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People Living In Harmony

How To Learn From Plants – Social Harmony

Plants living togetherMany people plant flowers to add fragrance and beauty to their gardens. Others may plant gardens to reap the benefits from the harvest. One obscure reason people could and should sow plants is to learn from them.  I’m not sure many people know this, but society could learn a lot from plants. Plants live harmoniously with one another. Through understanding not only the life cycle of plants but comprehending how they live together and help one another thrive, humans could help make the world a better place. This post will discuss how to learn from plants to create social harmony.

An Interview

I recently heard an interview with Beronda Montgomery on “Lessons From Plants”.

“Beronda Montgomery is a writer, science communicator and Michigan State University Foundation Professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics.”  Source: Wikipedia

She discussed the why and how we could learn a lot from raising plants in our homes and outside gardens.

The Toll of Year 2020 – Good and Bad

This past year has taken a toll on all of us, be it from isolation, the loss of a loved one, a change of lifestle, confrontationsBlack Lives Matter Sign with friends regarding politics, vaccines, Black Lives Matter and so many other topics. It has certainly been challenging, not only physically but mentally.

Each one of us has had to cope with tragedies and “life” in such a variety of ways. I know personally how the isolation took a toll on me and my family.

But now that more and more people are becoming vaccinated, things seem to be loosening up and I’m feeling a bit of relief and experiencing some breathing space.

However, not all is back to normal and quite frankly, I don’t think we should return to what was normal.

Back to Normal? I Don’t Think SoHow to Learn From Plants

We had learned a lot these past months and I sincerely hope our short-term memory doesn’t forget all the good that has resulted from the recent trials and tribulations.

Here is where Beronda Montgomery comes in. During the interview she said many people found solace in raising plants. She believes, as do I, that all humans need to be with natural organisms. Actively interacting with life creates a healthy lifestyle and helps us become better humans.

What Plants Can Teach Us

Plants teach us about the process of life, how it begins, how it is nourished, how it thrives, and finally how it succombs to death. By raising plants, humans learn patience. We also learn how plants benefit from each other.

They become more sustainable when grouped together because they share humidity and release chemicals that naturally deter pests, thus helping each other grow.

Click here to learn about sustainable plants.

Talking Plants???

There has been some scientific proof that plants actually talk to one another. Plants use their roots to listen in on their neighbors and will secrete chemicals in the ground that will promote growth to adjacent plants to help them emerge from the shade and thrive in the sunlight. The plants alter their growth patterns by “talking” to one another.

Through companion planting, they also help each other. Plants add different nutrients and moisture to the ground whichPlants and Sun benefits themselves and their neighbors and encourages growth.

Plants are also constantly reaching for the sun. That could be a good metaphor for humans: without the sun all species will die. By reaching for the sun we will also continue to thrive and better ourselves.

Let’s Learn From Native Americans

Beronda Montgomery went on to explain how Native Americans use a polyculture technique for growing crops. They relized that different varieties of plants need each other to survive and thrive. Instead of growing all the same crop over massive fields, such as corn where all the stalks are competing for the same nutrients, it’s better to create biodiversity.

By planting different varieties of plants in the same area, the plants will do better because they won’t be battling for the same nutrients. Taller plants will provide shade for the shorter plants that don’t require as much sun and some plants inhibit pests that harm others. That is why Native Americans planted corn, beans and squash together.

Polycuture VS MonoculturePeople Living In Harmony

This polyculture directly relates to the human race. It’s much better to create an environment where all people are not competing for the same “nutrients” and where each will benefit from each other. Monocultures are not healthy or sustainable. Inevitably we all will begin to travel and spread our wings. We love to explore and experience new things.

Some people want to return to “the good old days” where the French lived in France, the Italians lived in Italy, the Irish lived in Ireland. Those days are long gone, my friend. Look at the United States! With the exception of Native Americans our country was built by immigrants from all areas of the globe. That’s why America is called the melting pot.

Learning From Each Other And PLANTS!!

To live in harmony with each other, it’s imperative that we recognize the contributions we all can make and learn to benefit from each others’ gifts and talents. We need to take a page from our plants. They naturally know how to benefit from each other’s attributes.

Now we humans, who are supposed to be so superior, need to learn a thing or two from the plants we cultivate through, among other things, using patience and empathy. (I admit I was sad when a plant of mine died!)

Yes, Beronda Montgomery has it right. We can learn an awful lot by adapting the life processes of plants to our life experience.

I’d love to hear what you think of this post. Please leave a comment below.

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purposes.)

To purhase her book, Lessons from Plants, click on the title and it will take you to Amazon to review the book.

(Some of the links within this post are affiliate links on which I receive a small compensation from the sale of certain items.)


Happy Gardening!


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Nina Melillo

 Welcome to my gardening blog. I began gardening years ago and with no practical experience and learned through observation. You can more quickly become a garden lover and create warm and welcoming oases by first reading my basic information category and then exploring the numerous other posts on my site. I hope you will find them inspiring and come to love gardening as much as I do.

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18 thoughts on “How To Learn From Plants – Social Harmony”

  1. This has been a very interesting read. Plants, like all living things, can show us how they reproduce themselves, how they feed, how they defend themselves from other organisms, how they associate with other organisms; and above all, how necessary they are. And a proof is that there are so many of them. 

