Progress on the hedgestead and on the book

I have been working a different schedule which allows me not only to get out orders in a much more timely manner but to spend more time working on the witching herb book and other writing. I hope to have chapter eight done by tomorrow. I read over the previous chapter yesterday, and although when I finished it I thought that chapter was awful, now I think it is not bad at all. That’s progress!

So far this year is turning out to be very good in terms of getting seeds started, potted up, and set in the ground, no evil eye. I’m pretty sure that’s because of the garden plans I made this winter and the help of the gods, in particular, Saturn, who lets us know our limits, teaches discipline, and of course also rules over the riches of the Earth. This morning I put in the Day of the Dead marigold seedlings that I grew from seed I collected from the single DoD marigold I got to grow and fruit a few years ago. It was gratifying to see them so healthy looking. I was not sure that seed would be good. Note to self: marigold seed is tough.

This weekend was unseasonably warm and humid and the Sun was very intense, making working outside uncomfortable.  I did, though, manage to get the San Juan wild tobacco in. These seedlings are quite large, but unfortunately I found that they had little root development on account of the fertilizer I had been using on them. Live and learn. I grew these from seed I collected from my own plants grown for Papa Legba last year. I also put in four unmatta seedlings (looking very healthy!). Although I grew this plant last year, it was not all that happy in the partial sun area where it was growing in competition with other daturas, black nightshade, and even some volunteer black oilseed sunflowers. The unmatta’s seeds developed so late that they were moldy and I had to reorder new ones from Onalee Seeds, which I highly recommend for various datura varieties.  I am so looking forward to seeing these plants flower out front, where they have a lot of sun and where, IMO, they belong. Next to them went the large group of wild white petunias I grew from seed I harvested from my own plants a couple years ago. I have to say that I have gotten to really love white petunias. Their night-time fragrance is really rich and wonderful. They are also good-sized plants, so I look forward to getting a good seed harvest from these. I also am trying to open myself to this plant’s spirit. I have a feeling it has potential in that direction. I grew the wild purple petunia (P. integrifolia) last year but did not get the same feeling from it and it does not have the same rich scent. I wonder if that scent is a beacon not just to pollinating insects but also to us apes, letting us know that fragrant flowers indicate a plant with magical capabilities. Not sure, but something I would like to explore further.

Blue & purple columbine in my garden

Today the worst of the overcast weather passed. It’s still cloudy but not so oppressive. After the racket of lawnmowers, leaf blowers, blaring radios, howling dogs, and screaming children over the weekend, it wa blissfully quiet on my street today. I clambered around for a while in the back garden where the majority of the herbs are growing. I pulled up some volunteer variegated land cress to give the vervain a little breathing room. Looks like it got beat back quite a bit this winter, even though it was in a sheltered place. I started more plants this spring as backup, because I had a feeling.  I also yanked a ton of dyer’s chamomile; this thing will take over the world if you let it. It is even giving the mugwort a run for its money. The columbines are blooming; one of them has grown up through the patio concrete for the past couple of years and this year it has made beautiful white flowers. These plants are the ones I harvest seeds from to sell. I have loved this plant ever since I was a child and would come across wild columbines in the woods of northern Pennsylvania. Magical! All the herbs are coming back strong, although I am not sure if the elfwort has come back. There are a couple of plants that might be elfwort or might be something else just volunteering. I’ll have to wait and see.

Chervil growing beside variegated melissa and in front of wild sunflower

One of the most charming plants that came back is the chervil. Look at the delicate leaves and flowers on this thing! And magically? It’s an ingredient in kyphi.

I was eager to get out front once again and put in lots more seedlings. Some were grown from seeds I bought from Chiltern Seeds in the UK: blood-drops emlets and tassel flower (looks like they discontinued the latter). I also managed to start a goodly number of Penny Black nemophilas from seeds I bought from Select Seeds here in the US. It appears that this particular variety of black nemophila is no longer available. In fact, I have not been able to find any black nemophila seeds wholesale lately, so I thought to try my hand at growing my own. I ended up with 20 plus plants. These guys have really nice leaves that look like they were cut with a scalloping shears. I know they make a lot of flowers, so I hope I get a good seed harvest from them.  I’m trying the same thing with the scarce black pansies (now only available as hybrids) and Bowles black viola (old-fashioned open pollinated variety), but those seedlings are tiny and I am not sure if they will make it. In fact, a number of plants are still quite tiny. And there are more I have yet to start, in particular, food plants like a lot of the Asian greens. Tons of work to do!

2 comments to Progress on the hedgestead and on the book

  • petoskystone

    yea! on the book progress. all of the rain has drowned my spearmint, beets, & cabbage so off i go this weekend to hunt up replacement seedlings. the mugwort & chamomile don’t care…they’re going great guns!

  • Ron

    Try Ebay for black nemophila seeds…I saw some on it.
    If it’s the same thing ..
    I’ve tried several times to grow WHITE SAGE from seeds..No Luck
    I got some from an Ebay seller,,and they sprouted in less than a week.
    If you want some..send me an Email for a link to the same seller

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