Category Archives: gardening

The Good Faeries of the Garden

Merry meet all,

I know it’s a few months till Samhain. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be looking for the spooky happening around you now. In case you don’t believe me, I had a freaky incident recently. I found my copper skull spoon in my garden. I have no idea how it got there. I retrieved it, washed it all the while wondering how’d that happen? So it might be more common than you think. I blame the faeries and brownies.

The movie Mary Shelley opens in theaters soon. I am counting the days and hours till then. I am eager to get to work on my garden. If you are seriously into spirits and faeries, well, working in your garden is a great way to interact with them. Trust me, they are around. And not to mention the spirits in the plants themselves. So that is a lot of spirit work.

I recommend waiting till May Full Moon to do any garden work and planting. There is still a risk of frost. The May Full moon could be a powerful time for inviting the faeries and other helpful nature spirits to your garden. Leave a libation of honey and milk or mead and bury crystals in the soil. Clean the garden, use no pesticides and actually care for your garden. Decorate your garden with artificial lights, wooden pentacles or hang crystals from trees. Add some fairy statues and they will not be able to resist. Faeries care for the earth more than us mortals ever will. So showing you care is a great way to get their help. Then be consistent. If you find certain plants growing unusually well and your garden seeming like it’s more protected than others, it is a good sign the Good Folk are there. I have left my apartment door unlocked (unknowingly to me and unintentionally) and I have never been robbed. I don’t know how I did that. I usually do lock my door. But I am sure something is guarding my place.

One good idea if you like the darker side, is growing dark colored plants. You could grow black hollyhock or black roses. Use your imagination.

If you see pretty bright lights and the birds and insects flock to your plants or bird feeders, they are there. You will know by the auspicious signs you see. But you have to actually be outside to witness the signs. So every time you have some extra organic scraps, offer it to your garden. Keep the feeders full and remember to leave crystals in the soil. They will charge the soil and plants. Leaving offerings to your garden keeps a balance between you and the spirits. Be good to the earth. Try composting and recycling. Honor the spirits. Keep your garden clean and free of debris.

When it is harvest season, you can again leave a libation and thank the spirits for their aid. Decorate your garden with pumpkins, gourds and flowers of the season. The Full Harvest Moon has been allowing farmers to harvest their crops for centuries. There are lots of spirits and perhaps ancestral spirits everywhere. I love the harvest time. I can sense energies so easily. I see them in my house too.

I hope this helps you and keeps you busy during the growing season.

Blessings, Spiderwitch

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Filed under gardening, organic, Paranormal and Witchy Fiction, Samhain, seeds, spring

Spring Equinox

Merry meet all,

Blessed Ostara!! Today marks the spring equinox. The weather today was beautiful, cool and sunny. I couldn’t have asked for more. I visited the local witch shop. I am always there. I took my broom with me to show it off. I baked cookies and watched the faery fabulous movie Maleficent. My windows are open to let in the spring energy. I am eager to plant more seeds.

Wse depart from the dark half of the year to the lighter half. Now the Goddess stirs and awakens. The Crone gives way to the Maiden and the God rises too, to plant seeds of new growth. I am excited to get to work on my garden once again. I have seedlings begun already.

I took photos of the graveyard recently. I shall soon share the pictures with the Horror Writers Association for their slideshow. I attended a wonderful memorial service for an acquaintance. I enjoyed the whole evening of the service, feast and the after party. The crows were agitated in my neighborhood prior to the service. I can’t help but wonder if it was another message. I can’t wait for the weather to warm up for me to visit the cemetery more often. I guess  bringing coffee in a thermos will suffice. I shall try again tomorrow to write more horror poetry.

I wish you all a wonderful Ostara. Blessings to all

Spiderwitch

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Filed under gardening, organic, Ostara, Paranormal and Witchy Fiction, seeds, spring

How to make Strawberry Jam

Merry Meet All,

Every morning, I visit my garden. I am under its spell. The garden is replete with veggies, flowers, and herbs. It is hard to believe that it is almost Lammas. Lammas is the first of the three harvest seasons. I think the year has spun by on magical wings. I wish I could keep up.

Tonight the Full Moon shines over the earth. I plan to dedicate my new black athame that I bought from Sacred Mists. It is so beautiful. It’s a Valkyrie Athame. It is in keeping with my Scandinavian family ancestry. Here is a picture of the Valkyrie Athame.

