Plants of Power
By Stacey Demarco & Miranda Mueller
Rockpool Publishing – 352pp
The flyleaf has the following inscription: “Place your hands in the earth and listen”
That pretty much sums up what this book is all about – connecting with the natural world and discovering age-old wisdom that taps into the power of plants to help us withstand the stresses of ongoing uncertainty in a rapidly changing world.
The authors have compiled a modern-day guide to 66 foundational plants you can grow in your own garden apothecary, and you don’t need a huge garden to accommodate them.
The book includes key cultural information for the 66 chosen plants as well as interesting information about their history, mythology, magic and medicinal benefits. They’ve included tasty, nutritious recipes and plant projects to get you inspired at home.
The plants are organised by season – when each is either planted or at its best for the purposes for which it is used. For example, autumn includes bay laurel, calendula, catnip, elderberry, lavender, lemon balm, pennyroyal and rose, among others.
The authors have interesting and complementary backgrounds. Stacey Demarco, who lives in Sydney, is an author who has specialised in pagan, nature and mythos-based subjects. She is the author of the popular annual Lunar and Seasonal Diary for both southern and northern hemispheres. Miranda Mueller is a permaculturist who runs a successful herb and vegetable seedling nursery and teacher permaculture from her farm in the Dandenong Ranges.
While its title might suggest it is heavy-hitting, the book is a fun and practical guide to understanding powerful plant allies that we can all grow and harness for their beneficial attributes.
– Noelle Weatherley