Category Archives: garden

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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New Moon harvest

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Merry meet all,

Today I bound my garlic cloves from the garden with an elastic and hung them to dry. I chopped off the onion stems and stored the onion heads in a dry clean basket. I will leave the garlic and onions to cure for a number of weeks. Then I hope they store well for the winter. The bluejays steal eggshells I leave in the garden. I wonder why. I believe I shall harvest more rhubarb too. I do enjoy some raspberries from my garden too, though not as many as I’d like. 

The sky’s overcast here today. The sun’s trying to shine through the clouds. The oak seedling in my garden’s doing well. The garden sage is doing well. I can’t wait for another big harvest from my garden. I love to garden and I am sure it shows, but it gives me a sense of accomplishment and brings me peace. I love my garden. It’s been a lot of work and I am seeing the results of my labour, which is part of what Lammas is about. 

The New Moon shines tomorrow night. The New Moon phase is a good time for new beginnings and starting new projects. Cleanse your crystals and burn a candle to meditate or reflect on what you would like to do. I am seeing August as a good time to get my writing and sewing done and up to date. September always signals a change for me. 

Many New Moon Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch 

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Litha Rites

tomaotoes

Merry meet all,

Litha is almost here!!! Well, today it’s raining. But I sure hope for sunshine on June 21st!! Here is more info to help you prepare for an awesome Summer Solstice. 

This celebration focuses on the sun. Use solar colours when decorating your altar. Reds, oranges, golds and yellows are associated with the sun. Try setting your altar outdoors to truly get the most out of the ritual or at least near a sunny window. 

Litha is also a time of balance. The light and dark are in battle with each other. Perhaps a Brighid’s cross or a yin yang symbol would do. Decorate your altar with pinwheels, sun wheels, oak leaves and acorns, and sunflowers. 

To decorate your home for the Solstice, bring in washed flowers, herbs and vegetables from the garden. Leave the food in baskets and arrange the flowers in vases. Burn yellow and gold candles. Arrange flower candles at the base of the candlesticks. Braid herbs into a herb wreath and hang it on your door. Collect seeds and store them in a pretty cloth pouch or a seed envelope. 

Celebrate Litha either as a solitary or with your coven. Go outside! I plan to take a cauldron outside and burn incense on charcoal  in the cauldron. It will smell beautiful. I also plan to spend the day or part of the day tending to my garden. I will burn incense as I tend to my garden. The scent will help carry me away. Midsummer is a magickal time. 

Hold a bonfire, welcome fairies into your garden, share a special meal outdoors with friends and family. The choice is up to you how you enjoy the day. Go for a nature walk and go wildcrafting or clean up trash as you see it. Be sure to wear gloves. 

Have a fun Litha!

Blessings,

Lady Spiderwitch  )O(

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Seeds of Hope

rosy tulips

Merry meet all,

I am just in from seed planting. Yesterday I bought some organic topsoil. I wheeled the soil home and put it all on my new garden patch. Today my garden looks beautiful even in the rain. The rocks get that sheen and the green vibrant plants stand out among the earthy rocks and soil. 

I cleared away more weeds and removed rocks from the soil. A Witch’s work is never done! I just planted hollyhocks and lilies in the garden. I hope they germinate. When they do, I will thin the seedlings more and enjoy watching the hollyhocks grow! I can harvest more seeds from the stalks come fall. The witch hazel is also coming along nicely. The flowers I planted at the base are doing well too. 

The photo above is one I took of the beauteous tulip growing in my own garden. It’s a double-petaled deep mahogany red tulip and the hybrid is called Uncle Tom, (mundane name, if you ask me.)  The scent is amazing!! I also watered the seeds and my garden with my organic Neptune’s Harvest organic fish emulsion fertilizer. 

I shall continue to post more here soon!! The Full Moon shines on June 2nd. The moon is waxing. This is a good time to get out and do some gardening!! You can plant seeds that grow above ground now, because the moon is growing full!!

Blessings,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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A Garden to honor my ancestors

Seedling Magick

Merry meet all,

Tonight I’m sipping coffee and I occasionally peek out to my blossoming garden. It cheers my heart to see the plants grow. I also take pride in it for a different reason. 

I am carrying on the work of my ancestors. I am part Celtic and part Viking. My maternal grandmother is from Scotland. My maternal grandfather is from Cape Breton-French Acadian. My father was Norwegian. 

