Creamy foxglove flowers
Digitalis about to burst open

Plants are wonderful things. They feed us, clothe us, provide medicinal properties and look good as well and that’s just a few of the things they provide for us. We owe much to plants. Imagine how different our world would look if plants did not exist. A barren, desolate land devoid of life. Almost all life depends on plants in one form or another, even aquatic species.

Plants are inspirational. They come in a variety of forms, colours and textures and have adapted to suit different conditions on the planet. Even the harshest environments such as Artic tundra and deserts have plants which have adapted to suit. One of the best things we could ever do as human beings is to value plants for without them even the lowliest of species such as worms could not survive. Plants nourish our soils with their cycles of death and regrowth, their decayed matter is food for thousands of invertebrates as well as our flower and vegetable plots. Their seasonal cycles remind us to garden in tune with nature, there is nothing more beautiful than a tree in winter. Its form and shape can be appreciated as its bare branches reach for the sky. It also holds the promise of fresh spring growth and that vibrant burst of green as young leaves burst forth.

Looking into the blue
Magnolia branches against the sky

Plants provide food, shelter, shade and safety to a myraid of different creatures. Even in death a rotting log will be home to a variety of different bugs. You only have to turn it over to see them rapidly scurrying away. It is for many reasons I find plants to be beautiful, versitile, adaptable and intrinsic to life. We need to do more to preserve our habitats and encourage people not to be afraid of them. The best thing is to put the right plant in the right place. If a plant is adapted to dry, shady conditions plant it in those places not in a damp, boggy place. In this way we give plants the best possible chance of thriving and we avoid the inevitable disappointment of having to replace things all the time. Our wildlife will thank us for it too.

Honesty seed heads
Lunaria annua, honesty

Plants provide me and countless artists, poets and people with a wealth of inspiration. It might be the colour of a stem, branches dusted with frost or a beautiful bloom which takes your breath away. Art, design and countless musings wax lyrically about the beauty of plants and the greatest gardens around the world are devoted to their beauty and inspiration. Some people fall in love with a particular type of plant and spend their lives dedicated to creating new varieties. Some people, like me find it hard to pin point one particular plant they like. This is because they are all beautiful and there are just to many to choose from. It is my hope that plants have more value placed upon them not just for their aesthetics and benefits to wildlife but for their benefit to human health too. I am happy to say that slowly…very slowly attitudes to plants are beginning to change.

The beauty that is the leaf
Leaf veins highlighted by the sun