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anonymous Gift from a Flower to a Garden May 12, 2005 12:10 AM

Protect Your Garden Spell
Incense of the day: Evergreen

During the month of May in colonial America, farmers would bless
their land and pray for a good harvest. Revive this tradition by
performing this spell to protect your garden.

On a May eve,
As the Sun forgets the
light of day,
Fill an earthen vessel
made of clay
With soil from your
sacred ground,
Then add a pinch of
cinnamon,
Spicy and brown,
And a bit of clove to
purify.
Let this be witnessed by
Mother Earth and
Father Sky,
Stir it all with a nail
aged with rust,
Blend these elements
until they're reduced
to dust.

Sprinkle this about each
bed and border,
As you announce your
magical order:
No beast nor fowl from
sky or land
Shall bring harm to this
garden,
Which I protect by my
own hand.
To secure your garden's
protection and fate,
Bury the rusty nail near
your garden gate.

~James Kambos  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
 
anonymous Spells and Soil May 18, 2005 6:37 AM

Garden Spells by Claire Nahmad
The Magic of Herbs, Trees, and Flowers

Introduction

A garden is a holy place. From the concept of the Garden of Eden as humanity's mystic point of origin to the idea of paradise as a garden which represents the realm of final homecoming to which we strive and aspire, gardens seem to be enshrined in our consciousness as the alpha and omega of spiritual experience.

It was in a garden that Christ underwent his sleepless night of agony before his sacrifice the following day, and in a garden too that Mary Magdalene met the arisen Christ, mistaking him at first for the gardener. In many religions, the idea of the garden is celebrated with reverence; and in the folklore of ancient Britain, magical associations are given to every tree, herb, bush and flower of the wayside and the garden. In its wider sense the garden embraces the countryside and according to the wisdom of the philosophers, alchemists, hermits and wise women of the past-the entire earth.

From such a macrocosm, we come to the microcosmic gardens of our own making, a custom that began with the dawn of our civilization when "gardens of Adonis" were set out in containers on rooftops in ancient Greece and bloomed in profusions of roses. Even then, gardens were regarded as a sanctuary, some peaceful, sweet-flowering green arbour where people could retire to think and to give ear to the wisdom and inspiration inherent in nature. The Greek philosopher Epicurus taught his pupils in a garden, and poets, painters and musicians throughout the ages have found their muses therein.

In ages past, intellectual accomplishments and the opportunity for self-expression through the arts were largely denied to women. The craft of garden making, however, was not. The garden was often their special domain and became the embodiment of their inspiration-both practical and poetic. In addition to the "silver bells, cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row" or the flower garden, there was nourishment from the kitchen garden, and healing and restorative plants grown in the medicinal garden.

The ideas of magic and enchantment, of the effect of the moon and stars on the tides of growth and decline in nature, and of fairies, elves and gnomes who were mysteriously associated with the subtle creative forces of the earth, were never far removed from the domestic garden where all this mystery could be seen taking place.

Strange magical beings were encountered: tiny flower fairies, little old men and women who seemed to have the garden under their care, tall and beautiful elf men and women who lived in trees and who could created music as fairy pipers-angelic spirits of the garden who seemed to endow the air with grace and beauty and colour-and fabulous beasts which might appear within its precincts to warn, protect or bring a supernatural message. All have been reported as living constituents of the folklore of the garden, encountered by simple country people not given to flights of the imagination.

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anonymous cont... May 18, 2005 6:38 AM

As our understanding of the world increases, we will hopefully come to realize more fully that there is real wisdom and knowledge to be gained from the treasures of our folklore. Already we are aware that life is composed of many subtle vibrations and emanations, of which we have had little or no previous scientific knowledge, which have been preserved in the vision of wise women and esoteric lore.

It is in the light of this awareness that Garden Spells is offered. It is a Victorian wise woman's guide to the marvels, mystery and magic associated with the garden, from its trees, flowers and herbs, through its animals, birds, and insects and its spirits and fairy folk, to the rocks and stones that can be found in its soil. Here are the charms, spells, invocations, and runes of wise women's lore, accompanied by instructions for blessing the garden, foretelling the weather and developing a rapport with flowers, trees, fairies, and animals. There are instructions for creating an herb garden in the Elizabethan mode, and tips for ridding the garden of pests and attracting butterflies.

There is true fascination in discovering the magic of these charms and rituals. For those who dislike the harsh chemical effects of modern methods Garden Spells offers a new philosophy based on love and respect for all life.

