"Too many," says mys sweetie. He prefers that each plant stand alone so that it can be seen in its fullness. This is the "specimen" approach to gardening, and i certainly know gardeners who do not want their plants to touch each other.
Myself, i prefer the collage of the cottage garden--way too many plants in a small space. When something blooms, i bring it front and center for the spotlight of attention. Until then, it's standing in the wings, awaiting its turn. And, yes, some of my plants are professional wallflowers; they always stand against the wall.
Some phrases from the Loving-Kindness chant that i sometimes contemplate are:
"humble and not conceited,
contented and easily satisfied...
not proud and demanding in nature...."
How can i be humble?
In what ways does my ego get the better of me and make me yearn for the spotlight?
What does it mean to be "contented and easily satisfied"?
Can i be easily satisfied with second best?
Can i be easily satisfied with something i don't particularly want?
Can i cut my out-loud complaining?
What am i proud of? How does pride show up in my life?
In what ways am i demanding?
Sometimes we are called upon to stand in the spotlight. Sometimes we are called upon to be a supporter in the shadows. Neither one is better than the other. How can we walk the middle path?
At the end of your meditation, take a few minutes and contemplate one of these phrases. How does it apply to your life?
My houseplants are standing, some at the back, some at the front. They have no preferences.
Photos from ledgeandgardens.typepad.com and furnishburnish.com