How To Grow Your Plant Knowledge The Old Fashioned Way
Would you like to know the secret to having deep knowledge of plants?
It's a rare thing these days to find people who are wise in the ways of plants. Lots of people have the passion, but most have become 'lazy' about how they choose to learn about plants.
Back in the old days, humans didn't even have books or fancy apps to make the job easier.
And yet it was much more common for each family to have members who had multiple encyclopedias stored in their brain.
How did they do it?
How is it possible that there can be more knowledge at our fingertips than ever before, and at the same time so much less plant knowledge in the general population?
In my experience it all comes down to a little thing I like to call...
"The Art of Watching Plants."
(I've been a serious student of this for about ten years now.) I'm a big fan of using plants for food, health & wellness, and also as a doorway to deeper awareness and presence in the natural world.
It's made a big difference in my life, and I'd like to share some uncommon yet highly practical perspectives with you!
It's all here in today's video...
8 Favourite Plant Patterns To Look For:
1. Seasonal Changes - Watch how plants grow & change through the four seasons. What's the first plant to emerge in spring? In what seasons do different flowers bloom in your bio-region?
2. Insect Relationships - I recently discovered that feverfew will actually repel bees & other insects. Crazy! I didn't even realize that was possible. Other plants are really good at attracting insects that balance & bring stability to an ecosystem.
3. The Influence of Environment - Pick one individual plant and watch it for an entire year. Notice how shifts in temperature, precipitation, wind & air pressure effect the appearance. You'll notice that some plants follow the sun, some plants close up before it rains. Very handy stuff to know!
4. Plants In Different Conditions - Pick one individual species and try to find it in as many different locations as possible. Notice how this species thrives (or not) in various microclimates, at different elevations, light conditions & soil structures.
5. Identification -This part is less important than you might think... but having good plant identification skills does help. Did you know that each family of plants has a different type of flower? There are different leaf shapes and branching arrangements that all help you quickly narrow down the identity of a plant. You don't need to know the name in order to look for these patterns.
6. Mammal Relationships - How do your local plants interact with mammal populations? Are there certain times of year when the porcupines eat clovers in the field? What are the favoured foods of rabbits in your area? The first herbalists probably learned a lot directly from the animals.
7. Flowers - How many different types of flowers can you find? What's the first flower to open in spring? What's the last flower to wilt in fall? Can you find flowers that are only open in the morning? What do your local tree flowers look like?
8. Roots - There really is a whole art & science to looking at just the roots of a plant. Some roots are fibrous and weblike. Some plants have deep taproots. Can you notice any patterns of where different root types grow on your landscape?
Of course there's always more! This is just a small sample of what you can look for as you practice the art of watching plants.