FEATURED ARTIST: Jason Watkins (JPANTS)

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Name: Jason Watkins

Location: Portland, OR,

Astrological Sign: Libra

Website:  www.jpants.com

Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/jpants4sale?ref=pr_shop_more

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How did you get involved with gardening and gardening products? What led you to it?

My grandmother planted the seed of interest. She could make anything grow – and that wasn’t easy in the dry New Mexico heat.

What do you get out of gardening or creating gardening products? How has it improved or changed your life or the lives of others? Why do you feel it is vital or important?

I love the fact that I am spreading living things across the globe, and that I helped a plant distribute its genetic code to people everywhere.

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What’s your most favorite feature of your garden or product? What’s the best aspect of your garden or product to you?

My favorite aspects are the possibilities for indoor gardening. I like details and creating mini worlds, and I’d like to someday be called an artist, so this is a good way to combine all those things. I’m also fascinated by certain plants, what they mean, what they do, and their history on the planet — there are some plants that do fascinating, incredible things. And we don’t even know all the secrets plants hold.

What comments, responses or feedback have you received about your garden or gardening products?

I’ve gotten overwhelmingly positive feedback. Out of thousands of orders, I had one negative interaction (with a customer who used the wrong address and was upset when the package didn’t arrive). That’s not a bad experience. It’s funny that the one bad interaction is the one that stays with me, but we’re funny creatures.

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Do you have any advice for others interested in starting a garden or getting involved with guerilla gardening or gardening product creation?

My advice is to try. Grow as much as you can. You will always lose plants, but that’s the burden a gardener bears. Learn from your plant assassinations and keep going. When a plant likes where it’s at and it thrives for you, it’s almost like having a pet. It’s entirely reliant on you and your love for it to survive.

In your opinion, why is gardening or gardening products an art form?

I’m not sure it’s an art form, although altering nature and your environment can definitely reach the level of art, in a sense. I think it’s more of a meditation, almost: The act of gardening is such a slow one, and is such an investment in the future. I think growing a plant is the ultimate rejection of death and the inevitability of time, and the only other thing that does that is art. I guess plants are nature’s way of creating art.

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Do you have any seed bomb, gardening product recipes to share and where is it best to throw? Do you have any favorite gardening products you’d recommend to fellow gardeners or advice about gardening?

My primary advice is to plant discriminately. Some species aren’t suited for some settings, and invasive species — like sensitive plants — can really take over and do some damage. Always plant in containers because you have more control over the plant’s environment and intake that way.  Also, your plants need far less fertilizer than you might think.

What’s your favorite plant and why?

Although I probably consume more potatoes than any other plant, my favorite one to contemplate is cannabis. The most successful plant ever to evolve on earth! It’s fascinating for its simplicity and its success, its effect on culture and history, its value and its uses, its seemingly endless possibilities. I think we are just beginning to learn what this plant is all about. Of course, I think sensitive plants are cool too.

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Why do others need to get involved with gardening aside from replenishing the earth, saving and providing an environment to foster insect and animal life and beautification of the Earth? How has it influenced you on a spiritual or emotional level or evolved you as a person, if it has?

Gardening is a good idea for everyone. It relieves stress, it provides food or medicine, it’s good exercise. It’s also a good way to bring a little life to your office or cubicle. Terrariums do so well under fluorescent lights, they can brighten up even the darkest environment. They’re also low maintenance, and they require about as much care as a regular houseplant.

The thing I love most about plants is their quiet nature; they are undoubtedly living, feeling “beings,” and they grow and respond to stress just like we do. I might just be a neo-hippie, but I don’t see a big difference between people, animals and plants — we’re all living creatures trying to make our way on the earth. Any time you can bring all three into your life, you’ll be happier for it.

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