After such wonderful training on plant anatomy, soil conditioners, pest management and the basics of every major category of plant we might want to grow, we were graduated as Master Gardeners with only one more tiny, little thing to then acquire: years and years of experience and observation in our own gardens! As Mary Wilson, author/lecturer for the MG Woody Ornamental section said, “Horticulture is not an exact science.” I am sure any gardener can understand the wisdom of this, and that my Peach Leafed Bellflower certainly knows why it was not coming back up in my yard ever again when it grows blissfully in sun or pure shade right down the block at my neighbors. Only the roses know why we were able to plant a rose stick in the ground, do nothing at all, and it would bloom pest free for years…but that when we moved to another house, we found we needed to lay into the cultural practices non-stop and even then it was not entirely satisfactory. How did I lose my touch with roses when we moved to our new house? The answer is, I didn’t. We merely moved to an Earth spot that had a far different energetic footprint, one that I needed to learn how to work well with.
As one who specializes in subtle energy work, I have learned that beyond the cultural and scientific requirements which are valid in their own right, there are other forces which also determine the success of any plant. If you may have heard of feng shui , then you are already basically familiar with the mode of my vibrational energywork. I apply my energy sensing skills to all facets of life and have found great rewards even in my garden by tuning into the energy signatures and flows patterns which delineate my particular yard and matching that with the plants I choose to grow . What I have learned is that the very best way to manage pests and disease in the garden, is to keep the vibrational energy field that supplies the vital life force for my plants at their optimal levels. Then my plants and their would-be pests are like two ships that pass in the night. It is a formidable entry to any IPM program even though it is still in infancy of being comprehended.
All my work with energy flow hinges upon that which has many names: Subtle energy, Qi, Chi, Prana or – if you are a Star Wars fan – the Force. This real essence which as yet cannot be physically measured moves within our bodies and the world around us in incredible rhythms and patterns. Just as we and our plants are thusly moved, the Earth is one enormous energy field. In fact, our gardens contain layers and layers of subtle energy patterns. I have found that just as our fingerprints are unique, so are the “vibrational signatures” of any square foot of Earth as well. These signatures can, by and large, be “read” much like an aura , as containing specific proportions of certain vibrations such as the wavelength we’d call Red, or that which we call Green. What I have found is that each species of plant (and varieties within them) are keyed to use certain vibrations, or colors, to manufacture their food. Most plants are incredible in that they can work with any number of vibrational patterns or color combinations. There are for each plant though, vibrational patterns that are sometimes simply too challenging for them to work with…and we all realize this in our garden when we fulfill all the cultural requirements and yet note the plant to be a consistently poor performer or to disappear entirely without leaving us a note of prior engagement.
I have found that all plants can read the earth energies where they are placed like a book. This is why there are many “unexplainable” plant happenings that can be more easily comprehend through energy flow. For example, how about an indoor cactus which grows away from the window (its light source). Or, have you ever noted taller plant varieties that, for no logical reason, are bent and determined to lean a certain way no matter how much scolding and staking is applied? Both of these are examples of plants which are making a definite vote for a certain earth energy or vibration that they find more optimal than where they are placed. Many plants bend slightly if we take the time to notice, and some are much more sensitive and prone to bending than others. Cosmos bipinnatus, Nicotiana alata and Perovskia are all plants whicj are quite sensitive and tall enough to lean until they hit the lawn if need be to place themselves into a spot of Earth that gives them better ability. I have learned to observe all the plants in my yard as the masters of energy flow dynamics that they are.
While it is true that each foot of Earth may be totally unique, I have noted that as a general rule, each person’s property carries two main vibrational frequencies (or colors) that form the most important basis for plant successes. You may, for instance, be living in an area that has more of a cool range of vibrations such as blues and violets…or you may have property that has more of a warm tone range such as reds and oranges. Just knowing this basic fact can sometimes lend many plant behaviors more explanation. What I have learned to do is trust my intuition when I walk into nurseries or garden shops…I buy those plants that I feel will go well with my land. In effect I let the plants and my yard have last say. What I have seen in my own garden over years of unofficial experiments and observations is that when a plant is placed into the optimal energies that it uses, you get a healthy plant that produces more crop and that crop will have more taste, fragrance or nutritional impact. This is all accomplished with no need for pesticides, either organic or otherwise. I have also noted that the intense amounts of animal foraging which used to decimate my garden is now minimal and I have not resorted to tricks or traps. It is merely that when a plant has the ability to maintain its own energy field, it is not shining like a beacon to predators on a constant basis.
