“Spirits in the Garden” is a lovely, lavish collection of very special garden photographs. Unedited or manipulated, they reveal what one of photographer Joan Solomon’s friends, an African mystic described to her as “the plant teachers”. They have the ability to appear to us in a way that we recognize, he told her – and they are trying to help us.

And thinking on that, as she practiced her craft, Solomon began to see distinct faces – a gnome in a tiny purple violet, a kitten in a dandelion tuft, a winged-eared dragon in a yellow iris blossom. She assembled an exquisite collection of photographs, identifying the plant teachers and spirits where they appeared, and adding short snippets of information about each plant – medicinal properties, or folklore as appropriate. This section forms the largest portion of the book, but the most useful section lists a number of natural recipes for condiments, remedies and personal care using the very same flowers and plants. The recipes are also lavishly and beautifully illustrated – I have not tried out any of them so I cannot vouch for them, or their medical efficacy. But I can vouch for the look of this book – every page is a pleasure and an encouragement to go out to ones own garden with an open imagination and a magnifying glass

Spirits in the Garden is available from the author’s website, www.joansolomon.com and from Amazon.com.

Sgt. Mom is a freelance writer to lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her latest book, “To Truckee’s Trail” is available here. More about her other books is at her website www.celiahayes.com

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