Plants are More than Just Pretty

California Redwoods

Is it just me, or is awareness of the importance of plants escalating? We now have a movie telling the story of The Lorax and the importance of trees. It’s something young people can embrace (and probably more than a few adults, too). Heaven knows we want to find enjoyable ways for kids to start getting their hands in the soil and engaging with the great outdoors. While in Chicago for a few days of vacation—and before I was aware there was a Lorax movie—I saw a teen girl sporting a large, fake, yellow mustache and wondered, “What the heck?” Now I know. Maybe we’ll see an upsurge in the planting of trees!

We also have some crazy videos arriving on the scene that celebrate the fact that “plants are more than just pretty.” Check out videos of Exhibit A, Exhibit L and Exhibit P. The whole campaign is geared toward helping people understand the value of plants, from stopping crime to cleaning the air. Help spread the word!

O magazine ran a story in the April issue on Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin and his connection to nature. He is replanting the acres around his home and repairing its delicate ecosystem. His story reminded me of one of my all-time favorite books: The Man Who Planted Trees by French author Jean Giono, originally published in 1953. It tells the fictional story of one shepherd’s long and successful single-handed effort to re-forest a desolate valley in the foothills of the Alps in Provence. Streams and wildlife return because of his efforts.

And on a somber yet hopeful note, we have a tribute that living things have power beyond words. Potted plants—28,000 of them—were used to commemorate the closing of a mental health facility in Massachusetts. As shared in an online trade publication: “Artist Anna Schuliet took on the commission of creating a memorial to the Massachusetts facility, and she did it by filling every square foot of the empty building with potted flowers. Read the story and see the striking photos here.”

April celebrates Arbor Day and Earth Day. Celebrate plants and the beauty and resilience of our Earth every day!