Plant Intelligence

I have lived on this wooded acreage in southern Oregon since 2007, and spend a lot of time out in it – consciously connecting with the trees, expressing my deep gratitude for being able to share this place with them.

I read about Findhorn back in the late 60’s and have worked at communicating with plants since then, never feeling I was terribly successful in a way I imagined it should happen. Woods have been my favorite environment since I was a small child but this is the first time I have actually lived for any time in a woodland, DOING things to it and with it, spending innumerable hours in it, meditating, walking, writing, cleaning up debris, choosing which trees go and which stay, etc etc…

My meditation group and I have been reading the book “Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm” by Stephen Harrod Buhner, and it has encouraged me to work at deepening my relationship with the trees and plants here in new ways. And so I have been asking for their support or guidance in various areas of my life and working at truly LISTENING to them. Last evening as I sat on a stump in the middle of the woods I was overcome by a deep feeling of being surrounded by a loving community of friends. It was such a moving and powerful experience that it brought me to tears. And I realized that the reason I never feel ALONE on the land when there are no other humans here – is because the trees and plants have been there for me all along.

I know some people feel that this is a weird and woo-woo subject, but I have a feeling that because we humans spent most of our time on this earth living among trees and other plants, using them for food and clothing, medicine and shelter, sharing the very air we breathe, the water and the micro-organisms, that we had a very different relationship with them than we do now – in this mechanistic culture where plants are thought of as “things” – resources to be used for human benefit.

Perhaps one of the answers to the incredible climate crisis we are in the midst of, is to begin consciously working with the living intelligent beings that share the living earth with us…

What do you think? What is your experience in your relationship with plants?


  1. Barb I truly believe the same.
    Nature calls us to remember living in co creative partnership with her.
    If we would only listen and wake up from our sleep walking….
    Love your post.


    • Thanks…. I suppose much of the problem is that we have been trained to not trust our “imagination”… It has been ridiculed and relegated to childhood… “It’s just your imagination” we are told… as though that is a bad thing – an unreliable thing – something not to trust, and so over time we shut it down – hide it away – even from ourselves. We need to begin to honor and support it again – to celebrate it and activate it – because it lives in the part of us that can understand what the trees are saying to us…It’s the tool we need to open the door in that realm where we can converse with other life forms. Until then we are deaf to it all it seems.

      Maybe talking about it as often as we can – as a sane, intelligent, ADULT thing to do – will help to move it out of the realm of foolish, woo-woo weirdness, and into the realm of solution!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have worked with plants my entire life, and have never felt anything from them that can be explained by human means. They are on a different plane of existence. (I don’t know if I said that right.) I know that they are very aware of their environment and each other, in ways that people do not understand, but it is not like people or animals are aware. As a horticulturist, I know that plants are not as peaceful as some of want to believe. They are just as competitive as we are, and some are downright violent with each other. Vines climb and shade out their victims, and some types strangle their victims. Many chaparral plants accumulate fuel to burn hot enough to incinerate competition, and then regenerate from the roots.


  3. Hi Barb, so glad you posted the link to your blog on FB. I stumbled onto plant intelligence, but have since learned more about the relationship that indigenous people had with Trees. Have you read Braiding Sweetgrass? I’m a bit like a convert, recommending this book to everyone. My experience was when I was with a friend and we were in a British garden. We came across a Kew Tree, and both of us felt a huge emotional tug. My friend actually wept, while I felt rooted to the spot. I felt such peace I didn’t want to leave.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the suggestion Elena, I will check it out. I’m like you when I find a really wonderful book, can’t help trying to share it around. Your experience with a Kew tree sounds really profound. I can’t help but feeling that just in the sharing of these experiences with one another we help create a field in which they will happen to more of us, more often. Thanks for being a part of that.


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