Cowslip is staple of British folklore, herbalism and literature ... And I serve the Fairy Queen To dew her orbs upon the green. The cowslips tall her pensioners be. In their gold coats spots you see; Those be rubies, fairy favours; In those freckles live their savours. I must go seek … [Read more...] about Celebrating the Cowslip on May Day morning in the witch’s garden
A Witch's Garden Grimoire
A notebook of thoughts, ideas, experiments failed and successful in growing a witch’s garden. Since witches are often nocturnal creatures, we also go into moon gardens, and a fair amount of cottage gardening as well.
It was a cold, cold winter, and it ended with the rains which are carrying on still. As I’m due to travel next week, I thought it time I got your witch's garden ready for the spring, so I can return to find things well on their way. I've decided to scale back the vegetable garden … [Read more...] about Dearest H: The witch’s gardener mucks into spring
Top: Meadowsweet, right, growing along a path by the river Avon, Barton Country Farm, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire. I have a soft spot for Meadowsweet. Standing in a field of it along the river Avon one July some years ago, trying to rekindle a dying love, I do believe it showed that there is more … [Read more...] about From the witch’s garden, Meadowsweet, a love potion as well as a balm for aching hearts
Top: Poppy Field by Cate Davies. Click here to view larger or purchase a print. I’m standing in the Tate Gallery, years ago, staring at the painting by Sir John Everett Millais of Ophelia. I know the story, and the story of the model, Elizabeth Siddal. It was the Pre-Raphelite movement in painting, … [Read more...] about Laudanum from the Witch’s Garden: The opiate that drove the romantic poets to enlightenment and insanity
Top: The last rose of the season Dear H., It’s time again, to start putting away the garden for winter. It’s been a couple of months since you left, and I thought you’d like to see how things turned out. The kid and I were in a shop and came upon Halloween decorations. There was a skull that … [Read more...] about A last look around the moon garden and the witch’s garden before the autumn’s chill does its work
Dear H., We are creatures of the night, are we not? It’s like the song says, “the days are okay and the sun can be fun but I live, to see those rays, slip away.” A moon garden is a spot where we can watch as these spirits come to life in our own little corner of the world. Spring, summer, fall … [Read more...] about Why a moon garden?
Dear H., I was sitting in the garden part of the garden this evening, and I remembered I had a couple of these little bottles of absinthe. It was getting late and I was feeling tired. The absinthe reminded me of you, and how at a moment like that we’d come alive. Those were some of our most … [Read more...] about The Witch’s Garden reborn: Taming the feral beast for a new spring
This is my second year of growing a witch's garden, and I look back at the first year as an experiment. Perhaps my biggest problem with last year's garden was that each plant lived in isolation. There's nothing more dull than a beautiful plant with a background of mulch. A secondary consideration … [Read more...] about Year two: Tips for starting a witch’s garden from scratch
This was a surprise ... Last spring I managed to get hold of three Belladonna plants. Two went directly into the ground, the third into a container. The two in the ground certainly outperformed the container one, but I didn't have a lot of hope that those two would make it through the cold season. … [Read more...] about Witchy plants coming back in the spring from a hard winter
One evening I had a friend over for drinks. The friend in question had run afoul of my good graces some time ago, and though I was certain he knew of my displeasure, he acknowledged it not. Now this man, let's call him Orlando for the purposes of this story, is quite knowledgable about witchy … [Read more...] about Witchy Garden Experiments: Sewing seeds on the Winter Solstice to avoid cold stratification
Relatively speaking it was a nasty winter. It turned cold in November and is still a bit chilly most days in March, as well as dipping down below freezing at night. And tomorrow's forecast is for rain, freezing rain and snow, So it's not quite over yet. When the wind chill took us below zero, … [Read more...] about What survived the winter in the witch’s garden?
I think my success in gardening for the past three years (and I'm not about to claim great success mind you, at best about a 75% success rate which was a C when I went to school back), has to do with not knowing anything about it prior to taking it up. Not that I wasn't around gardening. My parents … [Read more...] about Starting seeds indoors for a witch’s garden