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Ambassador Annabelle Padwick2 ML
By Annabelle Padwick

Over my five years of gardening, growing plants has definitely been my biggest teacher.

They have taught me to have hope, from sowing a tiny, inconspicuous seed in to delicious vegetable and they have built my confidence like no other.

But something talked about less often but hugely important for me, is that plants have taught me how to handle true lows in my life; embracing them, moving on and not giving up.

Shrivel

When seeds haven’t germinated or plants have wilted away, it’s gently built my resilience and taught me that it’s ok to acknowledge the sadness or disappointment, feel it and then try again.

What’s great about plants and getting it wrong, is that it doesn’t really matter.

Of course, I would love every plant I have grown to have truly thrived but in reality, due to the weather, inexperience or something else, that definitely isn’t the case.

Plants have also taught me how to look after myself and that I need others to grow, feel safe, nourished and happy.

Annabelle

I have lost many plants and so many seeds that didn’t germinate, but that is ok and even more so because I grow them in my space at home, where no one can judge me for getting it wrong or for having the courage to try again.

I can learn and play over and over again in my own time until I get it right. When I get it right, wow, it feels incredible!

That reward for persevering, the taste of my first homegrown tomato for example, has built my patience and and taught to always try again in life, whether it’s with a dream work project, a home-baking nightmare, or when my PTSD flashbacks are triggered and thoughts enter high speed in to my head. I acknowledge it, process it and go again every time now.

Tomatoes in bowl

Plants need food, water, care, nurturing and a place to settle and extend their roots, just like we do if we want to blossom.

Annabelle

Plants have also taught me how to look after myself and that I need others to grow, feel safe, nourished and happy.

We are so similar to plants that sometimes we are too busy looking after others to realise.

Plants need food, water, care, nurturing and a place to settle and extend their roots, just like we do if we want to blossom.

Over the years, I thought that I can do everything on my own and that I don’t need help, partly due to stubbornness, so I didn’t have to worry about people letting me down and due to it sometimes being seen as a weakness.

But I have learnt luckily and with the help of plants, that actually it is a strength.

Woodland

If you walk in any woodland and just sit in the nature, you will see that we are a part of a magical world.

So many unique plants and trees all with different needs, thriving in one space thanks to the help of each other. All attracting different wildlife and pollinators and adding different nutrients back in to soil through their roots, which help the others.

We are no different, we need to accept help and embrace other beautiful, different people to create a stronger network and succeed.

Lastly, weeds! What do they teach you?

Bindweed 2

That they are annoying and always popping up when you don’t want them to?

True in most cases, but I think of weeds as a teacher in two ways and a great stress reliever.

Just like weeds, negativity and bad surprises like to pop up and keep coming back, but if we have the courage to remove them, we can allow space for new positive people, thoughts and plants to enter

Annabelle

Depending on the time, place or mood, they can be plants just in the wrong place at the wrong time, that simply need appreciating and understanding more or they are the negative thoughts and perhaps people in my life.

Just like weeds, negativity and bad surprises like to pop up and keep coming back, but if we have the courage to remove them, we can allow space for new positive people, thoughts and plants to enter.

I would love you to have a think about what plants have taught you – aren’t they amazing?!

Keep the kids happy with Annabelle's garden activities

Need more ideas to keep the children occupied while schools out? Thrive Ambassador Annabelle Padwick can help.

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