The sun is peaking through the covers in the sky, the cool morning is welcoming after a week of unbearable heat. I walk outside with my dogs to sit in the garden and drink a creamy cup of coffee, my daily ritual that has been on respite because of weather. My garden is a sanctuary where I can sit hidden from the world and talk to my green friends. My dogs enjoy nibbling on sweet grass and smelling the blooming plants. By this time of Summer, the garden has run unsupervised and is quite wild. I love a wild garden, where through the cracks of stone many volunteers peak through. Each season brings a new volunteer and I find great pleasure to see what will grown between the cracks.
This year's volunteers brings Holy Basil - Ocimum sanctum and Motherwort - Leonurus cardiaca, both plants are from the mint family. During my morning ritual, I would caress Holy Basil leaves, her aromatic oils on my hand, inhale deeply and smile. I speak to her in terms of endearments. Holy Basil is one of my closest plant allies. She has provided comfort during huge losses I had endured this past year (My mother, my bestfriend, and my cat all passed away within a year). She reminds me of the beauty in this world and gives me hope.
Holy Basil in the wild garden.
My morning ritual also includes gently rubbing Motherwort's velvety leaves. She is a wonderful ally to me when I feel overwhelmed and unappreciated. She calms and gives me courage to speak my mind. When Motherwort goes to seed, she develops sharp barbs that will bite if I am not careful. She reminds me to create healthy boundaries in my life.
I had not been practicing my morning ritual for several days because of the fierce heat wave. This morning after the respite, I sat down at the garden bench, coffee in hand, ready to talk the Holy Basil and Motherwort. I notice they both were leaning in, much closer to the bench. Their leaves brushing up against my leg as if they were giving me a hug. “Where have you been?” they seem to ask.
Motherwort gently touching my leg as I sip coffee.
I asked my Prairie Star family what plant communicates the most to them:
Kim’s plant ally is Milkweed. She explains why it is important to her. “Milkweed is a special plant to me, I dug up & transplanted my first one from the neighboring field that was getting plowed up, I knew they were important for Monarchs. Several years later, I am participating in their entire lifecycle. Milkweed just keeps giving, blooms flowers to attract Monarchs for feeding & egg laying, then provides food & shelter for monarch caterpillars until they turn into butterflies, an amazing cycle. Each time I harvest leaves for my sheltered caterpillars to eat, I say “thank you” to the milkweed plants.”
Lisa’s plant ally is Rosemary. She said there is something really appealing the way Rosemary can grow in large hedges, creating boundaries, leaving her feeling protected.
Aaron remembers fondly when he was younger helping his Aunt, who works in a florist distribution center, being drawn to a tall spikey purple plant called Liatris. Liatris is a native Prairie plant.
Beautiful Liatris growing in Aaron's garden.
Yarrow has been helping Victoria through shifting relationships in life by providing fatherly safety for her.
I am fascinated by the different stories of how plants speak to us. Each one so unique yet similar. Does a plant speak to you?