They would have worked hard in a garden to provide the food to feed their families. It was a produce or perish way of life then. They would have raised livestock. I don’t raise livestock but I do have two familiars. A garden was necesary. I also know how to fish, saw wood, gather and store wood, and operate a real wood stove. I know how to identify animal tracks, herbs and berries, and cook homegrown food- and ride horses. I often practice slow cooking, as opposed to eating processed food out of a can. Yes I do know to work a coleman stove. 

Allow me to elaborate here. One time in Pleasant Bay, my sis Niki harvested some root veggies from her garden. She cooked a pot of stew and it was cooked on the wood stove. I love the sound of a stainless steel kettle rattling on the wood stove- and a woodpecker pecking at the outdoor house walls. Then I was given the pot of soup and I held the pot of stew on my lap the way to the main house, where we all enjoyed it. I mean, it was delicious. Well it was made from totally locally grown vegetables and cooked on a wood stove. What was there to not like? 

I also can sew and clean. I know you may be thinking these seem like such domestic chores- especially since last fall, I was in the kitchen literally cooking all day. But I filled glass dishes with the plastic red lids with four different soups and I was able to feed myself all winter long. 

I have a fresh stash of lentils and beans. I know what to do with them. Performing this work is satisfying because I feel like I am carrying on a tradition. I have occasionally gone camping, maybe not as often as I should. Spending so much time in Pleasant Bay has helped me appreciate going for a simple walk. Well today was rainy. I also know how to make candles, make crafts like candles, jewelry, and bind books But my main pride and joy is my garden. I fail to understand why no one started a garden in the backyard here before me. Oh well my job. And I love it! I bought a celtic cookbook to also honor my ancestry. 

I am studying the different gods and goddesses in the Celtic pantheon. That is just fascinating to me. I do have a hard time getting my hands on books and information on the Vikings so I could honor that side of my family. I hope to learn more about them. 

I plan to make good use of the raspberries in my garden in jam and maybe eat them with pancakes. I plan to grow tomatoes, kale, lettuce, carrots, beets and radishes, potatoes, chives, garlic, rhubarb, and onions. For someone who lives on a meagre budget as I do, this is a lot of food. This includes the herbs and flowers I shall also harvest in the fall. The Witch Hazel will be cool. I haven’t planned on what to do with that yet. I can also harvest roots, seeds, and flower petals for various magickal uses. 

I let my Samhain pumpkins compost in my garden all year. The orange pumpkin was closer to the house. The white pumpkin composted over the tulip and garlic bulbs. When I raked the leaves this spring, I didn’t find the white pumpkin. I guess that is how well it composted. But the soil, bulbs and bugs would have benefitted from the nutrients from it. I did find the dried crumbling remnants of the orange pumpkin. I know it helped the soil. 

I planted snowdrops because I read they were sacred to Brigid. This is one of many ways I hope to explore and deepen my connection to my ancestors.

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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Sagely Wisdom

b400c-echinacea1

Merry Meet All,

Imbolc is almost here!! Sorry for the pause in the posts, but I have been so busy trying to write a novel proposal that everything else has been- and that includes my entire life, has been on hold. Now that some of the maddening, gritty work is done, I can concentrate on other things. 

…like Imbolc. I’ve germinated garden sage and milk thistle seeds so far. I put the seeds in a folded damp paper towel in a ziploc bag. The seeds germinate much faster. I found loose sage leaves at the grocery store then discovered the sage was from Israel. What? i was shocked. So I rejected the sage and instead, bought a bag of seeds. 

Now I know where my sage is coming from. My own garden or windowsill, which I prefer. The sage from Israel would be useless to me. The magic properties that sage is known for would be long gone. The power of the herb would barely exist by the time it reached Canada. I couldn’t believe it. I would rather grow my own, which is highly possible as I have a garden. 

I wanted to buy the sage to steep in a teapot and do my sacred magic circle of sage tea all around the perimeter of the apartment here. But I wouldn’t use sage leaves from Israel. Sage is known for increasing longevity, aiding in protection and offering wisdom. How much of the natural wonderful properties remain in it by the time it is on the store shelf? Not to mention that the leaves are sprayed with a pesticide and preservative. Ugh Who wants that? 

Ah I am now left to the wonderful chore of growing my own. I have a young sage plant in my garden but it is buried under snow. I won’t harvest from a young plant I will wait till it is established. I can’t wait to plant my seedlings in the garden in the spring. 

I often read my copy of Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs. I love that book. I couldn’t live without it. It is an excellent reference book that should be on the book shelf of every serious Witch/ Pagan or Hedge Witch. 

