Issue #1: DEATH

We decided on the topic of death as the theme for the first month of The Planthunter for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s not birth. That was way too obvious. Secondly, because it is such an interesting topic. Plants, in many ways, illustrate the circle of life and death with such elegance and matter-of-factness.

It’s all tied in together – there is no real distinction between the various states of being in the plant world. There is no fuss, plenty of beauty, and lets be honest, there is a hell of a lot to gain from a dead plant – food, compost, clothing etcetera.

Humans are another story. My grandmother died a few days after we decided on the theme of death. Here I was, waxing lyrical about life, death and how plants did it so well in comparison to humans, and then death hits me across the face with serious force. It has been quite a process, these last few months of grief. Because death inevitably means loss. Yes, there is gain, in some form or another, but at the end of the day there is loss. And it hurts. So, we garden out our grief, we plant trees in remembrance, we place flowers on graves. We create rituals around plants and death. And we explore them, within this month’s content on The Planthunter.

So, this issue of The Planthunter, in fact, every issue of The Planthunter is dedicated to Olga Rubie Reid. She was a true woman of plants and I am so very proud to have been her granddaughter. I reckon she would think The Planthunter was a bit of alright (except for the occasional swear-words!).

Olga Rubie Reid. 1923-2013