When we moved into our new house in February this year I was most excited about 2 things, getting to grips with the massive range cooker / oven and getting out in the garden. Having come from my Folks house and not having free reign in the garden, this small plot of earth was a real Godsend for someone as green fingered as I am!
In March the ground was dug and manured, seeds were sown and now look at our little piece ofEden. It has truly come into its own now and the unseasonably warm spring and wet early summer has encouraged everything to grow twice (if not more its usual size).
If I’m honest I probably went a little mad, in my usual zeal I planted pretty much everything I wanted to grown without any real thought to the space available…but I have learnt a lot this year and, like all works of art, no garden is ever truly ‘finished’.
For me, and probably for a lot of us of the old Craft, growing something is one of the greatest ways to connect with our land. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than planting a tiny seed, nurturing it, feeling the first thrill as you see it germinate and watching it grow as it bares fruit. I am trying as much as possible to use local and home grown herbs in cooking, healing and Magical practises where possible. There is a wealth of knowledge and Lore out there on herb crafting, wortcunning, leechcraft and so on, but nothing (again I say NOTHING) compares to the knowledge you gain from growing the herbs you intend to use. You form a bond, like children you genuinely care for your plants, you worry if you go away and have no one to provide water, in fact, and it becomes obsessive.
I was inspired by a Channel 4 series which aired last year called theEdibleGarden. The host was a lady who I believe worked forKewand the whole series revolved around her garden which she was determined to be productive yet beautiful. She mixed herbs, flowers, vegetable, and fruit in her tiny plot. I highly recommend tracking down re-runs!
That added to the fact I love the old English cottage gardens convinced me to pack in as much as possible, everything in my garden (probably with the exception of the Other Half’s rockery) has been planted with purpose and function in mind.
For the table I am growing, tomatoes, Climbing Beans, Onions, Garlic, Carrots, Salad leaf, Beetroot, radishes, Rhubarb, Raspberries, Strawberries Potatoes, Parsnips and Bulb Fennel along with a variety of edible flowers such as Nasturtiums and culinary herbs such as Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, dill, parsley, chervil, Sorrel
For their everyday health and healing benefits I am growing Chamomile, Lemon balm, Peppermint, Calendula (English ‘pot’ Marigold) Milk Thistle, Feverfew, Lavender, Yarrow, Comfrey, valerian and Echinacea.
And of course all of these have their Magical uses but I also have a few plants which are ‘frequent fliers’ in my magical work…Vervain, Wormwood, Mugwort, Rose, California White Sage, Mandrake and so on.
As you can see the garden is bloomin chocker! And there is still more I want to squeeze in!
The summer house is in desperate need of a good paint, it comes in very useful during rain etc when one needs to carry out some piece of ritual and / or magical work and the outdoor ‘shrine’ area is a work in progress…just awaiting those special pieces to come my way and finish it off!
I am so proud of my little patch of heaven, overlooked by theDowns…and despite not wanting to wish time away, I can’t wait to put the garden to Bed this autumn and get planning for next year!