For the past three years, I’ve been working on a series of essays about my quest to get to know my neighborhood by paying attention to the flowers that grow here. Since I live in the heart of a major metropolis (Seattle), the plants I notice include garden ornamentals, native plants and weeds, not to mention the trees. Just a fifteen minute walk from my apartment, I can harvest wild nettles. By contrast, right outside the front door of my apartment building, the decorative plantings (sweet box and mountain laurel) were chosen by a landscape designer and are tended by gardeners.
The course I am teaching this year is based on this loose outline:
January: Naming the Plants
February: The Art of Phenology (tracking changes in nature)
March: Identifying Plants by Family
May: Portraits of Plants
June: Scent of a Rose
July: Flower Feasts
August: Infusions and Decoctions
September: Materia Medica: Plants for Healing
October: The Art of Arranging Flowers
November: Flower Essences
December: Flowers as Offerings
And a bonus lesson: Talking to Plants
As you can see by the titles, my emphasis has been on flowers, but the material can be easily adapted so that you could study trees, for instance, or herbs, or weeds, if you preferred, which is how I intend to expand my studies next year.
How it works:
- Each week on Thursday, you’ll receive a printable PDF handout containing inspirational quotes, illustrations, my reflections on the topic and a homework task. Most of the homework will ask you to go outside for fifteen minutes or to engage in some practical task for no more than an hour. The projects would be great for sharing with children.
- Your homework will be due on Tuesday; at the same time, you can submit questions which I will answer in a PDF file sent on Thursday along with the daily lesson.
- You’ll be invited to join a private online Facebook group where you will be able to share insights with others and post photos.
- You can sign up for a month at a time but you must sign up before the 7th of the month. Otherwise I will automatically register you for the subsequent month. For instance, if you sign up on April 7, I’ll send you the first week assignment for April but if you sign up on April 8, I’ll start sending you assignments the first week in May.
Four Year in Flowers lessons for the current month ($10):
A year of A Year in Flowers lessons ($97):
I developed the Slow Time class with the help of my students. I created the material to send to them and they sent me back stories which I was able to incorporate into the book. Now I am considering revising the book and I’d like to teach it as a class again.
This time, however, I’m going to slow it way down and expand the material to cover a year. I have a tendency to overwhelm myself and my students by suggesting way too much homework. So I’m going to only cover a chapter a month and I’m only going to assign one task per week. The book has twelve chapters, so we’ll cover one a month, moving from your personal history with time (the first chapter) to the lifetime (the twelfth chapter) over the entire year.
Here’s the outline:January: your personal history with time February: natural time and artificial time: minutes and moments March: dance of the hours April: night and day May: the week begins June: moon cycles July: moons to months August: living in season September: passing of the year October: holidays and holy days November: star cycles December: the lifetime
How it works:
- Each week on Tuesday, you’ll receive a printable PDF handout containing inspirational quotes, illustrations, my reflections on the topic and a homework task. Most of the homework will require some writing or an experiment with treating time differently.
- Your homework will be due on Sunday; at the same time, you can submit questions which I will answer in a PDF file sent on Thursday along with the daily lesson.
- You’ll be invited to join a private online Facebook group where you will be able to share insights with others and post photos. You can also simply send a homework report to me via email or work on your own.
- You can sign up for a month at a time for $10 a month or you can sign up for a whole year at the bargain rate of $97.
Of course, you could just order the Slow Time book and do the exercises on your own. The advantage of the class is the accountability and the opportunity to share with others and get feedback from them and from me.
Like the My Year in Flowers class, I will send the material out during the month named above, though I won’t be so strict about signing up ahead of time. So if you sign up on April 8, I’ll send you the first lesson about night and day. If you sign up on April 22, I’ll send you the weeks you missed plus the current week’s lesson. If you want to do three weeks of homework in one week, that’s OK with me (though not recommended if you want to live in slow time).
Four Slow Time lessons for the current month ($10):
A year of Slow Time lessons ($97):
Please email me at waverly AT LivingInSeason DOT com if you have any questions about any of these courses.