Recognising the Bach Plants in Winter and Summer – Nicola Hanefeld BFRP
Nicola’s course took us on a botanical and anecdotal journey visiting the 36 flowers and trees from which the Bach flower remedies are made. We were 50 participants from 17 countries which gave the course an interestingly international flavour. Participants avidly shared their stories relevant to the plants in their own countries whilst the Zoom Chat constantly popped up with interesting facts and curious questions.
The flowers and trees came to life and took on a personality of their own as Nicola’s teaching style was a wonderful mix of interesting botanical facts sprinkled with personal stories. The story of the delicate Water Violet left me particularly fascinated. Beautiful photos showed the singular flower stems growing out of water with an air of grace and independence. In fact, Water Violet is so independent and true to its healing nature, that it can even flower and self-fertilise under water! The glorious photos, mostly taken by Nicola, helped us to understand where to look and what to look for in nature if we wish to discover the flowers for ourselves.
An American participant intrigued us by sharing her experience of the Bottled Gentian variety in her local area. The flower heads actually never open and yet the flower buds require pollination by insects. Luckily for the flower, the bumblebee is strong and clever enough to pry open the buds to nevertheless get to the pollen inside. Obviously, the bumblebee does not get dismayed at any setbacks during his Bottled Gentian bud challenge, he just keeps on trying until he finally succeeds!
I found it surprising that the yellow Rock Rose is like a flower festival when it blooms with hundreds of flowers bursting forth. Upon seeing the images of its budding joy I find it hard to believe its healing properties are for panic and terror. The story of Impatiens was a little sad, as Impatiens is now considered an invasive weed in many areas and must therefore be destroyed. If you touch its seed buds they speedily shoot out the seeds across several metres distance, suppressing other plants with it’s hasty and rigorous growth – obviously true to its nature and one step ahead of its neighbouring plants! Impatiens has become an increasing problem in the last 20-30 years and, as Nicola pointed out, this is also the timeframe that the world, in general, has vastly speeded up and tends to expect the same of us as a human race. Now there’s food for thought.
One participant shared with us how she was told that the remedies that we personally need are often found in the vicinity of where we live. On the morning of Part Two of the course I was walking along the river on a windy Saturday morning. Beech nuts and acorns were bombarding me from the treetops above. I smiled to myself, realising I had been a little intolerant and exhausted recently. Oh, the wisdom of nature!
If I have left you wondering why Nicola only talked about 36 plants then I happily do so. Nicola’s course is running again in March 2021 so I can definitely recommend you sign up for it and find out for yourself. It just wouldn’t be fair of me to spoil all her stories and curiosities for you now would it 😊?
Caroline Stone, BFRP