Tonight, I went to a conference put on by the local horticultural and ecology society about overlooked rustic plants. What I had in my mind that it would cover and what the presentation was really about were two worlds apart. I was expecting rustic edibles, natives or useful plants. The presentation was about ornementals. After the first few minutes, I was quite disapointed. However, the presenter was really knowledgeable and after the first few disapointing minutes I started to pick the bits of information she was giving about each plants and finding possible uses in a permaculture system. For instance, that boxus she was talking about as a hedge coud be used as shelter for birds in the winter and a source of wood for small project. Or that Elsholtzia stauntonii that flowers in the Fall would be a good pollinator food when flowers are rare. Etc.
I thought to myself this must be the Permaculture mindset: finding uses to plants that most people just see as pretty ornementals (or weeds, or useless, etc.)