I’m going to be taking a step back from collecting for the months of January and February. In Canada these months tend to be quite harsh, which makes exposure when transporting them home more of an issue. I’m also planning to focus my efforts on keeping my current collection alive and thriving. Things like pests, humidity and knowing when to water during dormancy are proving to be a full time job. I can hear the collective cries of despair now, over the internet, but please, calm yourselves. Not all is lost. I’m calling this step back a “Low buy”. You’ll notice the verbiage is low, not no. I know perfectly well that I would fail if I restricted myself entirely, so I’ve decided to just set some rules for myself to follow.
1) Buy from the wish list only.
I sat down at the start of January with my husband and wrote out a very comprehensive wish list. Then I starred five of the plants on the list. If I happen to come across any of those five plants, I’m allowed to bring them home. Now, these five aren’t necessarily my top five. Some are among the top, but some are (perhaps strategically) plants I have more likelihood to come across. None, however are repeats of plants that I own.
2) Pots and supplies are not included
My need for new stuff will be less when not bringing as many plants home.
I’m hoping that reigning back buying will force me to find as much joy in things like photographing my collection, writing weekly blog posts, keeping a plant diary, and propagation. I would also like to get more involved in local plant groups and maybe participate in some trades in the spring. I’d like to have some substantial cuttings (or even rooted in soil babies) to offer. I plan to rely on cool stuff to offer to garner favour instead of having to lean on my personality. I mean, my personality is great, but it’s not going to come across in a room full of people I don’t know.
So, yep! Going to shift focus for January and February, which will be challenging. There’s an obvious rush of happiness that comes from an impulse buy. Your brain releases seretonin, which gives you a good feeling. This is basically your brain tricking you into repeating actions that help you to survive. Maria, from Bloom & Grow Radio did a great episode on this topic, and I highly recommend giving it a listen (Here!). Anyway, I tend to struggle a lot during this time of year, and I expect this year is going to be worse. My husband has been here for the Holidays, and as of when this gets posted, has gone home Sunday. Then we wait. Again. His permanent residency approval is the last step to get approved and we should be hearing back around the end of February. He will then be moving to Canada! The time in between, already a rough time, will feel like decades. (If you’re wondering what I’m going on about, read this post).
So without the temporary rush of good feelings I would usually get from a plant haul, I’m going to have to find it elsewhere. If I’m honest I’m not sure what that’s going to be yet. I’m open to suggestions. It’s a hard time of year for everyone, plants included, so we just need to remember to give ourselves (and them) a little TLC.