Category Archives: coneflower

Spring Sprouts

Merry meet all,

My project for herby sprouts is working!! I am amazed at how a whole huge plant can start from a tiny seed. I now have a garden on my windowsill. I’m growing snapdragons, lavender, thyme, basil, moonflower and morning glories, tomatoes, pumpkins, elecampagne from seed. My calendula overwintered and is now flowering! I also just bought black rose seeds.

I accidentally snipped a calendula flower and stem. I put the stem in a glass of water and waited and waited. Several weeks later the stem grew roots which I planted back into the same pot with the other calendula. I have three sprigs of rosemary in a glass of water to grow roots.

Patience is important when growing from seed. Try not to over water the plants. That killed my dill sprout. Just add a tiny drop of water every other day or if the seedling looks limp. Keep the starter pots by a sunny window. I have a plastic bag around the starter pots which helps to trap the water. Use good seedling potting soil. It is geared towards starting plants from seed. Let the seedlings grow on their own.

My moonflower just germinated!! It is weeks away till I can plant them but it is fun to watch them grow and help them along. I use a small clear plastic mister bottle which I have watered the seedlings with. You can also water from beneath. That prevents the seedling from root rot and dying. If you do water on the surface of the soil, add a tiny amount of water.

Small to tiny seeds lie on the surface of the soil. Water the soil prior to planting the seeds so they don’t drown. Bigger seeds are planted deeper in the soil. The sprouts still push through soil. So now we have sun, soil, water and time… what else? Love. Be gentle to your plants. Let them grow and just trust that they will grow. Before you know it, you will have a full fledged garden of seedlings waiting to bloom once the frost has passed.

Don’t disturb or transplant young seedlings. Let them grow where they are. You can if you want magically empower the seeds to fulfill your magical intention. The roots take time to be fully developed. Transplanting them too early can put the seedling in shock and damage it. They are content in the home that they germinated in. When it is time to harden the seedlings and plant them outside, then you can uproot them. Again, patience is key.

My morning glory seedlings )O(

Starting your plants from seed indoors has a few advantages. They are protected from the frost, can grace your window with their beauty and you can be sure that you will have a beautiful plant growing. If you start from seed, you control the growing conditions. You can grow several of the same plant without paying a fortune. Your plants will be ready to go once the frost has passed, saving you the effort of buying the same plants from the garden center.  

I’m starting the nasturtiums from seed outside. They are easy to grow and grow well there. Snapdragons seed heads look like skulls, which is one of the reasons why I bought the seeds. I also like the sound of the plant’s name. I’m running out of room for more seedlings. This has been a magical and fun project. 

My snowdrops have bloomed. My spring bulbs are growing slowly too. I can’t wait. 

Happy planting!

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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The History of Imbolg

Ewewithbabylamb

Merry meet all,

Imbolc springs to life soon in February. Imbolc is the next turn in the Wheel of the Year. Imbolc is the first of the three spring Sabbats, the other two being Ostara and Beltane. It is one of the great Celtic fire festivals.

Brighid is often honored during this time. She is a goddess of fire and fertility. Imbolc is a time of magical energy related to new beginnings, the goddess and fire. Life stirs within the soil. The sun brightens and the days slowly grow warmer. In the Irish Gaelic,  Imbolc is called oimelc, meaning ewe’s milk. At this time, the cows and ewes are nursing their calves, a common precursor to spring. Imbolg also means “in the belly”. Imbolc is also known as Candlemas,  the Feast Day of Saint Brighid, Le Fhelle Brid, Imbolc has a Celtic connection. Brighid is a triple aspect Goddess. She is a keeper of the sacred flame and a guardian of the hearth.

