Category Archives: Gardens, Greenhouses & Growing

Book Review: The Secret Lives of Plants

The Secret Lives of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird is worth reading, but is not an easy book at all. Very scientific and not dumbed down for the layperson (some of the chapters about electromagnetic experiments and plants had to be read while consulting my medicinal shaman and electrical engineer by trade partner.) Amusingly, at the same time I was reading this book, I was also reading a fluffy little herb book which did not discuss the "used to be used for absenthe" about wormwood… 

This book describes many experiments done on and about plants by various scientists, engineers, doctors and horticulturinsts. Some ofthe notable research is outlined below.

In the sections about electronic experiments, it was shown that plants can communicate with people and with each other. They also can pick up on human thoughts. One plant would always emit the same reading on the electronic sensor whenever a researcher thought about sex, so much so that it became a lab running joke! Plants could also sense when someone was intending to harm them, and the plant would wilt slightly.

In the plants and music experiment section– people would play music for plants and they would grow bigger; however they do have musical taste– they like Kirtan and classical but do not seem to care for deathmetal. Apparently, the soil near plants that were sung to was warmer than the quiet control plants.

In the plants and light section, plants were shown to have an internal clock. However, if plants were taken into a mine too far away from the sun, they went dormant.

There is a discussoin of an Odic force which runs thru all living things– kind of like Wilhelm Reich's Orgone energy– which links organic and inorganic energy. This energy, and electromagnetic energy of many forms, causes plants to grow faster.

Plants were shown to grow to align with the earth's magnetic field.

Plants have auras, as detected by Kirilian photography, and a dead leaf has no aura.After leaves are cut, they start to lose their aura until they arre dried up and have none. This aura was also detected with other instruments and was used by some foodies to determine freshness and potency for food.

In the Soil section, a link was made between monoculture and soil depletion (thi link was made before the 2nd world War, but there are whole states full of BT corn… Why?) Nitrogen fertilizer poisons groundwater and will cause soil imbalances but using manure would not. Organic farming was discussed– the Law of return was defined that the soil will put out what you put in. There is a difference between farming and mining, this is something modern farmers have seemed to have forgotten.

Finally, plants grew better when they were prayed to.


A Few Beginner Gardening Tips

I’ve worked as a manager at a garden center for years now and I’m always answering questions form new gardeners. So here are a few tips for getting started!


Learn your Plant Hardiness Zone for where you live this is important. You can google it.


Start small! Really small and slowly add more every year. New gardeners will start with more than they can handle and get discouraged.


Learn what grows native in your area and what plants are most hardy and tough. Start with them.


Start with only a couple of species and really get to know them. When you have got them growing good for you for a year then add more.


Figure out how much shade and sun the spot you want to garden gets in different parts of the year. You will need to know this.


Figure out what the best planting time and how long the growing season is where you live. Ask someone who knows, google it or get a book on gardening for your area.


Figure out how well your garden plot drains in different times of year. You might have to do some work so things don’t get swampy or too dry too fast.


Most people don’t give their plants much water and then water them lots because they keep drying out. It’s better to water your garden for a long time and not as often. It rains all day, right? So you should have the sprinkler on for more than an hour.


Do not let the plants dry out unless they are one of those kinds that really like to dry out like a succulent.


Water early in the morning or at night so the plants can dry out during the day because this helps prevent fungal disease and helps them soak up as much water as they need.


Mulch is a good thing. It helps keep weeds away and help control temperate and water retention. It is also pretty.




Draw a blueprint of your garden. Plan.


Start with bedding plants and not from seed. Growing form seed is harder and you will get frustrated.


Talk to the people at the garden center and don’t be afraid to ask questions..


Don’t plant near tress and shrubs to start because they will compete with your plants.


Its better to work with soil that is mostly dry than really wet soil.


Buy a book or two or three.


Get to know a elderly gardener in your neighbourhood and make friends with them they will be a great person to go to for hints and ideas and help and also to borrow tools or get cuttings from