Sunday, January 11th, 2015
Gorse flowers being made into Bach flower remedy or essence near mother bushes in Lincolnshire in 2012 on a cloudless sunny late spring day- destined for inclusion in Balancing Blooms Cheer Up! available at select Boots the Chemists and at www.balancingblooms.com
The BBC reported this week two articles demonstrating the effect of climate change and diseases on flowers and trees which are part of the 38 Bach flower system, gorse and olive: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30754443 and http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30737754
I have been making flower essences for Balancing Blooms Bach Flower Remedies or Essences the past 13 years and have seen first hand the growing effects of climate change and resultant diseases such as Dutch Elm or the new oak disease on the flowers in the Bach system. It is so telling to read the dates of flowers being present in the 1930s in Edward Bach’s writings and when they bloom today. Almost everything is coming out consistently a couple of months earlier than in his time. However this latest event of gorse blooming on New Year’s day instead of April/May is amazing. You may say, what is the big deal, just make the essence on New Year’s Day. The problem is that gorse is meant to be made by the sun method where, as French chefs I am told when making vanilla essence, the flower petals are floated on spring water in glass bowls in hot sunshine for several hours to extract the essence (or imprint the vibrational energy pattern of the flower in the water depending on how you understand flower essences to work). The problem for the essence maker is that on New Year’s Day there is not hot sun for many hours in England!
I am fortunate enough to have made a good stock of essences over the years and can forego making gorse this year (unless there is a second blooming in the spring or summer). However long term the omens are not good. It is hard to find many elms in England today – oaks are under pressure of disease though still plentiful. Other flowers such as gentian or water violet are very scarse because of climate change or more often agricultural practices where the use of chemicals or grazing of sheep instead of horses has destroyed their environment. In addition, most of the land they still survive on is being designated SSSI (site of special scientific interest) and picking the flowers is not allowed. (FYI I only ever take a small number of petals from a single plant and colony in order to ensure its continued survival – never pulling up the root of the plant for certain).
With so many growing challenges I am not sure if it will be possible for Bach flower remedy and essence makers to just make their essences in the UK in a few decades time as Bach did (with the exception of olive and gorse which he specifically wished to be made in Southern Europe presumably because of the hotter sun and that area being the plants’ natural habitat).
We may be the last privileged generation to enjoy the benefits of the UK’s wild flowers which were prevalent in the 1930s. Something to cherish and be grateful for but also very sad.