Last year was the year of the garden. Well...last year was the year of many things and, to be honest, every year is the year of the garden because that is the very nature of both years and gardens. BUT. Last year we found ourselves overwhelmingly, gratefully, almost seismically turning to the quiet certainty and restorative possibilities of green things. What is it about the call of the greening world that we feel so deeply? Something hard to name, a resonance, a physical longing asked and then answered by dirt under the fingernails, the richness of dark earth, sweet blossom, and the music of breathing it in, and the salt of sweat falling into the soil alongside the coneflower seeds. 


Herbalist, nutritionist, energetic healer, and plant whisperer Erin Lovell Verinder puts this longing, this innate kinship with growing things into words better than we ever could: plants offer us great lessons in reciprocity, she says, the sowing of seeds is the giving, the reaping of flowers the receiving. May plants hold you, soothe you, fortify you, restore you, and ignite you. This is a mighty time to be here in the arms of mama earth. And, as always, she has got your back.


We stepped into Erin's garden—peak summer for us, full winter for her in Australia—to dig deeper into her generous sense of the mystical possibilities of allowing ourselves the time and space to align with the green world around us, to heal, grow, and attune.

Erin wears the Audrey Shirt Jacket, Vanessa Romper, and Dot Hankie in Oak.





How would you describe your own garden? What does it gift you?

It is a refuge, a source of nourishment, play, experimentation, beauty, reciprocity. In early 2020 when the pandemic became the new reality, we like everyone else found ourselves at home more than ever before. So we expanded our garden exponentially. It was our retreat, a wonderful project that needed much care. From that first season the harvest bounty we reaped was incredible! A mix of vegetables, fruits and medicinal herbs were picked on the daily. I love planting quite wildly, mixing this with that, companion planting aplenty. This yields a visual treat, and has taught me that  gardening can be artful- an earthy practice laced with creativity and the pursuit of beauty.

It is deep winter here now, but we live in a sub-tropical growing region so we planted in kale, carrots, chard, beets, broccoli, leeks and so much more. I grow as many flowering plants as possible to encourage the pollinators, to bring the bees. I honestly experience a lot of delight witnessing the floral blooms of nasturtium, borage, artichoke, cosmos, sunflowers, violets and more. One of my favourite things to do is make a salad, off I go rummaging in the garden picking bits and pieces, with the result of a colourful fresh mish mash of goodness in a bowl- torn green lettuce leaves, chicory greens, red veined sorrel, arugula flowers, chives, parsley, fresh lemon all dance together. 

There is something deeply spiritual about plants and also something so commonplace and ubiquitous. How do you reconcile the mystical with the mundane?

It lies in our perception and subverting the messages of the often overlooked. We generally seek these large gestures of mysticism. Yet more often than not the answers we are seeking are right in front of us, just like the plants we are surrounded by—the sky above, the earth underfoot. It is simply about a perspective shift, engaging your ability to listen and see.


What is your favorite thing you know of or have learned that reveals a miraculous complexity and deep magic about something we all just kind of take for granted as "something that just is"?

I mean I am constantly in awe of nature’s intelligence and ability to communicate. The ancient system of the doctrine of signatures is one that I always return to. How a plant sends us messages of its use for human healing through its physical appearance (colour, texture, shape etc) or growing pattern. One of the simplest examples is a walnut, rich in essential fatty acids for brain health. It sits snuggly in its hard shell, and once cracked open resembles the brain! Or the glorious St John’s Wort, bright yellow and cheery just like the sun- this plant is a key remedy for anxiety and depression and quite literally reanimates our inner sunshine.

M A G I C!







Erin wears the Ana Dress







Plants are messengers of the essential. What wisdom can we share with them about how to flourish in all conditions, most simply?

We only need to look to “weeds” (wild growing plants that are deemed problematic as they commonly interrupt cultivated plants and gardens) to learn just about everything we need to learn regarding flourishing in all sorts of conditions. They are the most perfect metaphor! Weeds grow through the cement cracks in the most unlikely desolate undernourished places, they persevere, with might. They have an innate belief that they are deserving to take up space, they only need the basics to nourish themselves and they seem to thrive in the most absurd places. Give them a little nutrition (sunlight and water) and off they go.

Growing a garden is a great lesson in the cyclical nature of life. From seed, to sprout, to plant- witnessing growth in the soil can gift us a lot of understanding of our own processes and the natural world. Plants are a part of the fabric of nature, and we too are nature. There is the opportunity of belonging and synergy between us all.

What rituals or rhythms do you find helpful and healing?

I value rest and quiet more than I ever have before, it is an interesting unfolding for me. As the years pass, I realise how much more introverted I have become! To show up and work in the way I do it feels so very necessary to self-nurture deeply. Along with honouring rest, I practice a lot of rhythmic basics, staying well hydrated with spring water and herbal teas, eating nutritive home cooked food and moving my body daily in some way. Connecting to nature is non-negotiable, whether it be a beach walk or time in the garden I would say it is my greatest ritual in my daily life. It is my daily meditation as such.

I feel the pursuit for wellness can get super complicated, especially in a time where the commodification of wellness is rife. So, for me, stripping it back and practicing these pillars (water, food, rest, connecting to nature) are quite profound!





Erin's second book "The Plant Clinic" will be released in a few months, mid-October 2021 in the US. Follow Erin on Instagram here. Photography by Georgia Blackie.






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