Want to know how to save money and enjoy organic homemade strawberry jam? I made four jars of organic strawberry jam yesterday afternoon. It is easy to do but requires patience on your part and some effort.

Strawberry Jam

Wash, and hull about 2 quarts of strawberries- or buy frozen organic strawberries.

Measure 4 cups strawberries

In a large saucepan or preserving kettle alternate layers of strawberries with

3 cups granulated sugar Organic sugar

Let stand for 2 hours.
Bring to boil and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Stir in
¼ cup lemon juice

Bring to boil uncovered about 5 minutes longer or until a teaspoonful when chilled quickly has desired consistency. Stir frequently. Remove from heat and skim off foam by turns for 5 minutes. Ladle into sterilized jars. Seal while hot with a thin layer of melted paraffin wax (optional.) Makes about 4 cups.

After I sterilized my jars by boiling them in hot water for fifteen minutes, I used my black heart-shaped magnetic hematite stone to pick up the jar lids to place them on the jars. I just thought I would pass that tip along. I do plan to invest in a good home canning set very soon because now I am hooked. So I now have two jars of elderberry jam and four jars of homemade strawberry jam. That is 6 jars in total. See? You don’t need to buy berry jam when you can make it yourself and know that it will contain no GMOs or chemicals and preservatives. I hope this post inspires you to try your hand at making your own jam. Our ancestors did it that way. People today are returning to the forgotten traditions and alternative medicines.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Filed under Full Moon esbat, gardening, homemade strawberry jam, organic, Valkyrie Athame

Lunar Gardening Magick

Merry Meet All,

The New Moon rules the sky. The moon is waxing. This is a powerful time for our gardens. The moon creates more moisture in the soil during new moon and waxing moon. The sun is larger than the moon but the moon is closer to the earth. The tides are affected by the gravitational pull of the moon. All of the plants in my garden from new moon to waning moon will have more moisture in the soil. I wish that would save me the hard work to water my garden. I have to fill my jug ten times to water my garden. Waxing moon is a great time to do some natural magick in or for your garden. It’s a good time to attract things towards you and to appeal to the God and Goddess or faeries to help your plants grow.

The earth exhales during the waxing moon and the sap goes above ground into the plants. That is a good time to help plants grow that grow above ground. The waning moon is when the sap goes below ground and is when the earth inhales. That is the time to do weeding, pruning, and helping plants to grow that grow below ground. That means that I was on time when my Mother and I pruned the tree suckers and cut the overgrown trees during the recent waning moon.

This is why I waited till waning moon to plant my carrot seeds in the big deep pot. I knew that waning moon is the perfect time to plant seeds, like carrots, because carrots grow below ground. I also planted my radishes in the planter because they grow below ground. Now all the energy will be drawn into the plants that grow above ground.

Work your lunar magick for your garden with these guidelines. May the Goddess bless your gardens!!

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Filed under gardening, lunar magick, moon's pull on plants, tides

Update

Merry Meet All,

It’s Canada Day today. Happy birthday, Canada!!

The moon enters Taurus today. The corresponding colour is silver. Taurus is the sign of beauty, loyalty, and hard work. Think of the elements of Taurus as you go about your day and how you can bring that into your day.

The Celtic tree month of Holly begins on July 8th. The Blessing Moon lands on July 22nd. Lughnasadh begins on August 1st. It’s hard for me to believe we are almost in the harvest season. We are now seven months into the year.

In the witchy news, Doreen Valiente was awarded a blue plaque. Here is the link to the story to read more: http://www.sundayexpress.co.uk/news/weird/411280/Blue-plaque-unveiled-for-mother-of-modern-witchcraft-Doreen-Valiente. This is good news for Witches, Wiccans and Pagans everywhere. It proves witchcraft is becoming more accepted.

I hope you’re all working hard on your gardens. I still have a tray of seedlings that I am hoping to put in the garden soon. The calendula is growing fast, and the lovage, and even rhubarb I began from seed. Soon it will bet time for the harvest. But enjoy summer now while you can.