To our ancestors back to the Paleolithic times, the winter season was a true horror. Imagine dealing with glaciers, frigid winds and cold, and scarce food. The wind howls and you hear the ghostly voices of your ancestors. The wind cuts like wolf fangs, its so cold. The clan chews on the last of the mammoth meat, starvation is close. Any sign of spring then was a sign of survival, a cry to the soul. The Crone was valued then in the clans, but she finds it hard to keep up as they hunt for elusive oxen. The Crone was the wise woman, the one the clans turned to for hope, wisdom of how to survive and store food. She knew the early signs of the coming spring.

The Maiden doesn’t transition and emerge till the cold fierce time of the Crone is passed. Winter even in our time is still upon us. If you listen closely to the wind, it might whisper messages to you. Be sure to heed them. The Crone’s cloak of darkness and snow still hovers over the earth. Spring is a few weeks away. Soon the ice shall thaw to leave room for crocus and tulip bulbs. A common symbol of spring is the Bear who awakens from hibernation. When animals emerged from hibernation, it was a favored sign of spring. The idea of the goddess in bear shape was a reality through the Paleolithic times in Europe.

Bears are protective of their cubs which made the bear a popular mother figure. Sheeps and ewes correspond to spring.

I shall post more about Imbolc in the future. For now, stay warm and keep posted.

 

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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How to save herb seeds

Merry Meet All,

Herbs have long been prized for their beauty and usefulness. Herbs are loved for their colour, beauty, and fragrance. Here are some tips on how to store and use herb seeds. This is a great way to save money.

Mint is known for its invigorating peppermint scent. Mint is invasive in the garden and when you brush by, the scent is released in the air. Watch for when the mint flowers brown. This is the time to start storing seeds. Cut the flowers from the stems and hold the flowers over a bowl. Over the bowl, seperate the flowers and empty the seeds into the bowl. Clean any chafe or debris from the seeds. Place the seeds on a paper towel or a pie pan and allow to dry for a few days. Store the seeds in a glass jar in a dry, dark place.

Lavender seeds are easy to save. Cut the lavender above the brown area of the stem shortly after the flowers begin to bloom. Bind the stems together with a ribbon or elastic. You can make the ribbon or elastic be a colour that corresponds with the element of lavender. Be sure the stems are facing in the same direction. Place the bushel of lavender stems in a paper bag, stem side up, and secure the bag by tying it shut. After two weeks have passed, run your fingers down the stem of each plant to remove all the flowers and seeds. Discard the stems after removing the flowers and seeds. Store the seeds in a clean sterile Mason jar and leave in a dry, dark place. Empty the contents of the paper bag onto a flat surface. Sort the seeds from the flowers and store the seeds in the labeled jar. Lavender seeds do not save well, so use them as soon as possible.

Coneflowers are admired for their beauty and medicinal qualities. The seeds are hidden in the plant’s spiny centre. The method of removing the seeds are by winnowing the seeds. It is recommended that you wear gloves while removing the seeds. Also, watch for the time to remove seeds from coneflowers. Hold on till the stems droop and the flower head turn brown to black or the seeds will not be developed enough for next spring’s planting. There is another method. Soak the seed pods in water overnight. Water softens the bristles and makes removal easier. Lay the seeds out on a paper towel and allow to dry, then store in a glass jar.

Verbena flowers attract butterflies. Verbena self seeds itself each year but by saving the seeds, you save money and means that you have access to the same variety. Wait till the flowers fade and turn brown. Cut the stalk once the seedheads have turned brown. Leave the seedhead in a well ventliated room to dry for two weeks. Leave in a bowl lined with paper towels to absorb absorb excess moisture. Label an envelope with the name Verbena and crumble the seedhead into the bowl. Remove the debris. Label the envelope with the name and the date of the seed harvest. Place the seeds inside and store in a dry, dark place. The verbena seeds are a light tan colour and good for one to two years after harvesting. The chafe, or straw-like husks, can be planted with the seeds. Do not let the seeds come into contact with humidity.

Remember to thank the Goddess for the bounty of seeds you have harvested. Storing seeds helps you save money. Good luck and happy planting.

Blessed be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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