3 things we can learn from petunias

When I was a little girl, my grandma called me “Petunia.”

For that reason, this kind of flower will always be special to me. When springtime rolled around, it was a no-brainer that I’d be planting petunias. And they’d be purple – my grandma’s and my favorite color.

As I was watering them today, I thought about a few ways that tending to petunias relates to life.

1. Replanting can be difficult and scary but can also be necessary and beneficial.

I knew that I’d be replanting the petunias I bought, because they came in hanging baskets of which I wasn’t particularly fond, and I wanted to put them in terra cotta pots on the stairs leading up to the front door. Well, I removed them from the hanging baskets the only way I could – by dumping them out, onto the driveway. Some of the pots were smaller, so I bought fewer hanging baskets than I had pots, planning to separate the plants. As I did so, I was worried that I was tearing apart the roots and killing the flowers. (I really should’ve consulted my mother in law, who’s terrific with flowers and anything that needs care in general.) However, I trusted that, with some potting soil and lots of nurturing, they’d thrive. And they have.

Two years ago, just this week, instead of being dumped out onto a driveway and torn apart like my petunias, all of my stuff was dumped into a moving truck and dropped off in Augusta, Georgia. And I found myself truly broken … for quite a while. However, over time, Nate and I started to see the result of hard work and having made good decisions, which includes moving to Augusta. Going away to college, moving to Washington, D.C. after graduation and then to Augusta are a few of the best decisions I’ve made, because they’ve enhanced my life by distancing myself from people who made me unhappy and drawing myself closer to who and what fill my soul. It’s all about blooming where you are planted.

2. Sometimes the plants that turn into the most beautiful flowers are the ones that haven’t budded yet.

One of the white petunias I bought didn’t have blooms on it yet, but, after a little nurturing, they appeared.

This, too, is metaphoric for my move to Augusta. I wasn’t sure what this experience would hold for me, but I knew one thing: Despite how low I was feeling, I needed to give it at least a year, and I told Nate that. Within six months, I found a job I loved, and, within nine months, we purchased a home. Sometimes things are worth sticking around for and investing in, so keep your heart and mind open to change so you can see the beauty.

3. Deadheading is necessary if you want beautiful things to grow.

Deadheading is the removal of dead flower heads from a plant to encourage further blooming. When petunia blooms die, they become dried up and brown. If you leave these on the stem and don’t pinch them off, then the plant will look just like that – a plant – instead of flowers.

Just like with petunia blooms, sometimes relationships die, or we’re in the wrong ones. If you leave these in your life and don’t pinch them off, then they have a way of poisoning you and the rest of your life. I’ve learned the painful lesson that those who disrespect our boundaries have no place in our lives, and my ability to recognize when deadheading is needed and to take action has served me well. My heart and mind have room for life’s blooming blessings!




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