It's a pretty well known fact by now that plants are more than just nice things to look at. They clean the air, help with humidity, and bring calm to any space - but did you know that in the 70s it was also thought that plants could catch you in a lie, communicate with distant galaxies and even react to our emotions?
At least that's what writers and Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird propose in their 1973 book The Secret Life of Plants: A Fascinating Account of the Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Relations Between Plants and Man.
In the book, Tompkins and Bird write about a number of experiments with plants with claims that they revealed unusual and mystical powers associated with plants, such plant sentience and the ability of plants to communicate with other creatures, including humans.
The best selling book would later go on to be made into a documentary film, The Secret Life of Plants, directed by Walon Green. The film was made up of multiple plants shot throughout their growth cycle using time lapse photography, with plants quickly growing and, with some extreme 70s vibes, reach out to one another before bursting into flowers and mushrooms. Groovy baby.
It even featured a soundtrack by Stevie Wonder, which was released as his Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants double album in a somewhat surprise (and let's say, ahem, less well received) follow up to his critically acclaimed Songs in the Key of Life. Although most agree it's not his greatest, Stevie's appreciation of plants just makes us love him even more.
Whilst the book was quite quickly regarded as fiction and debunked to make nonsensical "outrageous" claims, its a vivid and whimsical reminder of just how plants and the natural world capture the imagination and remind us that we are part of something bigger.