    1. They certainly know how to survive, and you’re right, the proof is that there ARE so many of them! Thanks for commenting.

  2. Hi Nina,

    I absolutely love your article. I also think we can learn so much from plants and nature in general, but often we are not ready for that. We are so wrapped up in comparing ourselves to each other and chasing the next thing that we want, that we simply forget to live.

    The best thing that plants can teach us in my opinion is that life does not take effort. We spend so much effort and get exhausted. Life never demanded effort from us, it was us that decided that this is how life should be lived. Somewhere along the lines we forgot how to live.

    Thank you for your beautiful article and the great reminder.

    1. You are so right about effort. I see my children going crazy over their work and not giving it boundaries.

      We DO have to remember to live and put things in perspective. Unfortunately, sometimes that perspective only comes with age. Although by the looks of your profile picture, you are wiser than your years! Kudos to you! Thanks for commenting.

  3. Hi there, Social harmony is very important for our society so that it grows. For incubation and growth of a life, we need to ensure peace and harmony.

    Life cannot grow and progress in constant war and struggle. The best life is a way of compromising and making adjustments.

    Man is a social animal as in the case of all living entities including plants and animals.

    Plants are driven to exist and survive entirely by nature’s rules and it is from this force that we can learn these important life lessons.

  4. Monique Richie

    Hi Nina, and thank you very much for this great written article. You are right. Corona brought us back to nature. I love nature, and I love my garden. Nature brings serenity and harmony back to me. Plants, trees, and animals communicate with us. If you take the time to feel the energy of an old tree, you can see this too. We are all one. Everything that lives on this planet has a right to be here. We are all connected.


    1. Thanks, Monique, for commenting. I totally agree with you. I feel sadness when I see trees torn down for developement. There is so much life in just one tree. My wish for this world is for everyone to experience the calmness and serenity of a garden or forest. AND, to listen to them. We need to appreciate the beauty of nature and learn from it. That will make for a much happier world.


  5. You are so right about learning from plants.  The parallel you present between monoculture vs. polyculture among plants and humanity is so interesting.  I think a lot of people thrive in diverse communities, since they learn new things from cultures unfamiliar to them.  Regarding plants, I had no idea they communicated with each other.  That is amazing.  I wonder how the weeds that people try to keep out (but somehow make find their ways in) communicate with the garden plants they are growing with.

    1. Interesting question! I would hope they feel some sadness when they are removed, because they’re controlling who can and cannot be allowed in their little area. Like you said, we can all learn and thrive in diverse communities!

      Thanks for commenting.


  6. This is such an inspiring article. This pandemic has brought a lot of us into the pool of negative thoughts, including the dissonance of our real-life relationship. I’m struggling to work on my coworker’s relationship since I joined during this period, but I think I can also learn from the plants here. I agree that different people (plants) has a different contribution and benefit each other in the organization. By realizing and complimenting them, I think I can start to work on my relationship better with them. Thank you very much for the inspiration here 🙂

    1. You’re quite welcome and thanks for commenting. I hope I can inspire others to better enjoy the nature around them and to ultimately feel the serenity it brings. I love your metaphor and I’m glad you have received some insight. I hope work becomes more peaceful.


  7. Hi, I am pleased to meet you. I have gone through the post of How To learn From Plants-  Social Harmony you provided. I find it to be a very important and interesting information. I’m thrilled to have read that plants teach us about the process of life, how it begins, how it is nourished, how it thrives, and finally how it succumbs to death, as you outlined. This is interesting.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, we can learn a lot from plants and how we as humans could better ourselves if we follow their lead. Thanks for reading my post. If you have any more comments, please feel free to express them.


  8. Very Interesting. My Mr gets his retirement work “therapy” with a blueberry farm Next door and his gardening experiments. It’s a good sanity saver.

    1. Gardening is a good sanity saver. I’m so glad you liked my article. We all need to learn from plants in order to live in harmony with one another! Thanks for the comment.

  9. Hello Nina,

    Wow! This is what I was looking for. An article that emphasizes what we can learn from other species (plants) and not the other way around. I hate to admit it, but we humans are the parasites in this world, continually tampering with all the balance that Mother Nature established. One commenter said above the fact that plants and trees are so many that they can take over the world or place when they have the chance without doing any harm. When we humans are long gone, Nature will take over all our neglected structures.

    In my hobby (planted aquariums), some people tend to think they are smarter than nature by bringing those intense colorations in plants underwater, for example. Nature does not do it to glorify our eyes or the judges. People tend to forget that we are replicating how nature does it after all and learning from it. That even the smallest organisms have the biggest role in establishing our tanks. That plants help with natural filtration, and the faunas give the nutrients they need in return. They give off each other’s needs in a never-ending cycle called life.

    1. Wow! You have described the circle of life so succinctly! Yes, we humans really need to learn from Nature not the other way around. Unfortunately we tend to destroy Nature before we have learned all we can from it. I wish there were more people in this world like us who cherish Nature. However, since I began writing these blogs I’ve found there are many like-minded people out there! Thanks for the comment.

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