular as never before. Remember how everyone became an overnight expert in making sourdough or banana bread? Or how the whole country joined in Joe Wicks’ online workouts or suddenly took up cycling?

I didn’t do any of these things myself — I’m just too unfashionable, especially during a lockdown when no-one’s watching. But one thing I did catch onto was the trend for indoor plants. A cluster of pot plants became the must-have accessory for anyone filming yoga classes from home. Alongside that artfully-placed basket full of yoga props and a cute floor lamp, they completed the perfect home-studio vibe!

My own plants now go way beyond a style accessory or video backdrop. I’ve slightly fallen in love with these new leafy housemates. I love the ritual of regular watering and occasional feeding. I admit that I even talk to them while I care for them! I might hide behind the science of CO2 gas exchange as I exhale across their leaves, but secretly I enjoy paying them compliments about the beauty of their verdant growth which brightens up my living space.

I solicitously watch their progress, seeing new leaves unfurling and wondering if even the seemingly dormant succulents will ever put out a flower. Their slow growth is teaching me patience; you can’t hurry a plant. As I water them I think of that quote: “A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.”

I wonder if I could be like that? Perhaps if I hang out with my plants long enough I might come to see that I too will bloom in season according to my own nature, and I don’t need to make such a big effort with everything. Maybe like the plants, me and my yoga practice just need some patient, careful watering to truly flourish.

It’s possible I’m in danger of becoming the horticultural equivalent of a mad cat lady as I chat to my plants, but I prefer to think it’s just part of my mindfulness practice. There’s a simple pleasure in observing the plants day by day, with their slow growth and seasonal cycles.

If only sourdough and banana bread grew on trees, I’d be completely content!

Victoria Jackson lives and teaches in Oxford. She is registered with Yoga Alliance Professionals as a Vinyasa yoga teacher.