Its inspiration comes from centuries of homespun wisdom and traditional lore which reveals how every garden can be given a special atmosphere if its owner's heart is put into creating and tending it.

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anonymous  May 18, 2005 6:39 AM

Potting Soil Recipes

Here are several formulas for soil mixes froma book:The New Seed Starters Handbook.

Home-Style Potting Soil
1 part finished compost
1 part loose garden or commercial potting soil
1 part sharp sand, perlite, or vermiculite - or a mixture of all 3

Thalassa Cruso's Potting Soil
1 part commercial potting soil or leaf mold
1 part sphagnum or peat moss
1 part perlite or sharp sand

Rich Potting Soil
1 part leaf mold
2 parts loose garden or commercial potting soil
1 part compost or rotted, sifted manure

Amended Potting Soil
4 parts loose garden or commercial potting soil
2 parts sphagnum or peat moss
2 parts leaf mold or compost
2 parts vermiculite
6 teaspoons dolomitic limestone (the limestone helps to neutralize the acids in the leaf mold and peat moss)

52 Weekend Garden Projects 1992 by Nancy Bubel Rodale Press. Emmaus, Pennsylvania.

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anonymous  May 18, 2005 6:39 AM

Gardening Au Naturel
by Ed Nelligan III

If you garden to relive stress, nude gardening could be your cure all.

Naked gardening, it is a practice that many, perhaps most, would deem inappropriate, shocking or just plain silly. But those who do prune and dig in the nude find it to be an extension of the stress relieving aspects so many of us harvest from our gardens.

"It's like explaining how an apple tastes to somebody who's never had one," say T. A. Wyner, one of the founders and a wintertime resident of Sunnier Palms Nudist Park in South Florida. "But the stress reducing benefits of gardening are exponentially increased when nude".

Like many people pressed for time, Wyner says she often postpones her leisure time gardening.

Evening Primrose

These soft-scented flowers have four satiny heart-shaped petals that come together forming two inch open cups with frilly long stamens. When they open in the evening, the blossoms are a soft clear white that gradually fades into pink as the flowers mature. Their luscious scent reminds us of a cross between honeysuckle and lemon custard. The flowers open every evening throughout summer until first frost.

Sweet-scented Nicotiana

These nicotianas have creamy-white tubular flowers borne in graceful sprays on softly draping branches. The 2 to 3 inch trumpet-shaped blossoms are closed in the daytime but in the late afternoon and evening they fill the air with a jasmine-like scent.

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anonymous cont... May 18, 2005 6:40 AM

Moonflowers

These 6 inch trumpet flowers unfurl in slow motion every night just at sunset. Pure white with faint green tracings, the blossoms are very fragrant all evening. By noon, the flowers dwindle and close and are barely seen in the dense foliage.

"Midnight Candy" Night Phlox

"These tidy upright plants bear umbrella-like clusters of small, delicate phlox-like flowers. The insides of the petals are pure white and the outsides are a satiny maroon with a hint of white where petals overlap. During the day, the flowers are tightly closed, just showing a hint of color. As dusk comes on there is a magic moment when they open like a display of little firework stars, releasing a delicious almond/honey/vanilla-like fragrance that wafts throughout the garden."

Angel's Trumpet

Datura meteloides has six-inch white trumpet flowers that open at night and remain open well into the following day. This flower is a favorite subject of Georgia O'Keefe. Warning: poisonous.

Evening Stock

Many branched 1 foot plants have gray-green leaves and 1 inch star shaped flowers of very pale violet. The blooms are closed tightly all day but open at dusk to pour out a fantastic spicy fragrance.

Nottingham Catchfly,
Night-flowering Catchfly, and
White Campion

These are all members of the genus Silene, which also has several day-blooming members. These plants have sticky stems, hence the name 'catchfly'. The odor of the Nottingham catchfly is described as sweet and reminiscent of hyacinths, and its flowers open on three successive nights before withering.

Bouncing Bet
(Also known as soapwort)

With either pink or white blossoms, this plant fill the night with sweet perfume. Also used to make detergent--hence the soapwort moniker.

Four o'Clocks

In late afternoon, Mirabilis jalapa's two inch trumpet-shaped flowers unfurl, releasing a rich jasmine-like perfume. These plants, with blooms in pink, rose, white, orange, and yellow, are very easy to grow and fast growing. They're also known as "Marvel of Peru".

>

August Lily (fragrant Hosta)

The leaves are about 6 inches long and 4 inches wide, with 8 pairs of impressed veins. The white, waxy, trumpet-shaped flowers appear on 30 inch scapes and each is 5 inches long and 3 inches wide. The scent is of pure honey.

