Getting to know the plants…

I was in Ohio a week ago, at the Goldenseal Sanctuary run by United Plant Savers. It is an amazing place. Truly. We just don’t have places like it here where I live – the trees, the landscape and the stunning bio-diversity – and visiting there I feel something ancient and powerful.

I like to think of myself as a plant person, I love them deeply and have good understanding and knowledge of plant ecology for many species.  All that being said, experiencing plants in their native habitat transforms that philosophical and intellectual understanding into something more substantive and intimate – in some regards it was like meeting the family of a friend or your partner, you see them at their source and glean a more holistic understanding of them….It happened that way with prairie species like echinacea, compass plant, baptisia and others once I saw them in Kansas, and the same thing happened in Ohio when I saw the ramps, blue and black cohosh, trillium, goldenseal and ginseng in their Holler Habitats. Seeing the relationship these plants have with each other, their landscape and the context of the site was so enlightening and inspirational on many levels. I think it helped that I was there with like-minded individuals who are passionately committed to the preservation of the ecosystems we were in…

So, I bring this new understanding home, and am inspired to apply this new learning in my design practice.


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