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!