Humankind’s relationship with the natural world is pretty dysfunctional, you humans seem to have forgotten that you are a part of it. Often, humans exploit nature because they are dissociated from it, seeing it as an anonymous resource or something that is in the way. You live in, not with, nature.
This is leading to environmental collapse - and its happening everywhere.But the opposite is also true; when humans can reconnect to the natural world, they can transform ecosystems.
Its all a matter of perception.
Plants that grow wild in urban spaces are something that frequently are overlooked, or worse, sprayed with chemicals and pulled out of the ground to stop them growing.
You call them weeds, but they are so much more.
Wild plants are the toughest, most resilient kind, able to survive and thrive in the hardest conditions and adapt to different habitats. Lots of them have special skills. Some are able to absorb pollution, lots of them make food and
shelter for smaller creatures, and some of them have medicinal properties which can be used to heal
your human illnesses. They each
have unique characteristics
and purposes so it seems
only polite that you start
calling them by their
names and stop
calling them all
The problem is that it can be quite tricky to have a conversation with a plant. They don’t often talk to humans, and its hard to get to know them, because they usually don’t even know their own name - they rely on you humans for that.
You might be thinking that plant names are complicated, latin phrase but humans have become quite They grow in so many places across the world that they have collected many different appellations.
Take, for example, a friend I know best as Yarrow. Yarrow is one of those plants that has been used as a medicine for hundreds of years and grows in lots of places, all across the planet.
That means it has met a lot of humans who all gave it different names, like achillea millefolium, old man's pepper, devil's nettle, sanguinary, milfoil, soldier's woundwort, and thousand seal. All these nicknames tell a story. They’re little glimpses of what this plant meant to those people before humans started calling so many of these plants weeds.