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“If plants grow and thrive, he should be happy; and if the plants which thrive chance not to be the ones which he planted, they are plants nevertheless, and nature is satisfied with them.” -L.H. Bailey
The story of Arthur’s begins, like all good seeds, with the ground. At the moment I was lowering my friend into it, I was fantasizing about finding a plot of my own nearby. The reasons were simple and numerous and comprised of all the ugly things we’re told not to talk about — a tyrant boss, feelings of being adrift, a particularly nasty breed of self-loathing and doubt experienced with the same lucidity as eating an apple or, say, smelling a flower. I just happened to be smelling lilies.
And then Tr*mp happened. The world as I knew it turned upside down: a feeling that was in no small way aided by the fact that I reside in Brooklyn. For the first time in my adult life I had to come to terms, on many levels, with the fact that the good guys don’t always win. Quite often, the most aggressive growers are the ones who take over the forest, even when they’re choking out the trees.
Time passed, and I’m not sure I changed. But one day in the middle of burying myself away from the world under a mound of horticulture books, I learned about the peculiar process of scarification. What exactly is scarification, you ask?
"Scarification is a process that involves the weakening or altering of a seed's coat to accelerate the process of germination. Scarification makes the seed's coat more permeable to gas and water."
Take, as an example, the chaparral seed. In the middle of the desert they sit, seemingly dry and withered — sometimes for decades. But all it takes is a single catastrophic fire of apocalyptic proportions for new life to grow. Extreme heat and smoke remove the protective coating from the seeds, exposing them to the elements that will ultimately bring them life. The same is true of many seeds. They need to be burned or stomped, scratched or drowned, sometimes swallowed whole to flourish. Trauma is paramount to becoming what we were meant to be. Nature hardcoded it.
And with this thought in my head, I began to cultivate those ugly parts of myself in various, arduous ways. I tried my best to practice patience. I found a kid at the end of my long trail of loneliness that only needed to be reassured that things would be okay. I tried not to immediately assume the one dude on my block wearing a MAGA sweatshirt wasn’t a total hypocritical piece of shit, smiling at him whenever he stumbled by. One day he smiled back. Even dandelions have a place in the garden.
And that’s at least one of the messages that I hope comes across with this business—that everything needs to be treated with care, and that the painful things that sprout up in our ugliest, darkest moments might just be our saving grace the next. A good friend of mine told me recently that what’s changing is growing, and what’s growing is healthy. I sincerely hope you’ll grow with me.
About the Founder
I'm fully insured, have 3+ years of experience designing and maintaining interior and exterior gardens in the greater metropolitan area and possess a Certificate in Horticulture from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Don't be shy—you can always drop me a line at email@example.com.