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  • Writer's pictureDebi Holland

The Power of Plants

Plants have played a vital role in our health for centuries.

Cottage gardens evoke romantic thoughts of closely planted intermingling colourful flowers and edibles; delicately wafting in the breeze but their history has more practical origins.

The first cottage gardens were not created to be aesthetically beautiful but were actually grown for survival. People were growing their medicine cabinet outside their front door.

The first record of a cottage garden was around 1349. It was a time of great change. In England round 70% of the population died from the bubonic plague. Survivors escaped mass communities and learned to live self-sufficiently from the land.

People could not travel far to seek medical attention so had to create a first aid kit in their own garden. Plants were foraged, dug up, transplanted and shared.

Over the next 700 years cottage gardens evolved. Edibles and ornamentals grew side-by-side. The densely packed, rustic planting attracted wildlife, produced food, reduced the need to travel and saved money.

Although we need not worry about such extreme measures now, the recent lockdown has reiterated the importance of gardening. Many of the everyday plants in our gardens have hidden talents and healing properties, which can benefit our health.

Our gardens are not just places of floral beautiful but they are also nature’s first aid kit and for centuries have healed us humans of all manner of ailments. The more we discover about the power of plants the more fascinating and purposeful plants become.

See some easy-to-grow popular plants, which possess remarkable talents over on Richard Jackson Garden website:

All photos © Debi Holland 2020


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