The art of plant whispering

The art of plant whispering is a foreign concept to most gardeners but it can assist with better growth.
The art of plant whispering is a foreign concept to most gardeners but it can assist with better growth.

MANY of you may have heard of Pat Parelli, the American “horse whisperer” who uses gentle horse handling techniques to get a horse to do what he wants it to.

Less well known is Hamblin Gosharn, the internationally renowned plant whisperer.

The mortician-turned-plant interpreter pioneered new ground in the communication between humans and greenlife.

The self-taught Hamblin found he had a gift for being able to recognise the conditions of plants by touching their leaves and simply being within their aura.

Hamblin’s 1976 book “Gentle Growth- A Guide to Natural Plantsmanship Communication Methods” should be on every gardener’s bookshelf (alongside my own delightful read: “Maiden Hair Memories- Poetry from the Heart of Gherkin Jarvis”, available now in hardcover, paperback or comic format.)

Since then, there have been numerous copycat plant whisperers (who could forget the great Thomas McThomas scandal of 2001 when during a live “reading” it was discovered the palm on stage was actually plastic) but few are able to stack up to the original.

I was lucky enough to meet and study under Hamblin’s tutelage while visiting him in lower Dobershire, Wales.

He trained me in the art of plant whispering while we enjoyed many a sample from his very extensive range of herbal teas, some of which I can’t remember the names of (or anything much at all after consuming them).

He was a true gentleman of the art who sadly passed away in 2011 while attempting to live in the hollow of a willow tree, declaring it his “new green womb”, being convinced the close contact with the tree’s inner would sustain him.

Authorities say it was hard to tell what killed him first- the starvation, pneumonia, exposure or multiple infections from various squirrel attacks.

Still, his principles live on and I’m happy to share some with you all.

Plant whispering is about changing how we think about plants. Rather than dictating to them what they need, it’s about drawing close and listening to them.

I’ve been able to rescue and strengthen many a potted plant which was crying out for potassium when all the owners were doing was adding nitrogen.

Other plants have relayed to me their desires to break free from the backyard and settle in the rainforest of their ancestors.

I recall one particular she oak with deep self-image concerns over her constant loss of needles.

It was great to be able to simply lay my hands on her trunk and reassure her. (A healthy dose of Grow Ace Fertiliser Tree Helper didn’t go astray either.)

The technique allows us to train a plant in the way we would like it to grow. It’s very effective when it comes to guiding vigorous vines on trellises or creepers.

They really respond to careful consultation. They also respond to secateurs and pruning saws but whispering involves less sawdust.

Get in touch if you’d like a reading conducted on any of your plants or garden. (The cost of $3500 includes an initial consultation, the reading ceremony, treatment application, a printed report on the plant’s concerns to be aware of, plus a sample of my unique tea blend, Blurred Tranquility.)

Tip of the Month: A literal green thumb may not be a sign that you’re an avid gardener. You could have a severe infection so get it looked at as soon as possible. Healthy!

*Follow Gherkin on Facebook ( and Twitter (@GherkinJarvis).

DISCLAIMER: The information within this column is of a satirical nature and therefore the advice within should not be heeded. All views expressed here are the writer’s own.

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Better Backyards with Gherkin JarvisSelf-proclaimed gardening expert and carpet enthusiast, Gherkin Jarvis, brings you his thoughts on Australia’s great lifestyle tradition, the backyard.


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