Blessings,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Filed under blue plaque, Canada Day, Doreen Valiente, gardening

Musings about my garden

Merry Meet All,

Gardening is so much work but worth it. I just fertilized my garden and trimmed the tall grasses. My flowers are set to bloom any time now. The calendula I started from seed can hopefully go out in the garden too. I spied some carrot tops in the planter, too. I have to transplant them now and buy yet another bag of soil to fill the new planter with carrot seeds. I will grow the carrots for Magic, my guinea pig. He loves organic carrots.

Remember to fertilize your plants, mow the grass, and protect your plants from critters and storms. I sprinkled salt on a slug before flicking him into the neighbour’s garden. i bought a wonderful gardening book yesterday. It was worth the long trek to Chapters. The book is chock full of information on saving seeds. The title is The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds- 322 Vegetables, Herbs, Flowers, Fruits, Trees and Shrubs by Robert Gough. I was up all night last night reading the book and I can’t put it down. Well I can, because I am typing this, but this book is amazing and actually makes sense and shows you how to do stuff. I love this book and I am so glad to have added it to my collection. Every serious gardener has a collection of gardening books. I am no exception. I will use all the information from this book and save the seeds from what I harvest from my garden and may never have to buy seeds again.

Good luck with your gardening and seed saving!
Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Filed under gardening, reference books, saving seeds

Rhubarb seeds

Merry Meet All,

I was surprised to discover that I started a rhubarb plant from seed this morning. I checked my seed flat this morning. I gently dug with a stick to stir up the soil. When I reached something hard, I stopped. I lifted away a tiny bit of soil and there was a rhubarb seed with a taproot coming out of it. I had almost forgotten and given up on the soil. I was so cheered up by the sight of the rhubarb root. I had given up but I should have known better. Well now I can add rhubarb to the garden. My peas are growing well and the radishes- once I speared the planter to make a drainage hole.

I have seen planters with no drainage holes. Every planter must have a drainage hole. You invest so much in the plants, planters, seeds, water, watering can, soil, and whatever else. No exceptions. Every planter must have a drainage hole. If you have a drainage hole in your planter, your plants will not suffer from root rot or disease. If your planter has no drainage hole, create one yourself. Never feel guilty over making a drainage hole. Your plants will drown and rot otherwise. if I see a planter without a drainage hole, I just get so angry and then stab the poor thing.

When the rhubarb grows big enough, it will go out in my garden. It is easy to grow and can thrive on neglect. Preparing the soil before planting rhubarb will help the plant to grow healthy. I can’t wait for the harvest. Peas, carrots, rhubarb, radishes, and herbs!! The first year, you need to resist harvesting the stalks to let the plant establish itself. The second year, you can harvest more rhubarb than you can eat. Rhubarb freezes well so you can store it in the freezer then go crazy making lots of rhubarb crisp.

I am sharing the photos I took of my garden. You can see the planter that my peas are growing in and my radishes. If you are short on space, consider container gardening. Just don’t bring the pots in till the season is over. You won’t get bugs in that way.

Peas

Radishes

Happy Harvesting!

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Filed under gardening, healthy plants, peas, planters with drainage holes, radishes, Rhubarb

Calendula- Flower of Litha

Merry Meet All,

Calendula – Calendula officinalis

Today we are going to talk more about growing seeds. I have experienced the frustration and joys that most other gardeners probably already knew. Calendula is a seed that is very easy to grow. It is also known as pot marigold. It is an annual flower but if you save the seeds, you can grow more the following spring.

When I opened the packet of the mixed calendula seeds, I was surprised. They did not look like seeds to me. I was unperturbed and immediately planted them in soil in the seed tray. A day or two later, tiny sprouts emerged and I was like, wow! They germinate fast. This makes them an ideal flower to grow. I put the seeds in the spots very close to the surface of the soil and I did not drown them in soil. Sow the seeds 1/4 inch in the soil. That can hinder their growth. Start the seeds six to eight weeks prior to the frost. Sow them outdoors after the risk of frost is passed.

Calendula flowers are grown for their sunny colourful blooms. You can grow the seeds yourself and gain many benefits from this herbaceous flower. It will grow in almost any soil and prefers to receive tons of sunlight. I plan to grow calendula to deter pest insects from eating my tomatoes and pumpkin vines in my garden.

Calendula can grow in pots or right in the soil. You can grow the seeds indoors for an early spring planting. You will grow more calendula flowers if you deadhead the spent blossoms. That forces the plant into more growth of flowers. Calendula self-seeds and will grow like crazy in your garden. It likes to be well watered and to be composted. Also, consider starting seeds indoors to help it withstand the insects munching on it. When the plant is bigger, it can survive that.