Grow local! Grow your own herbs. My Genovese Basil was unintentionally uprooted this fall so I potted it up and brought it indoors. I can’t believe how it is flowering. The plant gets lots of sun from the southern window. My sage seedlings are growing next to it. Soon I shall have a few lovely sage plants blossoming in the garden, when spring arrives. I will have all the chemical-free sage  I want for casting protective magic circles!! 

I’ve been reading and enjoying Raven Grimassi’s articles in Witches and Pagans magazine. I now have new fun ideas to try on my herbs and plants thanks to him. I want to buy his books. I like his approach. I hope they include more of his writing. 

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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A Kitchen Witch’s Kitchen

CIMG1920

Merry meet all,

Today I’m going to review another book published by Moon Books. This one is titled Kitchen Witch’s Kitchen. The book is about how to use herbs. it’s an excellent book by Rachel Patterson.

I have a wide knowledge of herbs as well so I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I could relate to her passion for herbalism. She lists many herbs and just as many wonderful ways to use them. The book is well-thought out, thorough and enjoyable. A reader would gain much knowledge after reading her book. I found her book to be encouraging. 

I’ve included a link to the book should you want to read it yourself

http://www.moon-books.net/books/kitchen-witch-world-magical-herbs-plants

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Midsummer Garden Magick

Merry Meet All,

Did you all enjoy the Full Moon energy? I sure did. I had a very cleansing weekend. I performed the Summer Solstice and Full Moon rituals. I also enjoyed seeing the beautiful Full Moon outside my apartment. I would love to hear how you all celebrated this enchanting weekend.

Midsummer is a magickal time. The earth is in bloom and our gardens are gearing towards ready to bursting. Why not try some faery magick?

The faeries are helping your garden grow. I have a statue of a faery in my garden. She watches over the garden night and day. I also want to put a gargoyle statue to guard the garden too. Midsummer and a full moon signal that this is the time to banish bad habits and what no longer serves you. To see and enjoy the company of faeries, get out in nature. Nature is the faerys’ home so no better place to be. Find a faery triad of oak, ash and thorn. Walk clockwise or deosil, nine times around the circle to find the entrance to view them. The King of the Faeries loves to dance on thyme. Leave them an offering of rose petals, milk, honey or a shiny piece of jewelry.

So the best thing to do to get this Otherworldly aid with your garden is to let your garden be. I do and i know it takes self-control but I find this is the best way to let the garden magically flourish. The other unseen and diminituve helpers of the garden are the insects. Our gardens are the way they are mostly thanks to the insect kingdom. Not the slugs, of course. You can sprinkle sat on a slug or ship it off to the green compost bin, where it will munch the compost to its hearts content. I was in my garden yesterday and I saw a beetle, centipedes, sawbugs and earthworms rummaging about. They are never seen yet they work hard. The most suffering and the hardest workers of the garden are bees. The bees are suffering unduly thanks to the evil corporation of Mordor/ Monsanto. They are causing the bees to be endangered. We need bees to have food to eat. They are never thanked for all the hard work they do. So I highly urge you to do whatever you can to help attract bees to your garden. We need the bees. We will not survive without them. I hate Monsanto with all my heart. I do everything I can to help the bees. I would have no garden without them. Please help the bees by planting what would attract them.

My lady’s mantle finally flowered, and the dead nettle flowered. I have a new white Echinacea plant that is about to flower. The leopard’s bane is long past flowering but I left a seed head on the plant to brown and dry out to let me collect the seeds. The peas are growing taller and the radish leaves are taking off now. My comfrey is growing bigger and the purple coneflower is growing bigger too. Soon it will grow stalks and flowers. The rue loves its new home, the tarragon too, and the chives are doing well in their corner. My woodruff has claimed its corner. It looks so magickal, spreading down over that patch. Woodruff makes beautiful groundcover and the bugle weed is now too. My onions are doing well, growing behind the woodruff. Woodruff was used in the past to make wine. THe mugwort has grown regal and tall and showing who is the boss. One of my tomato vines is trying to catch up to the larger tomato plant. I divided up the too large leopard’s bane and planted it in different bare spots of the garden. I plan to make a lovely border with more dead nettle. I can’t wait till my calendula seedlings and the lovage are ready to out to the garden. The romaine lettuce and red poppy are slow to grow- might be growing in their roots. No sign of my chocolate mint and spearmint or shasta daisies yet. The pumpkin vines are slow to grow too. But nonetheless, a beautiful and captivating garden. I have shallotts, calendula, mugwort, and mesclum mix inside. The mesclun mix will stay inside but everything else will go outside.It will keep the bees busy. I want some lungwort and Solomon’s Seal to cover up that bare spot in my garden, next to the new flowering hosta. The yarrow, bee balm, Echinacea, astilbe + and Siberian Iris will hopefully be visited and pollinated by our unsung heroes- the bees.

