How my inner plant goddess found her roots | Lancaster, PA

Time for October’s monthly blog circle. Margaret Albaugh Spokane Photographer has a fantastic post this month that makes me want to just jump right back to summer. Be sure to check it out and leave her a note letting her know I sent you!

How it all began…


About 2 years ago now, my neighbor gifted me a baby aloe plant. Having never been a good plant person, I was sure I would kill it. My garden was laughable for the first 3 years I had it. I had accepted the fact that I inherited my mother’s black thumb. She used to kill cacti by just breathing near it.

But this aloe- it must have been magic. Before I knew it, it was growing and growing and growing. I was not only keeping it alive, I was allowing it to thrive. I was so inept and uneducated about plant keeping, I was shocked when all these little baby aloe’s starting showing up in the pot.


I re-potted one of the babes for myself, figuring I might as well have a back up for when I inevitably kill the first one, and gifted the others to the boys’ teachers and family. Aside from wanting to share this plant that clearly had magic in it, I was thrilled to be able to provide a thoughtful gift to the amazing women that put up with and teach my kids each day.


Aloe is a plant I adore. It’s not just a plant that sits there and looks pretty. You can actually use it. I can’t count how many times I pulled off a leaf to help relieve burns or even for the days my skin just needed a pick me up. I am all about decorations that are actually useful.

When the baby aloe I kept started thriving and having babies, it was clear to me that I was now a plant goddess. (ok, maybe not that dramatic, but it certainly felt like it.)

I started adding plants to my collection, slowly at first. I purchased another aloe plant as a gift to myself after attending the Women’s March and forcing myself to work through my own anxiety to do something new. My inner plant goddess again had this aloe thriving, but once a giant stalk started growing out of the center, I was confused. Google came to my rescue and I learned that apparently some aloes grow flowers. How cool is that?!


Then came my fairy castle cactus. I bought it because it had this gorgeous red flower on it, and it would look great in our red, black and white themed kitchen. My green thumb got greener and greener as this flower stayed in full bloom for MONTHS. My ego was soaring at this point about how amazing I was at keeping plants alive.

Whenever your ego soars, it is bound to get put in check eventually. And for me, it would totally be in the most embarrassing way. I was watering all my plant children when I noticed it. The flower that was proudly bloomed on my cactus. The one I so proudly kept vibrant and in full bloom for so long….

…yeah, well, it was fake this whole time.

Hot glued on the top of the cactus. Yep. There is was. My ego was checkmated.


Fast forward to today

I am finally confident I have grown a green thumb. However, this time, my confidence isn’t based on aloe babies and fake cactus flowers. I’ve done reading and research on plant care. I learned about all the amazing air cleaning benefits that plants have. I’ve noticed a shift in my mood in the mornings when I see my babies soaking in the sun on the window sill.

I have somewhere around 16 plants currently, (this is the first time I have actually counted them.) and a wish list for a lot more.

My wish list includes the following:

  • Chinese money plant

  • Morning and evening glory

  • String of pearls

  • Cast iron plant

  • Sensitive plant

  • Monstera

  • Meyer lemon tree

  • Philodendron

  • Fire pencil cactus

  • Sago palm

Plants have brought me just so much happiness in the past year that I wasn’t expecting. I am looking forward to growing my collection and learning how to propagate them so I can share them. There is something so satisfying about caring for something that doesn’t outwardly demand it and doesn’t complain that they don’t like water even though they liked it 5 minutes ago. (Do you see what I am getting at here…. they aren’t as sassy as kids.)

I want to hear from my fellow plant lovers.

What plants do you own?

Tell me your success stories and your “oh that was a fake flower this whole time” stories.

What is on your wish list?

What is your favorite plant?


After leaving me your thoughts, don’t forget to circle around to see some more fantastic posts.

Erin Berry1 Comment