Taking care of household plants is a simple, comforting gateway to the outdoors. Not only do plants give us hints of color within the confines of man-made walls, they remind us of our natural roots.

I’ve always had plants in one way or another. Watering raspberries along the front fence, picking tomatoes in my backyard, and planting spinach, kale or carrot seeds depending on the summer are some of my favorite memories. They remind me of wholesome meals and lush green land, even in the desert.

Last summer, a friend gave me a gift card to a local plant nursery. I’m more accustomed to Albuquerque’s cottonwoods and the riverside bosque ecology near where I spent most of my life. After moving to Santa Fe, I discovered a more alpine blend of evergreen trees such as piñon, juniper, blue spruce and ponderosa pine trees. Thus, I was excited to unearth what the local greenhouse had to offer.

Bodhi Lewis is a sophomore at Mandela International Magnet School. Contact him at bodhi.lewis@mandelainternationalschool.us.