Help the bees!!

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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My herbs and vegetable seeds

Merry Meet All,

I am excited! I’m excited because this is my first year in experimenting with container gardening. I have a variety of organic vegetable seeds and seed starting soil, organic Neptune’s harvest fertilizer, and a big deep planter for my veggies outdoors. So read on to see how I did this and how you can too!!

First, you need seeds. I went to Halifax Seed and bought a few organic vegetable seeds packets. I chose a lettuce mix, green onions, carrots and peas. I started tomatoes from seed from other tomatoes already. I bought two seed trays with slots. I gathered my soil, a candle, a spoon, the seeds, the trays and slots, watering can and fertilizer.

I lit the candle and prayed to the God and Goddess to bless this experiment of mine and the seeds. Working in four rows, I planted one row of shallots, one row of lettuce mix, one row of peas and one row of carrots. You can see the seed trays here:

I was hard at work, as you can tell. In the second tray, I planted peas. The expiry date is for 6/2013. The third tray (I used an egg carton) is the lettuce mix. I can’t wait to plant these outdoors. I set them on a large flat piece of wood and set the three trays on top of my pet guinea pig’s cage. The seeds will receive plenty of sunlight and a breeze from the open window. I watered and fertilized the seeds. Now I have to wait for them to germinate.

I bought organic herbs for cooking and magickal workings. I have a lovely thyme plant growing in a gorgeous golden brass cauldron. The tiny leaves cascade over the edge of the cauldron. The dill will be set outdoors, the tarragon is for cooking, and the parsley is for Magic, and the peppermint is to improve the indoor air quality. I am having success with the carrot tops. They are indeed sprouting. I placed a carrot in a bowl of water and I can see sprouts coming up.

It is exciting to watch plants grow. Vegetables are annuals. I have tons of seeds in the packets, enough to grow veggies year-round. Why not? I have enough light, space and soil.

I sterilized the seed trays and planter before I used them. I will put the seedlings in the planter to grow outdoors. The bleach kills any potential eggs from hatching. I also learned a few more tips I would love to share. I planted a sliced green onion, the roots facing down in the soil, and it will grow from that. I am using organic Neptune’s Harvest fish emulsion fertilizer. It is worth investing in this smelly fertilizer because you will reap more fruits, herbs or veggies. It packs growing power to your plants. I can see a major difference in my sage. The sage plant has never looked happier. You will notice an increased bounty if you use that stuff.

Healthy plants are more resistant to disease and pests. I chose organic vegetable seeds that have resistance to disease and pests. I may not have disease ruining my plants, but I am sure the insect population will try to enjoy their share of my veggies before fall comes. I plan to set down some chickenwire to keep out larger pests, some cloches to protect the plants, and mulch to add moisture.

A lot of work! The work is worth it. I bought a kneeling pad, a new trowel, and I need gardening gloves. Otherwise, I am all set. Happy planting! I hope you are all ready for Beltaine!!

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Rebirthing the Garden

Merry Meet All,

Happy Easter!! I hope you are all enjoying your weekend. Here, the weather is beautiful, my snowdrops are blossoming, and the air is crisp and fresh. It is like a real spring day. The next turn in the Wheel of the Year is Beltaine, as many of you know, and that happens on May 1st. Today the moon enters Sagittarius and the colour of the day is black.

Ah spring. Spring is muddy, raw, fertile. Spring is the reawakening of the earth, the return of greenery, the rebirth of plants. I prefer summer personally but nothing cheers my heart more than seeing tiny buds emerge from the soil. The buds defy winter.

April is a time when winter is fading and spring is returning. It is the in between time of the seasons. We see patches of snow on the ground and the muddy fresh soil. This is the time when people think about their gardens. Consider performing a ritual to welcome back the faeries and guardians of the garden.

You can perform this ritual indoors or outdoors. It would be better outdoors since this is to request the guardians of your garden to bless your garden.

Say this aloud: (Light a stick of incense and a candle.)
Faery guardians come and play,
Bright blessings to the Fae,
Guard and bless my garden
on this day,
Charm my garden to grow!”

Meditate and visualize faeries dancing around your garden. Bring the candle indoors and allow the incense to burn itself out. Cast off the shackles of winter. Spring is here!!

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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