It‘s nearly two years since I‘ve written anything for this blog. As some of you will know, I went back to university, and this was the reason for discontinuing. So what has brought me out of hibernation? The answer is a) my Vervain streak combined with b) the unprecedented environmental crisis in Australia caused by widespread incineration of the landscape and property. The word „bushfires“ somehow don‘t seem to capture the immensity of the crisis; the word appears belittling to me. But I am not an Australian perhaps Australians are happy with the term.fernkurs bach blüten

My heart goes out to the millions of Australians who lived with a dangerous level of air pollution for months. Thousands were displaced as they have fled the approaching fires and around 2000 properties have been lost. Up to now, over 30 people have died in the flames. Millions of animals have perished as have bushes, plants and trees. It will take years for the continent to recover. Inconceivable trauma has come into being. Mercifully, rain has now eased the situation.bachblüten fernkurs bach centre

My Vervain streak plays a role as I write this post as an active member of the German Green party and I’m highly sensitive to what we’re doing to the planet. (For those new to this blog I‘m English, but I live in Germany.) Vervain people react strongly to what they feel is wrong or unjust. How we humans treat our environment seems so often misguided to me, and I think that the happenings in Australia are connected to ‚environmental ignorance‘. The government is openly supportive of the coal industry and in denial regarding connected rising temperatures and lack of rainfall.

As an infamous Impatiens person, global countermeasures concerning climate change are happening much too slowly for my liking. I‘d like to see instant decarbonisation of the energy sector, although I know that is unrealistic.  

What remains is for each and every one of us to try and reduce her or his carbon footprint as drastically as possible. I have stopped using aeroplanes. I use public transport to go to work although it takes longer. I feel uncomfortable driving my car now, which I still do sometimes. I put on a pullover in winter instead of turning up the heating. I look out of the window to the mountains of the Black Forest in winter and see no snow, it worries me.

IMG 6831Hope I see in the worldwide Fridays for Future movement and the young and eloquent climate activist Greta Thunberg. Out of nowhere, a movement has developed pressurising politics and governments to take urgent climate action. In my home city of Freiburg I participated in the demonstration last May, where between 20,000 and 30,000 people were out on the roads shouting ‚What do we want? Climate justice! When we want it? Now!‘ I think it‘s fair to say that the Vervain personalities were collectively out on the roads that day and during consecutive demonstrations.IMG 6762

The positive side of the Vervain personality is awaking enthusiasm for the cause they believe in. Let‘s hope this energy will reach the politicians in time. I think Vervain people also have a positive mindset. I’m not resigned to climate change (Wild Rose), I’ve not lost hope (Gorse), but I am impatient get things moving. How does this topic play out for you? Looking forward to your comments.


A feast of flowers - a visit to the Bach Centre

It is a glorious June day with clear blue skies and, as I walk up the rather steep steps, I see the little Victorian red brick house perched in front of me. It stands there simply, unobtrusively. Before going into the house, I wander around the garden and sense a strange peace - not that it is quiet though, the sparrows are twittering loudly, the insects buzzing, Nature is vibrant here. The peace is atmospheric, almost like a pleasant weight that can be felt - and it surprises me. I vaguely think while walking around that it might perhaps have something to do with the peace people have within themselves when they visit this garden.

up the steps at Mt. VernonBach Centre gardenBach Centre Mt.Vernon

Mt. Vernon was Dr Bach's home for the last two years of his life (1934 - 1936) and the garden is semi-wild. A surprising number of remedy plants grow here and indeed grew here in Dr Bach's days too. Those plants used for his system that do not grow in the garden can be found in the surroundings, apart from olive and vine. Wandering around, I stumble on masses of startlingly beautiful star of Bethlehem - bunches of pure whiteness. Agrimony nestles in one of the front beds and honeysuckle adorns the front porch, flowering lavishly. I am lucky to be visiting in summer, and delicate water violet is tentatively flowering alongside the more robust mimulus in the pond. Sitting down on the bench near the pond, I watch some dragonflies dancing over the water. Later, when I resume my tour around the garden after a short contemplative rest, I spot clematis which is winding itself around anything in reach (and itself) and is blooming profusely.

Star of Bethlehem at Mt. VernonHoneysuckle at Mt. Vernon Aspen at Mt. Vernon

Delicate wild roses are flowering nearby, pink and perfect and are being visited by nectar hungry bees. I see slender heads of the wild oat grass nodding in the breeze. I notice a large gorse bush and rock rose. Both these plants with their bright yellow flowers look strong and healthy and radiate vitality. I am enchanted by the stark blueness of cerato and chicory flowers, their heads swaying gently in the breeze. Impatiens has made a corner its own and probably has to be maintained as it grows so fast, it can suppress other plants. The trees in the garden that I discover include holly, cherry plum and elm. And I notice tiny oak and chestnut trees, probably only in their second year. The acorn and conker must have been buried by a squirrel in some past winter. 

The most impressing Bach plant though is the large, stately aspen at the back. Its leaves rustle quietly and continuously - even when the wind is still. I take one more look around, absorbing the atmosphere, the magic and the peace and then take a step indoors into Dr Bach's house.

Wild rose at Mt. Vernon Cerato at Mt. Vernon Impatiens at Mt. Vernon

Beautiful photos of all 38 Bach flowers are in my book, One Person's Journey, short Stories about Dr. Bach's flower remedies. Find out more now!

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Nicola's blog

My book 'One Person's Journey' is now only available as an ebook.

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Previous blog postings:

- The evil of 'Vine'

- Finding meaning in life

- Corona - again

- Deadly floods

- A red chestnut discovery

- Impatiens broke my arm

- Goodbye 2020

- Magic

- Coming out of lockdown

- When normality slips away

- Our house is on fire

- The Elm bottle breaks

- When nearly everything changes

- Our social lives and genes

- Two refugees

- A nasty accident

- Friendliness

- Sleep

- Panic

- Someone mad with you?

- Breaking decades of silence (II)

- Who is not socialising and why?

- Breaking decades of silence (I)

- Who gets angry and why?

- Hey, Mr President!

- The saddest day

- Life is full of stories

- At Heathrow

- Building site Guardian Angel

- Letting go

- Specifically Chicory

- The Travellers - a fun piece!

- Emotional baggage

- A wild bird and the rescue remedy

- The garden at Mt.Vernon

- Inside Mt. Vernon

- Brightwell-cum-Sotwell

- Edward Bach's philosophy

Nicola Hanefeld 15My name is Nicola Hanefeld, I am English but I've lived in the Black Forest area in Freiburg, Germany, since 1981. I was a biology teacher before I left England. I have been a BFRP since 1997 and am also a trainer for Bach Centre approved courses. I have three wonderful children, all grown up now. I'm a member of Greenpeace and am also a teacher of the Alexander Technique.

Alongside the Bach flowers, photography is one of my passions. Another passion is writing and you will find many stories relating my journey with Edward Bach's amazing remedies in my book One Person's Journey.





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