Special Performers For Our List of Perennial Plants
People often tell me that they love the way I speak about plants and the landscape on my website. I definitely do express a unique perspective on non-human species and other organic elements of this beautiful, magical planet. In this post, I will list perennial plants that provide multiple ecosystem services* to us and focus on the mystical side of the plant world, which I have worked with in my professional ecological landscape design business for the last 15 years.
I fell in love with Nature** as a child. I lived on a houseboat in Sausalito, and back then it was okay to wander for literally hours through the shipyards by myself. Generation X understands this. It was on those long, unsupervised walks that I discovered near-blinding pockets of magic. I would remember them for life. One was a tall stand of Anise (Pimpinella anisum) which had been colonized by a group of Ladybugs. The sun was shining on their brilliant red shells, popping them against the vibrant green stems. I stood surrounded by the wonderful scent of the plant and pinched several small lace clumps to savor the flavor, being careful not to scoop up any Ladybugs on accident.
I will list perennial plants that I talk about in this post at the bottom, so you can take that to a garden center near you or order plants online more easily. Anyway, in addition to it providing one of my first mystical experiences, it turns out that Anise is quite an amazing plant. Cultivated in Egypt and other ancient societies, it provides us with antioxidant-rich essential oil used widely for flavoring and preventing food spoilage. Mediterranean countries use it to craft alcoholic beverages named Arak, Raki, Ouzo, Anis, Pastis, Sambuca, and Zivania. The seeds are edible, as are the flowers and lace-like tops. As illustrated in the story of one of my adventure walks as a child, beneficial insects like it. Ladybugs will take care of aphid problems on plants, and many garden centers now sell them in refrigerated mesh bags to take home and release on your garden. I always tell clients to spritz them lightly with water mixed with a few drops of mild (non-toxic!) dish soap before releasing them. This temporarily seals their wings, and they give up trying to fly off and instead settle in to munch the aphids in your garden. Anise oil used as aromatherapy relieves stress. What a service in this world of commercial barragementt! Anise is toxic to mosquitos and several other insects nobody wants in their garden. Conifer seedlings beset by the pine weevil, for instance, are able to grow up with application of Anise.
In my BioGeometry studies, I deepened my understanding of the Devic realm of Nature. I’d started with the wondrous story of the Findhorn Foundation years ago. The Nature spirits, as the founders called them, stated the vital importance of forests on Earth. With wolves being taken off the Endangered Species List by this Administration, forests are the hidden victims standing with the wolves. Wolves keep elk and deer in check, according to a study conducted in Yellowstone National Park, and that allows tree saplings to survive. The Anise plant is doing its ecosystem service to prevent loss of our precious planetary forest cover, too, making it a super-valuable plant.
The second species that comes to my mind when I list perennial plants that do a lot of ecosystem jobs for everyone’s benefit is Mahonia repens (Dull Oregon Grape). I first encountered this gorgeous plant in, you guessed it, California’s northern cousin. Tolerant of shade and drought, this native evergreen has an edible berry and its leaves turn almost as many colors as a blueberry plant’s. That’s six major benefits the plant offers to us right off the bat. This lovely plant also provides shelter and food for ground-feeding birds. According to the U.S. Forest Service, Dull Oregon Grape’s rhizomatic root systems make it fire-resistant, too. I highly recommend using this plant in your landscape.
In my work with the spiritual science of ancient Egypt, I co-created with what the Egyptians called NeTeRs; this is the root of the word ‘nature.’ NTRs, as their name was also represented in ancient Egypt, were known to be higher harmonic entities of benevolent kind. BioGeometry establishes communication with them and thereby the opportunity for co-creation. I believe these intelligent forces are the Elementals or Nature Spirits who guided the founders of Findhorn to create a community on the harsh shores of Northern Scotland in the 1960s. In the film Muscle Shoals, a Native American woman walks barefoot over miles to return to the Tennessee River after being relocated. When asked why, she says that the river where she was taken made no sound, but that the river at Muscle Shoals sang. From my study of the Findhorn communications with beings called ‘Landscape Angel’ or ‘Spirit of the Beech Tree,’ I am certain she was clairaudiently able to perceive a NeTeR of that bend in the Tennessee River, and that it was the Elemental augmenting all those great recording artists’ voices and the music of the studio musicians.
From my perspective and that of other sensitives*** like me the Plant Kingdom does so very much more for us than we are able to perceive, and so to appreciate a plant’s personhood is to acknowledge not only the ecosystem and other health benefits with which it bequeaths us, but also to honor it as a being.
When you install your plants, that is when you put them into the ground on your property, I recommend speaking to and softly touching them. Tell them they are beautiful and that you hope they do well in your yard. Gently loosen their roots around the sides and bottom, add a mycorrhizal amendment to the hole, tamp the native soil back around the plant once it is in the ground, and water in well. Stroke its leaves and radiate positive attention toward the soil. This energetic level of interaction not only speaks to the soul of the plant, i.e. the Deva or Nature Spirit that is its consciousness, but it reduces transplant shock and strengthens ties between you.
If you want an exciting read in this area, try The Secret Life of Plants or To Honor the Earth.
A Starter List of Perennial Plants Performing Multiple Ecosystem Services:
- Pimpinella anisum (Anise)
- Mahonia repens (Dull Oregon Grape)
Let me know what you’re working on or if I can answer questions you have about your project.
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*Ecosystem services are work that a plant or other creature performs that benefits the living system in some way. Not counted by industrial economics, ecosystem services are considered in true or environmental economics, where the balance sheet accounts for the production and filtration of drinking water, the reduction of the heat island effect in cities, or the pollination of food plants.
**I capitalize Nature to make a statement as to the personhood of the planet Earth, just like I capitalize Universe.