â€œSpirits in the Gardenâ€ is a lovely, lavish collection of very special garden photographs. Unedited or manipulated, they reveal what one of photographer Joan Solomonâ€™s friends, an African mystic described to her as â€œthe plant teachersâ€. They have the ability to appear to us in a way that we recognize, he told her â€“ and they are trying to help us.
And thinking on that, as she practiced her craft, Solomon began to see distinct faces â€“ 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 â€“ 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 â€“ 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 â€“ every page is a pleasure and an encouragement to go out to ones own garden with an open imagination and a magnifying glass
Sgt. Mom is a freelance writer to lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her latest book, â€œTo Truckeeâ€™s Trailâ€ is available here. More about her other books is at her website www.celiahayes.com