Today, January 21 is National Hugging Day! Now, for us introverts or anyone who isn’t the touchy feely type, this day fills us with trepidation.
A little background on this holiday:
National Hug Day was created by Reverend Kevin Zaborney in Caro, Michigan in 1986 as an antidote to the reverend’s perception that many Americans were afraid to display affection in public. And he believed that on this day the spirits of people were at the lowest ebb, all of us trapped in despair between Christmas and Valentine’s Day.
Now before you all go out willy nilly hugging people indiscriminately, heed this warning. Not all of us are comfortable with hugging. Of course, I can readily hug my family, friends, and my dog, but strangers? Not so much. Even mere acquaintances probably won’t get a hug from me. My mail delivery person won’t get a hug. Neither will the garbage pickup folks. It doesn’t mean I don’t like them, but I’m not an indiscriminate hugger.
Besides my closest humans and animal huggables, today, though, I’ll also want to give Mother Nature a big hug.
She’s had my back. Yes, I admit it, Mother Nature has brought me the frustrating scourge of pocket gophers, slugs and weeds, but, overall, she’s been good to me. I’ve created a garden that brings me a ton of joy. I’ve been blessed with awesome hiking trails throughout the Pacific Northwest and Mountain West.
But I’d like to do something extra for her, too, and you can, as well. Many of us are planning our spring garden chores now, including replacing or adding new plants. But did you know that you can give a big hug to Mother Nature if you stick with native plants and flowers?
Plants that are nonnative to areas where they’re found are capable of causing environmental, economic or human harm. I found this excellent guidance from the U.S. Forest Service that can help us all prevent the spread of invasive, nonnative plants, whether you’re from the U.S. or elsewhere.
Prevent the Spread
One of my favorite native plants here in Idaho is the Sulfur Buckwheat (Eriogonum Umbellatum Proliferum). You can find it here and on many other plant nursery sites. I’ve got a lot of it in my front side garden.
Sulfur Buckwheat (Sitting Among Veronica Groundcover)
I love Sulfur Buckwheat because it’s evergreen, xeric, and produces beautiful sulfuric yellow flowers in late spring to early summer. The ideal region for this plant is the western U.S. And it’s drought resistant, so it barely needs watering! Some sites say it’s deer resistant, but I have seen deer feeding on it early in the morning. It’s bee friendly, too!
So, after you’re done hugging your family and friends and pets today, give Mother Nature a hug, too. She deserves your affection!
Photo of Eriogonum Umbellatum courtesy of Stan Shebs, via Wikimedia