Inviting Plants

If some plants keep things out, which plants welcome people in?  Which plants say hello, come on over?  Come sit in the shade, smell the flowers and brush away trouble.  When one pass of the hand over the foliage creates a sweet scent, an intoxicating aroma or a fond memory, this plant is inviting.  When I brush by a tomato plant and it releases that welcome, tomato-garden scent, I feel comfortable, happy and at home.  That scent has been around my life for a long time and it’s good because it’s part of me.  A welcome plant.  Hedge plants keep things out because of certain characteristics:  dense foliage, thorns, straight growth, and often shaped by pruning.  Inviting plants would naturally be the opposite.  Light, open airy foliage.  Smooth or texturally interesting bark.  Unexpected twists, turns and balanced growth.  Plants pick their shape, not people.  No need to prune a thing of beauty.  Blossoms and leaves that release memories and fragrance, inviting all kinds of life forms to visit.  Humans, birds, mammals, insects, even other plants like mosses and lichens.  Everyone is welcome and attracted to these plants.  So, let’s come up with a list.  I’ll begin…

Japanese maples, tomatoes, herbs like lavender, mint and fennel.  Grasses that dance, fields of wildflowers, plants that offer fruit–blueberries and strawberries, contorted filbert for a twist, really big trees that astonish us with their height and circumference.  If you see a child run towards a plant, or any plant that makes people run towards it, put that plant on the list.  Flowering cherries!!!

2 thoughts on “Inviting Plants

  1. Lilac! I love the smell and the flowers look so soft and casual, all floppy with blooms and not seeming to mind.
    Hydrangea too – it always makes me think of It’s A Wonderful Life and that scene when Mary loses her robe and hides in the hydrangea bush. She puts her hand out and says, “Give me back my robe!” and George just replies, “This is a very interesting situation.” A hydrangea bush MUST be welcoming if poor naked Mary could hide in it. 🙂

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