Plants are about transformation.
Plants transform sunlight and air into solid plant flesh that you can see and hold.
They take the intangible and make it tangible. They are true alchemists.
This is the gift they give us – their transformative energy.
I work with plants on many levels.
On the physical level I use them for food, medicine, body care, flavoring, color, decoration, and more.
I work with plants on the energetic and spiritual levels, where we can connect with the energy of the plant for healing and uplifting, and plants can truly share their wisdom with us.
In these ways, plants share their transformative properties with me and shape and change my life for the better.
I believe that every plant in this world has a purpose whether or not we humans have discovered it. Therefore I work with many plants ( some of which, such as poison ivy, might seem rather off-putting!) for their energy.
I use plants that are wild, maybe considered weeds, and cultivated plants; many that are considered herbs, and many that are not. They’re all important to me.
Working with plants for their energy and wisdom and spiritual gifts, as well as their physical aspects, has led me to start introducing people to their Plant Allies , so that the wider gifts of a plant can be understood by those who want to go deeper.
We are surrounded by a wealth of yummy, nutritious and/or medicinal wild plants, otherwise known as weeds.
They grow everywhere and are mostly ignored, no longer valued for their nutrients and medicine, or simply overlooked.
Some of these marvelous plants are native to this country or this hemisphere; many came with European settlers and other immigrants and became garden escapees and then disappeared from popular consciousness.
I want to introduce you to these wonderful plants that provide such bounty just for the picking.
There is much food and medicine that costs little or nothing to make and use.
I focus on the plants that grow in New England, that are often literally in our backyards. These are usually the plants that have the most to offer us here in this part of the world, and they are the plants that we can most easily access and use.
Check out my classes on wild foods and medicines, and find out what else you can do with these living treasures!
Some of the favorite “weeds” that I focus on:
- Queen Anne’s Lace
- Evening Primrose
What is an herb?
The Herb Society of America calls an herb “a plant for use and delight”.
Herbs are plants used by humans for many things – flavor and seasoning; medicine; color – for fibers and fabrics, for food; for scent; for decoration; for their energetic and spiritual properties.
I use herbs in many ways and for many purposes.
Some of my favorite ways are:
- medicine–for simple, everyday ailments;
- skincare – in lotions and salves, infused oils, and scrubs;
- edible flowers; dyeing fabric and fiber;
- decoration – wreaths and simple dried arrangements;
- herbs’ energy and spirit
Some of my favorite herbs:
And so many more!
Don’t be shy! Ask me about your favorite herb, or discover which will become your favorite.
Natural Fabric Dyeing:
Did you know that up until the mid 1800’s the only way to get colors for your fabrics and yarns was from plants, and an occasional insect, mollusk, or mineral?
One of the alchemies of the plant world is getting color for your yarns and fabrics from a seemingly indescript plant that may or may not seem to offer anything in the way of dye color.
Looking at the green leaves of indigo, who would ever guess at the incredible blues that it renders?
It’s easy to imagine yellow goldenrod flowers giving a yellow hue, but to find that they also yield khaki green and bright orange? Amazing!
Both wild and cultivated plants and herbs give us an incredible array of colors; some have been used for centuries, even millenia, others are still waiting to be discovered.
I have been dyeing fabric and yarn for 40 years, and I still get excited when I see fabric coming out of the dye pot with a splendid hue.
Some of my favorite dye plants:
- Osage Orange (native tree that gives yellow and khakis)
- Madder (traditional dye plant whose roots give reds, salmons, oranges)
- Goldenrod (yellows, oranges, greens)
- Black Walnut (browns, blacks)
- Onion Skins (golden oranges)