Tulita the Plant Truck Interviews her Driver. What?!
Well, this is a first. We’ve never had a truck interviewing its driver on The Planthunter before. But, you know, this truck isn’t any truck, its Tulita the plant truck from New York city.
Every weekend, with her boss lady Christan Summers behind the wheel, Tulita prowls the streets of NYC purveying plants, gorgeous planty objects and more – bringing the joy and beauty of plants to the chlorophyll deprived city folk. What a job!
Christan is not just any old truck driver. She’s a creative director, brand strategist and serious plant lover. She and her partner Ivan Martinez founded Tula Plants & Design in 2015 as a way of sharing their love of mother nature with the world.
I asked Christan if she’d mind documenting one of her conversations with Tulita as they meandered through the city streets, with their load of greenery onboard. She did, and this is how it went.
Tulita: If you were to say one thing to Mother Nature, what would it be?
Christan: Thank you.
Tulita: For what?
Tulita: Relief from what?
Christan: The city. The concrete. The pressure. I feel a sense of calm when I’m with her; she brings me back to my senses.
Tulita: There’s not enough green in this city.
Christan: No, there’s not. Hence the reason we’ve surrounded ourselves with indoor plants.
Tulita: And you think that’s enough?
Christan: I think it’s enough for the in-between times of escaping the city. I think people underestimate the power of Mother Nature.
Tulita: In what sense?
Christan: Well, consider that feeling of relief. When I get home everyday, I see my indoor garden. I feel a sense of calm come over me. Then I’ll spend time watering or cleaning the plant’s leaves and I forget about the day for a moment. It’s my safe place – my own mini oasis.
Tulita: So you’re saying Mother Nature’s power is in the fact she evokes a safe feeling?
Christan: Yes. It’s like coming home.
A connection with nature is engrained in humans, no matter how out of touch or caught up we may be.
Tulita: That’s a bold statement.
Christan: Yes, it is. But don’t you sense it as well? When we’re out here together?
Tulita: I suppose I do. People are happy to see us, they smile, sometimes gasp, and then say something about how much they love plants.
Tulita: But there are also the people who murmur the negative experiences they’ve had. They say something about killing plants, or not having a green finger. I don’t think your theory applies to them.
Christan: I hear that too. But I think in that case, those people are dealing with a fear of what happened in the past. Plants will provide a momentary relief from a busy city. That relief just may be clouded with an experience from another time.
Tulita: Plants are alive!
Christan: I love when you say that.
Tulita: It’s such an obvious statement, but I’m still surprised by how many people I hear say to them self, huh, I never really considered that.
Christan: Well, it’s become easy to view plants – or nature – as an inanimate object. They look good, they look easy to care for.
Tulita: Education helps. Considering the origin of a plant and the best conditions for growth.
Christan: For sure. When plants are happy it’s fascinating to watch them grow and adapt to new spaces. I’d say city dwellers and plants have something great in common – they’ve both left their natural habitat and now live in what some would consider, harsh conditions. But they survive – they are fighters.
Tulita: Are you a fighter?
Christan: Sure, I guess. Being in the city can be tough sometimes, that’s why I created my little plant oasis. Do you consider yourself a fighter?
Tulita: Me? No.
I’m an observer. I’d say that I have the best job of all. I get to facilitate and watch the exchange of life.
Christan: Spoken like a true plant truck, Tulita.
Tulita: Yeah girl, that’s what I’m here for.
All images supplied by Christan Summers and Ivan Martinez