It’s no secret to all that I have an (un)healthy obsession with plants and flowers. Without fail, I can be found every few days on my porch in Venice, watering and tending to my plants and herbs, and rearranging the flowers in my home. It is the single most important habit that I have cultivated that helps me unwind, and brings me the greatest joy.
When I first started my “patio project” 2 years ago, it was actually out of a need for privacy. My apartment is located in a busy area with a lot of pedestrian traffic, and while it is mostly neighbors out for a run or walking their dogs, I still felt the need to create a bit of barrier so that I could sit freely on my patio without strangers watching me eat or listening to my phone calls. I often walked by a local business called Venice Plants on my morning coffee run to FlowerBoy on Lincoln Blvd (also my go to spot for flowers for my home), and one day I spotted some beautiful bougainvillea trellises that I knew would be a perfect border between my porch and the public. Upon further exploration, I also found a jasmine trellis, and decided to do a combination instead. It was the perfect solution. On Mondays and Tuesdays when I focused on Highbrow Hippie and often conducted multiple phone calls with Myka, I found myself happily working away at my vintage Trina Turk picnic table, surrounded by the various blooming vines. It was bliss.
Then, as everyone now knows, one day we were blindsided and things completely fell apart with our investor, and the weekly calls I conducted from my happy place building my dreams, turned into stressed out sessions with lawyers, filled with tears. Some days I just sat outside in silence, trying to wrap my head around what happened, only soothed by the scent of my jasmine and the sound of the wind chimes that hung from the trellis. Surrounded by beauty, I was at my absolute lowest point. To think about those days now, makes my eyes instantly fill with tears.
Throughout that time, I started to really amp up my focus on arranging flowers for my home. It was almost like my body and soul knew that I HAD to focus on creating something beautiful in order to aid my healing process. My socializing tapered off, and I spent money instead on flowers and plants of all kinds. I happily became a crazy plant and flower lady. Some weeks I explored working with just one color palette. Other weeks I combined different scent profiles. I played, and I explored, and I created a routine that gave me a bright moment of joy to look forward to every week. It was a way to pass the time while Myka and I tried to pick the pieces up and move on with our dreams for the business, and it slowly but surely started to heal my broken and traumatized heart.
When spring of last year came, I decided to up the ante a bit and dedicate a few months to focus on adding an herb garden and reading nook to my now already beloved patio. I thought of items that I loved to consume and use a lot in cooking and my daily life, and before long, again with help from the team at Venice Plants, I had a beautiful herb garden consisting of mint, basil, white sage, Thai basil, mini peppers, rosemary and edible flowers. I used these items not only to nourish my body, but as part of my meditation and New and Full Moon rituals. My little patio garden became far and away my favorite place to chill when I returned home from a day at the salon. Whether tucked in the corner with a book, arranging weekly flowers, or seated with friends enjoying a cocktail (or 3;)), it was a place I always looked forward to.
One day recently while sitting outside I suddenly looked up and around and took it all in. I sat in amazement at the special haven I built with my own two hands. I made it through hell, and I did it by creating a little slice of heaven. My oasis of flora and fauna. And then I got very still, and I checked in with my heart. It was happy.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE…
Two days ago I was informed of a petition that was circulating to help keep Venice Plants open. The word on the street is that Trader Joe’s is rumored to be demolishing the Fox building on Lincoln Blvd where Venice Plants resides. This news made my heart sink, and I hope it isn’t true. Venice Plants is an institution. Anyone that has shopped there and has worked with Dustin and his wife and sons know what a huge part of the Venice community they are. They have been here over 30 years and it would be devastating to think of Venice without them here. Please sign the petition below to help save Venice Plants and get the word out. It’s the least we can do to help this local business that has brought so much, to so many.