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Sakura: Preserved Cherry Blossom

Sakura : Preserved Cherry Blossom Recipe
Each year I literally swoon as I cup the cherry blossom flowers in my hand gazing at their mysterious beauty set against cloudless blue sky. And each year I promise myself to make a preserved cherry blossom recipe. Each year until this one I miss the window of opportunity.

In Japan, the tradition of “Hanami” which literally translates as “flower viewing” is a practice that dates back to the sixth century Heian period. Cherry blossoms in Japan are called “Sakura”, and are a symbol of the transient nature of life, due to their short flowering time. They represent a life that is beautiful, but also temporary and impermanent.

So as not to miss the year’s flowering season I scoured my patches trying to find some flowers that were still only in bud. For the preserved cherry blossom recipe you need to gather buds that are just starting to open, you can, should you to wish pick some of the fully opened flowers, but best to try and get just the buds. You’ll also need to gather a few of the very young leaves as they are just developing. Read more…

Episode 8: First Steps To Seeing Plants

First Steps To Seeing Plants

In this interview Emma Kidd, author of First Steps To Seeing: A Path Towards Living Attentively discusses practical ways to deepen your relationship with plants, by enhancing your ability to ‘see’ plants more fully, in a way that no mainstream botany class will ever teach you.

As Emma says: “On our way to work we may pass trees or other plants but not notice them – the changes of the trees through the seasons? We miss so much, not only individually but as a society too, by simply not paying attention.

By using the analogy of ‘seeing’, Emma discusses how to really and actively see what is in front of us rather than merely accept the shortcuts that our brain gives us to categorise and rationalise what is passing us by.

When it comes to being able to ‘see’ plants, these exercises and methods allow us to enter into ‘deep intimacy’ with plants, and reveals some surprising discoveries, as well as revealing just how blind we actually are. As the philosopher GI Gurdjieff was fond of reminding us, “as humans we live our lives in a near permanent state of hypnotic sleep”. Read more…

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