Do I ever need to contend with pests or diseases? Of course, as no matter how perfectly one matches plant to earth spot, there will still be the endless macrocosm of vibrations which cycle through giving us our yearly and seasonal shifts. My main practice with pests is to simply watch them, as I find is it usually a temporary situation and needs no aid. I give great respect to all the pests and insects in my garden as the teachers they are. For instance, have you ever planted something in your garden and then noted pest or disease problems on neighboring plants that you’d never had problems with before? The pests are clueing you into a possible energy flow snag that you may have unknowingly created between your plants. Not only does a plant need to be placed where it can synthesize well , but all plants nearby one another need to be basically compatible as well, so that there is energy flow between them and throughout the entire garden bed. When you have sluggish energy flows, well, then, you may have extra slug-ish garden beds!
In fact, Hostas are one of the plants that we gardeners can have long-term struggles with and it doesn’t need to be this way! I threw away my diatomacious earth, slug traps and other devices. I removed all the hosta varieties that that got brutally slugged year in and year out and then made a decision to either plant them in another location of my yard where the flow might be better…or, I gave them to people to whom I felt had better yards for them. Then I went to the nursery to let the hostas tell me which would be more optimal in my yard, at those locations I needed. It works, believe me! There are well over 250 varieties of hostas so it is easy to find some specific varieties that may be well suited to your yard.
It is automatic these days for me to intuitively sense out whether my plants will have good energy flow between them. It is always nice to have good neighbors, but I have discovered that for the plants in our gardens and landscaping, it can sometimes be critical. This is , of course, the basis for companion planting, and yet energyflow as I work with it is much more inclusive. For example, many do not think about which trees and shrubs are situated nearby their perennials and annuals. The plants know though! A good rule of thumb is that the larger a plant is the more “weight” it will carry in terms of subtle energy force. So, if you have planted underneath a tree, then that tree energy can easily deplete the energy field of a smaller plant under it which is not compatible. I have some mini-roses that Adore being nearly underneath my pine tree. They receive less light this way but do fantastically and I never need to spray them. I have learned that some plants which roses like to be planted next to are Basils (the green varieties) and Lemon Grass. This combination also looks wonderful texturally and I have realized that compatible plants DO tend to blend beautifully in all ways so that I am not required to obsess about leaf shape and the like as I used to.
What about two perennials or plants of roughly the same size? With any pair of plants playing neighbor to one another, I have noted that the plant who is Most able to use the two main vibrations where they are planted will carry the weight and you will see the other plant be on more of the losing end of the energy flow deal. Two plants that I see gardeners and landscapers often place together are Rudbeckia and Purple Coneflower. These are not the happiest of campers right next to one another and what I have seen is that if Rudbeckia grows well on its spot, then in general the coneflower will not thrive there. And vice versa. Both of these plants are so tough that they will most likely grow there anyway, yes…but…do they tend to get preyed upon more by animals foraging, do they take over the bed and need constant division or are they much more demure, barely presenting their presence each year? These are some of the questions in my mind as I observe my plants from year to year.
Vegetables are another story as they will tell you in terms of pests, crop yield and flavor when they are placed well in your garden. There is a very sound reason of energyflow principle based upon the Native American’s planting of the 3 sisters together. The corn, squash and beans as a grouping together have exceptional energyflow. They go beyond just good energyflow and play what I call champion roles for one another, actually being able to strengthen one another’s energy field at times. For example, last year I accidentally found such a champion match for a Christmas cactus that someone had gifted to me. It really wasn’t optimally placed in my house at all, and for one whole year it would bravely put out flower buds, and these would all drop off before the flowers ever opened. Nutrient deficiency? One might be very inclined to think so think and yet…one day I brought in a little herb pot of Catgrass (Avena sativa) for my dog and placed it next to the Christmas cactus. Within two weeks new buds had formed and it started blooming the most gorgeous double flowers in profuse amounts! It has grown double its’ size in a very short amount of time and is just thriving! I did *nothing* else, simply the placement of a champion plant was all that my cactus required. In fact, the Catgrass loved being next to the cactus. I had two of these plants, and noted after a time that the one on another table was looking like it was going to leave this world. I placed it by the cactus, in back of it so that it now had less sunlight and it started to revive instantly – even with much less light! I have often found that plants will do very well in all manner of cultural situations if they have good subtle energy dynamics to create that physcial life of theirs.
What I did for my indoor plants I also do outside in my garden beds. I will sometimes look for and plant what I call “bridge plants” . These are plants that are compatible with each of the neighbors they will be planted next to and so they form a wonderful bridge to link together what may have previously been a situation of sluggish or blocked energyflow. This is great to try with herbaceous plants but when it comes to woody plants I carefully match the energies all around. Most of us don’t have the room to plant extra trees and this is not the whole idea anyway. Tuning into your particular vibrations and planting what will grow well there is the main idea and one that I have found is extremely rewarding!
All it takes is careful observation and an opening up to the intuitive senses we all possess.