Stefanie – Sherman Library and Gardens

Celebrating the Harvest Around the World

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The Many Meanings of Mums

The chrysanthemum is a beautiful flower with so much meaning behind it.  ‘Mums’ are often associated with the arrival of fall as they bloom during this season and are very… Read More »

Carnivorous Plants

Carnivorous plants have long fascinated plant enthusiasts, well before Charles Darwin published the first truly popular and widespread book ‘Insectivorous Plants’ discussing the known carnivorous species and their adaptations to… Read More »

The Broms

Bromeliads are one of the most spectacular groups in the new world tropics, occupying many of the harshest habitats across the Americas. With around 3,500 species currently accepted, the Bromeliaceae… Read More »

Edmond Albius and the Story of Vanilla

Ice cream, cake, frosting, candy, pudding, the list goes on! Vanilla is one of the quintessential flavors for desserts, and a scent that you can find perfuming homes around the world. It’s a classic flavor you can find everywhere, but did you know that it was once coveted for its rarity and supposed medicinal properties? The vanilla orchid has only one known pollinator, the Melipona bee. Both are native to Mexico, so when the vanilla orchid was first exported in the late 1700’s around the world, none of the plants produced vanilla pods.

Mandalas in Nature

The word ‘Mandala’ is a Sanskrit word for a circle contained within a square, often with sections radiating out from the center point. The process of making mandalas helps to manifest stability in our inner life. I first began drawing and creating flower mandalas when I received a copy of Carl Jung’s “Red Book” which I bring to the mandala classes that I instruct for your inspiration. Throughout his career Jung encouraged his patients to make art, and especially mandalas, as a way to gain insight and heal. Although mandalas are each uniquely beautiful, it is the mindful meditative process of creating them which is most important.