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Les plantes... au delà de la survie humaine

L’auteur Leland Daugherty, du Falls Brook Centre, partage avec nous ses réflexions: "Lorsque c’est seulement la survie qui nous préoccupe, les végétaux sont pour nous un lien vital. Les plantes représentent un lien primaire avec notre survie physique, émotionnelle et spirituelle. Lorsqu’un groupe de gens atteint un équilibre où la survie est assurée, l’art, la poésie et la musique ont alors l’occasion de s’épanouir."

Leland continue son article en décrivant comment les plantes ont influencé son appréciation de la nature et l’ont grandement inspiré.  Il nous raconte l’histoire des Trois Soeurs: le maïs, la fève et la courge. 

Il ajoute que: "le sort magique du monde végétal va influencer votre vie de manières que vous ne pouvez imaginer."































"It is my
that if you
have not yet
planted a
garden, or
taken long
strolls in the
forest, please
consider it.
Once this
has been
the magical
spell of the
plant world
shall influence
your life in
ways you
cannot yet


Plant Design

Leland Daugherty
Falls Brook Centre
June 2001


e must get the crop in or perish!" When only survival is in mind, we cling to the plant world as the vital link to life. Plants are a primary connection to our physical, emotional, and spiritual survival. Once a group of people reach a balance where labouring to survive is not all consuming, art, poetry, and music find space to flourish.

(Image: Leland Daugherty)

For example, when a stage was reached in gardening that I could depend on my skills to produce food, I had a greater ability to appreciate the captivating designs of plants: an ocean’s wave in the undulating bends of corn leaves, cathedrals of mythical towers stretching skyward in the seed stalk of lettuce. Have you seen the glowing pink-red hue of a sharp tasting radish, the green star belly of a flesh-coloured squash? Imagine the relationship built between people and plants. Recognize the immense contribution of the plant world to humankind. Appreciation of Nature is a foundation for creative expression. Remember the human creations that are in existence through plants: cloth woven, hats from plaited straw, pigment for colour, the bamboo flute, a haiku for spring-

Small seed of colour
Coiled in sleep:
Moist earths’ waking hour.

Let us look at the relationship between the Three Sisters: corn, beans, and squash, and the indigenous agricultural tribes of the Americas. The tribes honour and celebrate the relationship between these plants when grown together. Corn grows tall, produces the staff of life: grain, and represents the oldest sister. The bean represents the middle sister who cannot yet stand upright, climbing the cornstalk for support, and is a great dietary combination with corn. Squash, the little sister, is too young to stand and crawls across bare ground inhibiting weed growth. Her yellow hair, the blossoms, blow wispy in the wind. Images and folklore express the beautiful cooperative relationship between beans, corn, and squash, and the people that care for them.

In late spring, we plant the corn and beans and squash. They’re not just plants--we call them the three sisters. We plant them together, three kinds of seeds in one hole. They want to be together with each other, just as we Indians want to be together with each other.
So long as the three sisters are with us, we know we will never starve. The Creator sends them to us each year. We celebrate them now. We thank Him for the gift He gives us today and every day.

Chief Louis Farmer

(Image: Leland Daugherty)


With the story of the sisters, anyone can see their cooperative nature and put to use their practical relationship in the garden. These three crops were the basis for an entire cultural and culinary tradition for many tribes. Images of these sisters, and many other plants, were incorporated into pottery, weaving, beadwork, and dance. I have found the combination of corn, beans, and squash to be a powerful influence on me, such that the imagery has now seeped into much of my own work, from brochures to clothing design.

It is clear that once a working relationship with plants has begun, each can begin to develop their appreciation of our green brethren in whatever direction they choose. As has been stated, the adoration of plants has affected all manner of human endeavour. With regard to plant design, integration occurs in wrought-iron gates, carved mantles, book sleeves, embroidery, the fern-like spiral of the fiddle’s neck, and on and on.

(Image: Leland Daugherty)




With these simple images, I desire to share with you the inspiration plants have had on my life. It is my suggestion that if you have not yet planted a garden, or taken long strolls in the forest, please consider it. Once this has been accomplished, the magical spell of the plant world shall influence your life in ways you cannot yet imagine.