Plant-directed Phenomenological Research Group (PPRG):

This Research Group is intended for individuals with prior experience of the phenomenological / Goethean / ’plant immersion’ (as practiced at Viriditas NZ) methods of plant-directed learning. We are looking for people with an interest in developing the phenomenological practice and to collaboratively create a ‘compendium’ or directory of plant qualities and ‘affinities’.

We are looking to launch this initiative will take place in late 2020, which will be facilitated by Isla Burgess (Viriditas NZ) and Roland Playle. 


  • To increase competence of individual practitioners in phenomenological/participatory research methods.

  • To broaden understanding and knowledge of plants, beyond chemical and biological constituents and component parts.

  • To provide a rigorous basis for qualitative research into plants founded on participatory research and collaboration.​

  • To establish a directory / compendium of plant qualities and affinities based on consensus-based phenomenological research.

  • To promote and broaden the scope of plant-human relationships to include plant qualities.

  • To establish an international plant-directed learning community.

Isla Burgess (Viriditas NZ) and Roland Playle

We have worked together on a number of programmes since studying together on the Schumacher MSc in Holistic Science in 2008/9. Our collaborations have taken us from Scotland to New Zealand via Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. We share a passion for plants and what we call the holistic or participatory way of engaging with them. Having run a range of shorter-term courses between us, we feel it is time to offer a more in-depth approach to participatory plant learning and research. By working with a community of learners over a longer period of time, we hope to see individuals become confident enough to carry out this work in their own communities and places of practice. We also hope that the compendium created during this period will further understanding of the relationship between plants and humans, and thereby broaden discussion of the plant-human relationship more generally. We are excited by this new initiative and look forward to hearing from people with an interest.

To find out more, please get in touch with either Isla or Roland.