Vesper Iris

A native of Mongolia, the sweetly fragrant flowers are a dull greenish white spotted with brownish purple or reddish purple with white splotches. Like many iris blossoms, they become spirally twisted after flowering.There's also about 50 different cultivars of daylilies which bloom at night. Some of my favorites are called 'After the Fall' (tangerine and copper blend with yellow halo), 'Jewel of Hearts' (dark red flowers with a red-black center), 'Moon Frolic' (near white), 'Toltec Sundial' (fragrant sunshine yellow) and 'Witches Dance' (dark red with a green throat).

Night Fragrant Plants

Many plants will have flowers open during the day, but they don't release their scent until evening:

Perfumed Fairy Lily

Chlidanthus fragrans has a rich lily fragrance at night. Three or four yellow, funnel shaped flowers are carried on stems up to a foot high.

Night Gladiolus

Gladiolus tristus has creamy yellow blossoms that are intensely fragrant at night with a spicy-sweet perfume, and the unusual leaves look like a pinwheel cut in half.

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anonymous cont... May 18, 2005 6:40 AM

Tuberose

Victorians loved this sweet and heady (almost overpowering) fragrance. The flowers are waxy white and 2 inches long.

Carolina Jessamine
(also known as evening trumpet flower)

The evergreen leaves surround sweetly fragrant, bell-shaped flowers of bright yellow that are particularly sweet as evening approaches. This grows wild in the South.

Sweet Rocket

Also known as Dame's Rocket, Dame's Violet, and Mother of the Evening, Hesperis matronalis is perfect for a night garden. Colors range from white to purple, and the smell, which is released in the evening, is incredibly delicious. They get about 3-4 feet high.

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anonymous Gardening Therapy May 18, 2005 7:45 AM

I thought this would be a nice little thing to share.

Until recently I thought I had a "black thumb." That is, I killed every plant that came into my house - even the cactus! For years, I made no attempts to grow anything, believing that it was somewhat unethical to intentionally take responsibility for a living plant and then kill it for no reason. Thanks to my cat, Mojo, I am now the proud caretaker of a balcony herb garden. I'd like to tell you about my little garden because it has been of immense value to me, far beyond the value of the herbs I harvest.

Mojo, a ten-year-old orange and white tabby, loves catnip. I mean, he really loves it, can't get enough of it. A while back a friend gave me some fresh catnip from her garden (she gave me lots of fresh herbs and now we can trade!). Mojo was elated, ecstatic, totally possessed. He seemed to think this was the most wonderful substance in the world and he reveled in rolling on the floor and rubbing his face in it. Of course, most cats do this even with dried catnip, but believe me, the experience appears to be much more intense with the fresh herb.

Since I want my cat to be as happy as possible, naturally I decided to grow some catnip. Fearing my usual lethal effect on plants, I decided to put a pot out on the balcony. It was just a small pot and one small plant, surely I could keep it alive. Catnip grows well in sunny areas, and this is southern California after all. Maybe I could get away with it!

The catnip flourished in that little pot, but soon was prey to a very deadly predator - Mojo, of course. He is an indoor cat who loves to sit on the rail of the balcony where he can safely watch the world's activities and enjoy the ocean breeze. However, upon discovering his favorite plant actually growing on his very own balcony he preceded to eat it, bit by bit. I had two choices - get rid of the catnip or barricade it so that Mojo couldn't get to it. (I guess there's really a third choice, but I could never get rid of Mojo.) I had the potted plant on the rail which is about 7 inches wide, so I decided to put a couple of plants on each side of it to keep Mojo away. Thus was born my balcony herb garden.

At first I just added enough to protect the catnip. Then I realized that all the plants were doing well. I wasn't killing them! I added more....and more. My tiny garden now contains mint, peppermint, two kinds of lavender, rosemary, chamomile, rue, two kinds of sage, pennyroyal, licorice, lovage, wormwood, feverfew, two varieties of basil, lemon balm, lemon verbena, thyme, dill, and of course, catnip! It's a jungle out there!

It's taken some trial and error to keep them healthy - for example, some need more water than others, especially in this hot climate. But most herbs seem to be fairly hardy and tend to forgive us a few mistakes till we get the hang of it. I've done a lot of repotting into larger containers, separating plants that don't grow well together, and in general, learning a lot about growing herbs. The odor on my balcony is wonderful, and as I harvest plants and bring them in to dry, my apartment smells wonderful too. I always have fresh herbs on my altars and dried bundles of herbs in doorways. I have fresh chamomile tea whenever I want it and feverfew tea to drive away headaches! Naturally, many of my rituals and magick workings now have the benefit of fresh herbs.

