I first turned over a shovel of earth in the Green Hope gardens in 1986. The Elementals were in the thick of it from the beginning, offering advice on garden layouts, plant choices, techniques for mulching, weeding, soil building and plant care. In both the creation and the maintenance of the gardens, my Elemental partners have taught me unexpected ways to proceed.
Mavericks in every way, the Elementals problem solve with brilliance and humor. They have me use tools in odd ways. They have me lay out complicated mandalas with confusing geometries through methods no math teacher would suggest- but the gardens always measure up and come together despite moments of a lot twine and a lot sticks and what appears to be Molly having one more (mis)adventure in a garden.
When I can’t figure out their directions, I ask them to make their advice even more obvious, They all but fly planes overhead with directions on banners fluttering behind. Elementals manage to bring home a point so effectively, I wonder why I ever forget to ask them in favor of my own resources.
Take one of the new Flower Essences made this week. The Elementals drew me to this Flower in the Arbor Garden when I was nearby repotting greenhouse plants. Pointing out this radiant and unknown Flower, they asked me to make a Flower Essence from it. I did not remember planting this Flower and was surprised to find it in the Arbor Garden. I put making this Flower Essence on my to do list with a snarky comment, “Hey, I AM BUSY here with all these pot bound beauties so it will just have to wait.” But the Elementals told me, “You need to make this Essence NOW.” so I did. There is always a reason for their specific directions, even if not apparently obvious at the time.
And there was a reason for this direction. That night, a wild thunderstorm took out all the remaining blossoms. WHEW! Had I followed my timing versus the Elementals’ divine timing, I would have had to wait another year to make the Flower Essence.
Once the Flower Essence was made, there was the mystery of this Flower’s latin and common name. Instead of asking the Elementals for information right off the bat, I went through a stack of plant identification books starting with my much loved, A Field Guide to Wild Flowers. After pouring through another dozen books, I still had no idea of this Flower’s identity.
It was time to bring in the ringers and ask the Elementals. They suggested I stop in my travels at a nearby plant nursery. Then they walked me right to the plant: Goldenseal– Hydrastis canadensis. This was a typically splashy and sassy way for the Elementals to answer my question.
Why does my mind ever think it should be in charge? I don’t know. It is really a silly old habit and one I try very hard to break. Each day I get to spend in the gardens, I may begin with my own ideas in the back of my pea brain, but I DO toss them aside and ask the Elementals to let me know the divine priorities over what my mind thinks are the priorities.
The Elementals never pause a beat before assigning a first job, then as I move around the gardens fulfilling this task, another one will present itself as the next priority and so on and so forth…. There is no cacophony of demands from different plants because they understand ONENESS as well as the Elementals. They get that divine priorities work for all of us. ( It is only my mind that forgets).
Last Saturday is a good example of the way I bounce around the gardens at the behest of spirit. I began with planting potatoes ( yes, they had really long sprouts from too long in the root cellar, but I just planted them, sprouts and all and they seemed happy).
After planting a couple rows of potatoes, the Elementals suggested I pause in my digging and go prune the Mock Orange.
This is a large unwieldy shrub in the Arbor Garden with the most amazingly fragrant blossoms much loved by swallowtail butterflies. It had a bad winter so most of the north side of the shrub was dead. After an hour with loppers, I returned to the potatoes to plant another row of potatoes. The next diversion was one of the smaller Rose beds. It got a thorough weeding. Then the Asparagus bed was next before my triumphant return to finish the potatoes.
Right now, the main Rose garden has yet to get more than a couple of hours of my time, and there are a lot of weeds and volunteer Rose suckers that need to go. My mind would like to make a big deal of this and demand that this garden gets moved up the queue, but it is fun to let go and go with where the Elementals send me because it never seems like it could work out ( after all its not MY IDEA of how things should get done so how COULD it work?) and yet, it always works perfectly. By the solstice, all the gardens will be shipshape and all the baby plants in the ground.
My work with the Elementals has a unity that extends to you all as well as the gardens. Here is another story from last week. The Elementals asked my to make a Flower Essence from a spring bulb called Snake’s Head Fritillary.
I mentioned to the staff that I had made this Fritillary into an Essence, and we went out into the gardens after morning meditation to examine its striking blossoms.
When we came back inside, I was on email and my first email came from a woman looking for a Flower Essence to help her create better boundaries between herself and her twenty year old daughter’s choices to involve herself in a deeply troubling relationship.
The Elementals suggested Snake’s Head Fritillary and the Angels piped in to describe it: