Native Plants

I’ve had the privilege, and been given the grace by the rest of my life, to hunker down for the last several days with a sister friend while she recovers from surgery. She is an exquisite creator of spaces, an artist really, that are visually beautiful (for sure) but also viscerally something; to be in a landscape or home or garden touched by her is both a visual and experiential delight.

We’ve had many hours to both pad and sit around over the last few days with a delicious sense of spaciousness. Of the many conversations we’ve had – about everything from how many episodes of One Day (Netflix, bump to the top of your watch list) we will allow ourselves in one sitting to what changes in how we live with an appreciation for the fact that life isn’t endless – one felt particularly clarifying and to the heart of the matter.

My friend is a landscape designer, and we are working on my backyard. We were playing around with different ideas about both the design and function of the space and my friend asked, “How do you feel about native plants?” My response– “Feel about native plants? Ummmm, I don’t know that I have a ton of feelings about native plants.” She proceeded to tell me about her experience using native plants in a landscaping project. After at first feeling limited, and seeing these plants as “basically a sort of ugly weed patch”, she described the process of not only finding the beauty in these plants but also witnessing their generativity. Birds, butterflies, and bugs arrive in droves. Plants flourish. The ecosystem works, each aspect nourishing and supporting the other without much intervention except to keep the invasives out. “That’s it!” I said. “That is what you do so beautifully. You create spaces that nourish, support, and generate life because they fit, aligned with something of exactly where and what is supposed to be.” 

When native plants are at home life grows up, around, and with them easily. They are nourished and nourishing in surround sound when what doesn’t fit gets pruned back. What if abundance and interdependent generativity are “native,” and the project is to take direction from what feels like home? I’m beyond excited to create space in my yard for it to become itself, and I can’t wait to see who and what shows up. Same goes for all of you, friends.

xo Jill

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