These benefits are ones you probably would expect from an herb garden. However, some of the unexpected benefits were the most welcome of all. As pagans we all know that we should spend some time getting close to nature. Walks in a forest would be terrific, but I haven't seen a forest since I got to California (I hear there are some, but not near here). Walking on the beach is great too, but for me at least, it doesn't replace the sense of peace I get from the woods back home. Urban witches and pagans often have difficulties in getting to a natural place for meditation and communing with the Goddess among her creations. My tiny herb garden has given a little of that back to me.

Each morning I go out on the balcony and check every plant. Some will need water before the sun comes out. Others need to have fallen leaves removed from the pots. Buds may need to be picked so that the plant will become bushy instead of flowering early. Every plant needs something, even if it is only an encouraging word or two. While carrying out these small tasks I get the feeling once again of being in a forest, surrounded by nature and being healed by its gifts.

The last two years have not been easy ones for me personally. I believe the Goddess gave this garden to me (through Mojo) to help me through the worst times. I know she lives in each plant and it reminds me that she lives in me too. I see her grow and flourish and know that I may too, in time. A plant that is weak, wilting and turning yellow can be revitalized into a glorious array of green. Each of us is a bit wilted at times, but we too can be healed with her love. Thus, my garden has become a kind of therapy for me, reviving my spirit every time I take the time to really enter into to it and become a part of it, participating in the Goddess's work and hopefully, carrying that into the rest of my life's work.

My small herb garden has become central to my life as a pagan, and through its natural healing qualities, it has helped me a great deal. You don't need a lot of space or even a "green thumb" to have this kind of garden, and you might find yourself walking in the forest again, just a little closer to home.

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anonymous  May 20, 2005 6:59 AM

13 Plants of a Witch

Thirteen Plants for a Witch's Garden

Some of the plants listed below have powerful effects on the human body. Monkshood and Belladonna were ingredients of "flying ointments" that witches rubbed into their skin. They are capable of causing the delirium and irregular heartbeat that may have produced the sensation of flying. Foxglove and Yew, also poisonous plants, produce dangerous and unpleasant symptoms, including heartbeat disturbances. Other plants on the list derived their power from magic and were used by ordinary mortals to defend themselves from evil, as well as by sorcerers for evil purposes. Not all are toxic; Elder produces edible berries and the young roots and basal leaves of Rampion are still used in salads.

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anonymous  May 20, 2005 6:59 AM

Achillea (Yarrow) - This magical plant could conjure up the Devil or drive him away.

Aconitum (Monkshood, Wolfsbane) - Beautiful summer- and fall-flowering perennials, which contain some of the most powerful poisons in existence.

Artemisia (Mugwort and Wormwood) - Witches used the former to raise spirits from the dead; Mugwort was also used medicinally (to treat epilepsy) and magically (to protect from evil).

Atropa (Belladonna, Deadly Nightshade) - Not a beautiful garden subject and very poisonous but perhaps the plant most associated with witchcraft. Named for Atropos, the Fate who severs the thread of life, Belladonna is also called Devil's Cherries because of the good tasting but potentially fatal shiny black berries it produces.

Campanula Rapunculus (Rampion) - Supposedly grown as a salad plant by the witch in the fairy tale "Rapunzel."

Digitalis (Foxglove) - Other names include Witches' Gloves and Dead Men's Bells.

Sambucus (European Elder) - A magic bush, powerful for or against evil depending upon how it was invoked.

Sempervivum (Houseleek) - Also called Devil's Beard, this plant was believed to protect homes from lightning.

Taxus (Yew) - A symbol of sorrow, Yew could be an ingredient of witch's brew, as Shakespeare's witch in Macbeth reveals when she throws in the cauldron "slips of yew / Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse."

Valeriana (Valerian, Garden Heliotrope) - A witch's aphrodisiac.

Verbascum (Mullein) - Important medicinal planted by monks to ward off evil though some said witches used the dried stalks, dipped in tallow, to light their infamous "Sabbaths."

Verbena (Vervain) - A Druid's plant and used by witches, Vervain is also called Herb of Grace and was believed to guard against snakes and bring good luck.

Vinca (Periwinkle, Myrtle) - Another old medicinal that also deters evil though it was used in magic, hence another of its common names, "Sorcerer's Violet."

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 December 26, 2008 4:26 PM

I have been growing Moon Flowers for years my mother gave me my frist seeds . Love Hazel  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
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