Green Chi: In Favor of an (Organic) Cutting Garden
My English professor father was a remarkable gardener. There were perennials all over our land, and as I grew up, one of my pleasures was picking flowers and putting them into just the right vase in just the right place in the house. My mother loved to do this, too. She would always place cut flowers by the beds of house guests. I wonder now if we intuitively felt the pick-me-up, the gift of energy from the plant.
It is true that I am very sensitive to energy and pick up shifts and nuances in my surroundings very quickly. This may be why I perceived how the energy shifted so positively recently when I placed a small bouquet of freshly cut flowers on the table next to where I meditate. Zing, a positive shimmer of something lit up the whole area for a minute or so.
I was also startled because I had never consciously felt how a flower’s presence could have such an impact. Is a flower’s secret energy some underpinning of why flowers are given for celebrations and memorials? Do they actually shift the mood? Do they help?
This moment with the flower by my meditation chair is having a ripple effect, and over the past month or so since it happened, I have found myself migrating from nutritional pills to herbal remedies. The seed for this quick shift was planted years ago, awakening a memory of hearing herbalist Pam Montgomery speak about plant spirit essences. As out there as it is to imagine plants having spirits with whom you can communicate, she is the one who taught me about it, and she may be right. I thought of her when I had the experience of the energetic shift with the cut flowers, and sought out her new book, Plant Spirit Healing (Bear & Co, 2008).
What strikes me is that I don’t feel the boost so much from cut flowers that I buy. Yes, the colors are beautiful, but the vibrancy seems too flat in comparison to those freshly picked from the (organic) garden at home. So does the scent. Certainly, some of this is due to the lack of freshness, but there is more. Commercial flowers are made to conform? They are usually weighed down by toxic chemicals? They are exposed to artificial temperatures when they travel? They aren’t surrounded by the wild of nature when grown in a greenhouse? Who knows, but certainly there is a difference.
The cutting garden wins in regards to the energy of the flowers, but it also is a beautiful way to connect to the land where you live. Placing something in your home that is grown on your own land, tended to and cut with your own hand brings some of the outside in. And, I am beginning to believe, it brings the lovely spirit of the flowers with it.