Wednesday Vignette: Growth


“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically.
We grow sometimes in one dimension,
and not in another; unevenly.
We grow partially.  We are relative.
We are mature in one realm, childish in another.
The past, present, and future mingle
and pull us backward, forward,
or fix us in the present.
We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”
Anaïs Nin



“A single day is enough
to make us a little larger
or, another time, a little smaller.”
Paul Klee



“We are not trapped or locked up in these bones.
No, no. We are free to change.
And love changes us.
And if we can love one another,
we can break open the sky.”
Walter Mosley



“Patience is not the ability to wait.
Patience is to be calm no matter what happens,
constantly take action to turn it
to positive growth opportunities,
and have faith to believe
that it will all work out in the end
while you are waiting.”
Roy T. Bennett



Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017
“Do you not see how necessary
a world of pains and troubles is
to school an intelligence and make it a soul?”
John Keats
Small Pots

Small pots free us to experiment with plants and planting styles we might never try in the larger garden.  Sometimes called ‘Bonsai accent pots,’ these tiny gardens allow us to create detailed little worlds in a small, shallow container.  All of the plants in a composition should share requirements for light, moisture and nutrition. 

A ‘small pot’ shares much in common with a terrarium; save it is open to the air.  The pot may or may not have a drainage hole, and can be a shallow tray or a few inches deep.  The soil may be finished in mosses, or with fine gravel, small stones, or low, vining plants.

Many of the plants in a small pot may eventually need re-potting to a larger container.  Other plants may remain small and can be grown on in the same pot for several years.  The plants begin as rooted cuttings, small divisions, or perhaps a small bulb, rhizome, seedling tree or tuber.  When kept outside, windblown seeds often germinate and grow.  The gardener may choose to allow the volunteer plant, or pluck it.


Begonia, nearly ready to bloom for its first time.


‘Small pots’ need regular watering and grooming, and most want light shade.  They may need daily misting if kept indoors.  They can dry out very quickly if forgotten. 

Tending these small pots allows us to cultivate mindfulness as we construct and care for them, and as we watch them grow and evolve over time.

These ferns, and the Begonia, all came from The Great Big Greenhouse in Richmond, where they are sold in 1″ pots for terrariums, bonsai, and fairy gardens.


About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

4 responses to “Wednesday Vignette: Growth

  1. The small pots are impressive, Elizabeth.
    Here’s where they always go poorly for me… “small pots’ need regular watering and grooming, and most want light shade. They may need daily misting if kept indoors. They can dry out very quickly if forgotten. ”
    And so, I have one terrarium and lots of cactus as house plants!
    Thank you for the patience quote- I believe that’s very true. I’ve often found that coupling patience and humor is a good combination as well.

    • 😉 Jane, I love your honesty. And I’ll be honest, too. Not all of my ‘small pots’ grow indefinitely. I get distracted and busy, sometimes, and lose one from time to time. But I try to pot the plants up to something larger if there are signs of stress, and give them a chance to recover when I sometimes overwater. There is a balance here that requires the sort of mindfullness that helps me keep focus and grounded in other parts of my life. Yes, I love the patience quote. Patience is any thing BUT passive 😉 Thank you for reading and for sharing your experience. I’ve never learned to grow cactus, and admire those who can! ❤ ❤ ❤

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