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BACKWARD PROGRESS

The best version of you will require trimming.


I saw a meme that looked like this:



I pondered for a second. When would going backward EVER feel or look like progress? Nature is my evidence, so I thought back to my own experiences.


Over the summer, I grew Lantana. It is a beautiful flower that produces a mild scent and can bush out nicely if you train it to do so, at least from what I’ve seen in my short time with it. It became my favorite flower in my Butterfly Garden.



I loved it SO much that I had to grow it at home too. It only made sense. So I took cuttings, let them root in water, and then transplanted them into a small pot at home.



After some time, the roots took, and my new plants began growing. I know this because they started producing flower buds, but because these baby plants hadn't had much time to establish themselves, I only got one bud each. They were still pretty, but not like the bush I was used to.



I had one of three choices: allow it to continue as is, give up, or prune.


The thing about flowers is they take A LOT of the plant's energy to produce and keep in bloom. As long as flowers are present, growth slows. It's not halted – growth does occur – but it's not what it COULD be potentially with some training.


How do you train a plant?


A family friend of mine, almost a second mom, was able to virtually instruct me on how to train my plants to grow how I want them to. I won't go too deep for the sake of the length of this blog. I'm well aware I can be wordy. Here's the principle: you have to decide what you're building and sometimes cut losses. With the flowers present, my transplants would continue to grow taller. By making two cuts



I was able to encourage more side growth. Plants never regrow in the same place they've been cut. With each cut, side shoots, plural, can be accomplished. Here are the same cuttings with some time. Do you see the growth?


Not only did I welcome more growth, but what was already there grew out as well. It looks fuller and more like what I was going for. Unfortunately, I started my pollinator garden late in the growing season and did not get to finish training this plant, but I learned a lot from this.


In life, there are many choices and many paths we can take. We have an abundant amount of options. Not every option is bad, but also not every option is for you. To live to your fullest potential sometimes means cutting your losses to reestablish more growth for yourself. You only have so much energy. What you give your focus to matters. There is a time to experiment with any and everything just to get a footing, but then there is a time for training. When resources are scarce, nature cuts its losses. Just think of bee hives kicking their drones, or male bees, out during winter. Anything that doesn’t actively benefit the hive is a hindrance when resources aren’t plentiful. It doesn’t look pretty for the time being, but the end result is better. The pruning is only temporary, but it is for your well-being.


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