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Bach flower walk 08 essence mag

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									                                Bach Flowers walks
In the course of a Bach Flower Training I did in the 1990’s, the final question asked by the trainer was
something like “how do you see your future with the flowers?” Many people saw a practice and clients
coming for treatment, some wanted to teach the use of the flowers to others, for me the answer came
clearly…. “A hospital for the soul” and a drawing of a big garden/park emerged where all the flowers and
trees had their place and a well-spring turning into rock water was meandering and feeding the land!
There were little footpaths and wooden bridges, rocks and some really old tree trunks to sit on! The
small rounded building were so blended in the landscape
that they belonged there. Some people were in company,
others were just sitting or lying under the majestic
trees. I’m no artist but the scene was serene and joy-
filled! It remained a dream at the back of my mind.

When I moved to Yvonand by the lake of Neuchâtel in
the French part of Switzerland two years ago, I was
looking for a garden to do circle dance in and it had all
the requirements.
Of course I noticed that the little road leading to my
home was lined with walnut trees and that there were
many pines across the way so I knew I was in a good spot.
The summer I moved in was very busy with house and
garden projects but I kept finding flowers like clematis, vervain, chicory and impatiens as well as the
larches, and the sweet chestnut. The real wake up call came the following spring when I noticed Star of
Bethlehem on both sides of my road. It just clicked then that maybe the whole village was a Bach Flower
garden! My desire to find out helped me to meet many new people in the neighbourhood, approaching
those who had an interest in nature.

The sharing of my discoveries with two Bach Flower friends gave us the impetus to develop a project on
three levels and with several aims to support our work we formed an association which gives a certain
credibility to a project.

A fruitful contact with the University of Fribourg botanical gardens (less than one hour away by train)
allowed us to reactivate their Bach Flower collection. We wrote and printed some texts for each flower
remedy in French and German and illustrated them with photos of the whole plant and of the flower
detail. These are posted near each flower and people can get an idea even if the plant is not flowering. A
map of the walk is available and there are talks about the flowers and flower dances once in a while.

Next we made a website www.fleursdebach.ch in French with beautiful photos (much gratitude to all who
contributed) and text, along with an “info flower” which allow those who register their e-mails can be
reminded when to look out for the particular flower in season. There’s even a page of tips on how to
garden the flowers!

Then we devised a walk through the village of Yvonand and neighbouring area where people can see more
than 28 of the remedies in situ… With the help of the local tourist authority, we were able to print a
map with each flower explained in its emotional relevance and a beautiful poster of macro photos of the
flowers. This walk is still in the making as I keep discovering new flowers (rock rose, a few weeks ago!)
and I am busy growing mimulus round my little pond in order to introduce in the local stream if I get
permission from the nature reserve. I also hope to re-introduce water violet which was local until they
drained the fields!!! In fact, we are now working on a map for cyclists which will go further afield.

Our first aim is to familiarise people with the flowers as such, instead of just seeing the bottle of
remedies. The message of the flowers is alive when you notice that the schoolyard where your child is
has several red chestnut trees growing in it and that the beach where you can finally relax is lined with
pine, beech and oak trees!!! Can it help people to start talking about their emotional issues?

The second is to encourage people to go out in nature and appreciate the richness of their surroundings.

The third is a way to show our gratitude to the plants by our appreciation that they grow for us with
such generosity.

We have many more plans, for example to develop the knowledge of the flowers from seed to leaf, to
flower, and we hope to receive photos for this data bank of knowledge. We’d like to have an exchange of
seeds so people can start growing for example agrimony, centaury or scleranthus, to observe. We would
like to develop the concept of these walks in other areas and get people to talk about their emotions
relating them to the observation of the signature of the plants ….
Then there’s still work to be done with the local authorities asking for the liberation of the well-spring
and the free-flowing brook, the willow grove and the cerato roundabout!!!

What will help us most is the interest that people show in these projects, contacting the botanical
gardens http://www.unifr.ch/jardin-botanique/ or Yvonand www.fleursdebach.ch
and saying how keen they are. Then hopefully we can get funding to signpost the walk and develop the
pedagogical aspect and the fun of the whole idea!
It may not be exactly the hospital for the soul that I saw many years ago but I think
it's a good step towards it!

                       Martine Winnington, August 2008. www.martinewinnington.com

(First published in Essence, the Journal of the British Flower and Vibrational Essence Association,
www.bfvea.com e-mail: info@bfvea.com)

								
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