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While John Michell has a brief break from this page,another living legend will be taking his place. Dr Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and the author of The Sense of Being Stared at: And Other Aspects of the Extended Mind (Hutchinson, £17.99). His website is Jonathan Cainer

Archive for Thursday 20th May 2004 - Unexplained Powers: A love for plants

Rupert Sheldrake image Earlier this year I wrote about green fingers. Do people who are good with plants simply take more care of them and remember to water them? Or is there some special quality people with green fingers have that others lack? If some people have a knack with plants, what's the secret ingredient?

Dozens of people have written to tell me about their experiences. Many are convinced that love is the key. Karen, who works as a horticulturist, says she likes plants, and plants like her. She has concluded, "What good gardeners have in common is a love of plants, and the plants know it."

Some people talk to their plants, though they may be reluctant to admit it in public. Heather told me, "I believe very much that they can feel my intentions. I can talk a plant back to life or when one of my plants is having a difficult time growing I can persuade it that things will get better."

Some people think that this is a two-way conversation. Gayle said, "My plants speak to me - I get a feeling to go look at one or another and I find that that plant needs attention."

Others think that plants can be affected by human emotions and pick up stress and conflict. Dina says of her favourite plant, " When things are humming along it will flourish. If they aren't it doesn't." Why are green fingers called green fingers? Does touching a plant make a difference? Some people think so. Janie says of a house plant she rescued, "I touch the leaves especially when I leave for the weekend. It has bloomed, put on new leaves and is very happy."

Some people touch plants in a big way by hugging trees. Fred, a feng shui consultant, says," I advise hugging a tree to all my clients to replenish their energy as well as their health. They are such a gift of God that is taken for granted. Plants and trees are our silent healers."

But I still don't understand green fingers.

Rupert Sheldrake would like further help in trying to understand green fingers from experienced gardeners and allotment holders. Email Rupert Sheldrake's researcher, with subject heading: Rupert Sheldrake.

Rupert Sheldrake

John Michell would love to hear about your experience of any unusual or unexplained phenomena.
If you have a favourite mystery subject - from spontaneous human combustion to ancient Celtic ritual sites, write to John, suggesting a theme. And if you have any answers or theories about the mysteries John will be highlighting, he would particularly like to hear from you.

Email mystery@cainer.comwith subject heading: John Michell
Please note, we regret that due to time restrictions personal replies may not be available.

John Michell is a prolific author. Below are just two of John's books which might interest you:

The Rough Guide to Unexplained Phenomena
John Michell and Bob Rickard - A fascinating collection. Look up anything from urban legends to recorded unexplained phenomena - to the existance of ghosts. All presented in an organised, easy to follow manner, in related categories. A complete index and accompanying pictures with each entry. Excellent reference - excellent read.
Who Wrote Shakespeare?
Was the most famous poet and writer of all time a fraud and a plagiarist? Was Shakespeare the "upstart crow" described by Greene as strutting in borrowed feathers, or Jonson's "Poet-Ape" who patched plays together from others' work? John Michell's witty investigation of the theories and claims reads like a series of detective stories. By the end of the book even the most faithful disciples of the Bard will find themselves asking, "Who Wrote Shakespeare?"

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