Multidimensional Gardening (and Garden Update)

Today’s garden update includes yesterday’s appreciation of just how much gardening can get you in touch with multiple dimensions. Of course, I often engage with garden fairies and Nature Spirits, but even without that extra dimensional contact, gardening encourages whole brain and whole heart activity.

wild violets

wild violets

Whenever we get outside and observe growing plants, we begin to recognize the third dimension of solid forms. Participating in the seasons, the Sun’s daily movement across the sky, and the life cycle of plants from seed to sprout to plant to fruit to seed again also reminds us of the fourth dimension — time.

And yet, it’s not all cyclical time in Nature! Planting a garden inspired by permaculture principles also requires visualization of and consideration for how perennials, shrubs and trees will grow over the years. When we plant a food forest, we become more aware of light, shadow and their play through time. We need to allow for harmonious growth, aiming for abundance without crowding.

When planting bulbs, we might wait all winter or spring for any signs of growth, but we can leave future presents for ourselves when we most need a shot of color  — or gifts to early insects with few other sources of food.

Daffodils around fruit trees delight the winter weary eye, feed early bees, keep grass at bay and discourage animals from disturbing delicate tree roots.

Daffodils around fruit trees delight the winter weary eye, feed early bees, keep grass at bay and discourage animals from disturbing delicate tree roots.

Embracing the element of time by planting perennials also rewards us with green in spring — that sense of renewal that soothes and reopens the Heart Center after winter contracts us into death, starkness and the uncertainty of anything returning to life.

sedum

sedum

chives

chives

Old fashioned perennial vegetables like lovage put us back in touch with our Ancestors, for whom this celery like herb seasoned soups and provided medicine for ailments as diverse as kidney stones, digestive complaints and respiratory issues. When we grow and eat ancestral or heirloom foods, both subtle and physical connections strengthen the bond between our time and times gone by. We re-member our Earthly ties to those who came before us. We gain courage, wisdom and a sense of belonging as we surround ourselves with plants that return each year — and have done so for our Ancestors for hundreds or thousands of years.

lovage

lovage

Provided we use caution not to introduce invasive species into a new environment, growing crops from other lands can also remind us of our connection to lands and cultures from afar — bending not only time but also space. Along with our Tibetan prayer flags, we also have Himalayan goji berry shrubs:

Goji berry shrubs can grow to ten feet tall and require very little care once established. Known for increasing longevity and healing, goji's reconnect us to the Ancient Wisdom of Tibet.

Goji berry shrubs can grow to ten feet tall and require very little care once established. Known for increasing longevity and healing, goji’s reconnect us to the Ancient Wisdom of Tibet.

When considering the relationships of plants to each other, we often think of companion planting, but using cover crops encourages us to think of those who come after us. Nitrogen fixers like peas, fava beans (edible vetch), and clover leave the soil better than they found it. How might we do the same? For our gardens? For our cities? For our planet?

Cool season edible leguminous cover crop just starting to grow. It will provide food and nourish the soil for the next season of growth.

Cool season edible leguminous cover crop just starting to grow. It will provide food and nourish the soil for the next season of growth.

Many of the above photos show wood mulch, which creates its own multidimensional portals, mostly unseen to the human eye. As the wood breaks down, mycelium colonies form telepathic linkages among plants, trees, bacteria, fungi, earthworms and the complex ecosystem of the soil. Humans are more closely related to fungi than to plants, and the network of communication that runs throughout a healthy soil system would put our internet to shame! Not only is there a “Secret Life of Plants,” but also a secret life of fungi. Medicinal mushrooms provide superfood tonics and medicine to humans, as well as remediating toxins and radiation, and helping plants to strengthen themselves from invasions and disease. Mycologist Paul Stamets even claims mushrooms can save the world!

With mushrooms, we come full circle to the multidimensional nod to the Faery Realm that opened this post. Indeed, Faery Lore is filled with fungi. From the red capped fly agaric mushrooms to faery rings to spores resembling the mysterious pixie dust, mushrooms and their magical mycelia help us engage with other realms. So weather you grow herbs in pots on your window sill or live in the abundance of your own or a nearby food forest, know that the Web of Wyrd is far more complex than most people allow themselves to imagine. The cycle of life and the radical interconnectedness of all beings includes us, whether or not we choose to recognize and honor those connections. I leave you with a Druid prayer updated for modern times:

Grant, O Great Spirit/Goddess/God/Holy Ones, Thy Protection;
And in protection, strength;
And in strength, understanding;
And in understanding, knowledge;
And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice;
And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it;
And in that love, the love of all existences;
And in the love of all existences, the love of Great Spirit/Goddess/God/Holy Ones/the Earth our mother, and all goodness.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kieron on April 12, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Great food for thought while weeding and tidying up the garden that came about as a result of the Faerie’s Dream. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Posted by cocomel on April 12, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Laura, you truly are an inspiration of taking the next step. Well done! Paul Stamets also is a trail blazer, a true guide in life. His recent action of open sourcing some of patented knowledge/technique of mycoremediation is so joyfully heart warming. Just received some plug spawn for oyster-lions mane-hen of the woods last week from his company to add to the shiitake’s that i did last year. No instant gratification with these but the mycelium is showing signs of running through the shiitake logs, may see some fruiting this year. Happy spring, today feels like . . .really feels like . . . spring.

    April 10th was when the last patches of snow finally vanished here in zone 6a.

    happy spring to all.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks Kieron! Glad the garden’s still going. 🙂

    Like

  4. Thank you, Mel! Mushrooms we on my winter to do list, and other things jumped ahead. I need to talk with my mulch guy about getting some logs. Maybe it’s not too late. 🙂 Happy Spring!

    Like

  5. It’s such a joy to watch your garden grow, Laura. Welcome spring!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks, Diana! Yes, welcome spring!!

    Like

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