A Word On Growing Roots

I won’t harp on the insanity of 2020, but I will say that the memes make me laugh. Especially “If 2020 were an album cover”. It’s been rough all around. I think the fact that we are all experiencing the same challenges helps us cope. We certainly aren’t the only ones. 

When the shutdown began I made a mental note that this wasn’t going to be a quick turn around. The schools were saying a few weeks, but in my mind I knew it would be a lot longer. I decided then and there that this would be one of those years where I’d deliberately “grow roots”. 


In normal times (remember?) I would reflect on periods of my life as times of accomplishment or times of growth. Yesterday I had a conversation with 2 of my close designer friends, and we started talking about breath and trees and life. I know- a bit esoteric, but the tree has so many analogies to life in general. My mind instantly went to a crop of bare root clematis that I received from a company online many, many years ago. I was a bit shocked when I opened the box and found just roots. No beautiful blooming plant. I read the instructions carefully and found that the bare root plants tend to do really well over time.

For the first year or so after bare root plants are in the ground, they tend to grow down and develop deep roots which makes them stronger in the long run. I waited for those clematis vines to bloom the next spring. OK… great, I got a few flowers. But then they just kept going, year after year. I had 4 or 5 of them, and they would probably still be growing in my backyard today (20 years later) had we not destroyed the planting bed during renovation. Honestly, they were so hearty that it would not shock me if one sprouted up through the patio cracks today. 

As humans, we need roots. We need to develop and look within for periods of time in order to bloom, so to speak. Growing roots is hard work because no one can see it. Sure they can see you painting away, pecking at your keyboard, scanning, editing, making. But where are the end results? Why isn’t your Instagram full of posts? What are you really doing? Outwardly, it’s been a quiet year for me, but I’ve been super busy growing roots over here. I’ve been putting systems in place and building for the future. I’ve been making and making and making some more as I hone a style that feels true to me. I’ve been digging deep and sharing less. You don’t have to share less when you’re busy growing roots, but it’s just a natural tendency for me.

All that being said, I’m ready for a change of seasons. I’m ready for 2021 and to start putting some of these roots to the test. Time to bloom a bit, huh?


handwritten jenny sign-off


A walk through the garden with Jenny, and a quick look at the floral and garden themed prints designed for products.
Check out the May Inspiration. Spring is here and we are reflecting the colors of the garden.
Jenny's Embellished Garden Collection is now available on paper napkins and guest towels through Boston International.