Calendula is used in lotions, balms, and salves. Many people grow calendula for those purposes. Wait for the flowers to finish blooming and save the spent flowers to collect the seeds. Dry the flowers indoors well. Check for aphids on the undersides and stems of leaves before bringing indoors. You will know when they are dried when the flower head breaks apart easily. The seeds are big and spiny. These are the seeds. Save them and you will have enough to grow next spring or in the same season, if you wish. Calendula grows well in pots and makes a good cut flower.

The flowers are edible. The flowers are also made into balms and salves for healing.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Filed under Calendula, easy flower to grow, flower, gardening, germinating, seedheads, seeds, sunshine

Midsummer Magic at Litha

Merry Meet All,

First, I am proud to announce that my essay about Tolkien’s research on Odin is to be published in the upcoming issue of Eternal Haunted Summer Ezine. The link to the Ezine is included in the list of links on the main page. Also, my article about thyme, that wondrous magickal herb, is published in the upcoming issue of Essential Herbal magazine. I love the cover of the new issue.

I have been working hard in my garden. I believe that every square inch of my garden must have a root or bud or flower. I know roots need room but no no, gotta cover every available inch with a plant. Today the soil was damp from rain while I uprooted several large plants and divided them up in my garden. I divided my organic mugwort, the leopard’s bane, canterbury bells and chives. I do have some large spaces in my garden at the back and i replanted the plants that can take shade.

Litha is almost here! Midsummer is a magickal time. Just one glance at my garden and I swoon. So I can attest to the fun one can have at this green beauteous time of year. Litha is the longest day of the year, leaving ample time for fun and frolic in nature. Decorate your garden by using pretty wires and stands to help tall plants grow. Spring is a great time to divide plants and disperse them in the garden. You can grow more plants from one large plant and best of all, it’s free.

Before you do a ritual, clean up your yard and garden. A beautiful garden is a wonder to behold. Maintain the beauty by storing your garden tools in a shed. Clean up the weeds. Use old leaves, grass cuttings, and old roots for mulch in your garden. Water the garden and rake the leaves. Now you are ready to perform a ritual.

Here are some ways to celebrate Litha:

Go for a long walk in the woods. Bring back some findings and include them in the ritual. Hold a drumming circle. Light a bonfire. Litha is a fire festival. Hold a bonfire at night but be aware of the safety of holding a bonfire. Light some sparklers.

Brush up on your pagan fiction. Write for a pagan Ezine. You can get paid to write for the Eternal Haunted Summer ezine. Read books like The Mists of Avalon, “Stonehenge” by Bernard Cornwell, or Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. The book is very different from the movie. Curl up at the beach with one of these novels for even more fun.

Many blessings upon you.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Filed under bonfire, gardening, Litha, Midsummer, plants, ritual, wonder of nature

How to make your own garden cloches and plant labels

View of my garden

Merry Meet All,

I am hard at work in my garden. I hope you are, too. Today I searched around the house for cloches. Cloches protect tender plants and seedlings from frost, damage, and pests. I found a large plastic soda bottle and cut it up to turn it into a cloche. I placed a cloche on my tender romaine lettuce seedling, my pumpkin seedling, and the poppy seedling.

Making a cloche for your seedlings is easy. You can repurpose and recycle anything in your home. You can also reuse milk cartons, empty jam jars, vases, and pop bottles. You can reuse milk cartons to make plant labels too. Turn on one end a soda pop bottle. Cut the top off of the pop bottle and avoid harming yourself by keeping the blade away from you. Rinse and wash the bottle. Remove the plastic label and then cut in half again the pop bottle. A 2-liter bottle is ideal for this project. Use the two pieces for cloches and place gently over your seedlings in your garden.

Plant labels can be made from wooden popsicle sticks and a milk carton. Find a template for a label then cut a milk carton in half based on the template. Or buy a dozen popsicle sticks from your nearest thrift/ dollar store. These are very low cost and environmentally friendly. Label each plant label and set them at appropriate spots in your garden.

With a little creativity, you can have a fruitful garden by using these creative tips. May the Goddess bless you and your garden.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Filed under gardening, plant labels, recycling, tender seedlings