herb bed

Bed magick (for my spoonie witches):

The setup:
🌟-Sigils placed under your mattress for pain-free rest and anything else you need!
🌟-Place crystals under your pillow (or in the case) for restful sleep or a specific use. I often place amethyst and Quartz under my pillow for headaches!
🌟-Hang herb sachets above your bed.
🌟-Keep any supplies you want nearby in case you become bedridden.

Bedridden witchy things:
🌸-Play with spare bits of energy in the room.
🌸-Listen to music that makes you feel witchy/powerful.
🌸-Wash your face with a pre-prepared cleansing spray (add herbs and such).
🌸-If possible, open a window for at least five minutes and soak in the sensations of the outside world.
🌸-Read a witchy book/write in your grimoire.
🌸-Hold your crystals or keep them near you.
🌸-Washing your sheets/blankets/pillow case = the ultimate cleanse.
🌸-Meditate and work on breathing.
🌸-Spend some time with your tarot cards or pendulum (you don’t have to use them though!).
🌸-Do some dream magick.
🌸-Drink some herbal tea.


Remember, your witchiness isn’t based on your ability to practice all the time. It’s perfectly acceptable to take as long as you need when you aren’t feeling great.

(This is okay for everyone to reblog and use btw.)

The Wiccan’s Glossary

Bay Leaf can be used to increase psychic awareness. 

Sleeping with Bay Leaves under your pillow can cause prophetic dreams. 

Burning it as incense can promote visions. 

Write a wish/question on your bay leaf & then burn it, conveying it to the spirit realm. If the leaf crackles & burns brightly then the outcome will be positive. If leaf refuses to burn or smokes, then the outcome is negative. 

Carry bay leaves to ward off evil.

Good night Herb Bed.  I uprooted a portion of each plant and brought it in for the winter - but in case they don’t survive I also trimmed a small portion for the dehydrator.  If nothing else, we at least have dried herbs over the winter.  We’ll see what comes back in the spring, this is the first time we’re letting them stay in the bed for the winter.  Worth a try I suppose.  

5

Re-imagining a grassy plot as a food forest

This week I’ve been working on another home food production design project to learn some skills for the future, and I’ve tried to re-imagine a place I’ve come to know very well and had a chance to observe over a long enough period of time. Knowledge of the site is a fundamental prerequisite and, to be honest, I had been imagining what this space could look like since before opening this blog. 

The plot is a grassy space surrounded mostly by tall trees like Fraxinus excelsior and Betula alba, which slopes towards a stream of water running along the south-west side. Yes, it is part of a city park, but I simply imagined natural forest to surround it, as if the Clyde Valley in Glasgow had never been urbanised, and the plot was given to me the way it looks to be re-designed.

My first concern was re-directing the great amount of rain water which falls on Scotland towards an area closer to the stream, and eventually in it, to avoid the water-logging I’ve observed affecting the site for part of the year. For this reason I have imagined a system of swales (marked as light blue lines) spiraling down towards a pond (4.), able to overflow towards the stream through a trench. I then decided where to place the structures based on orientation and access to the plot, and designed the house (1.), with a greenhouse (-a) and a roofed cooking deck (-d) on the left. On the right there are a shed (-b) and a vine-covered roof (-c) under which wood is kept. The area in front of the house, which benefits from a sheltered position and south-facing exposure, is devoted to raised beds, keyhole gardens and herb spirals (-e)

A few days ago I created a part house-greenhouse design which you can see here.

Close to the house, on the left, a living structure created weaving willow (2.) and pliable vines, possibly made watertight with thatching, is used for recreation, storage, or even as shelter for birds and other animals, while an actual chicken coop is placed next to it. Deep in our forest, away from the frequently visited areas, but also close to the center of the plot, I placed beehives (3.). 

The food forest (5.), mostly contained within the swales, is divided into a few sections by the extensive and intricate pathways, indicated with red lines. They are not necessary, but I love to walk and I would certainly incorporate them in my own design. In each section different guilds would be established: the upper part of section I, section II, III and IV would house lower-growing plants which require more attention and more frequent visits, while the lower portion of section I, V and VI would generally be visited for maintenance and harvested less often.

Surrounding the house and the food forest, X, Y and Z are areas where no alien species are introduced and human intervention is kept to a minimum. 

W indicates the stream delimiting the plot and, on the other side, more native forest shades the creek. 

There are so many more details that could be written, but now the question is, what would you add, or remove? How would you improve this design? 


Photos from Google Maps, Design and editing by me

flickr

Kitchen garden at Bolen residence by Gardening Solutions

Mooncalf

M.O.M. Classification: XX

The Mooncalf is an intensely shy creature that emerges from its burrow only at the full moon. Its body is smooth and pale grey, it has bulging round eyes on top of its head, and four spindly legs with enormous flat feet. Mooncalves perform complicated dances on their hind legs in isolated areas in the moonlight.These are believed to be a prelude to mating (and often leave intricate 30 geometric patterns behind in wheat fields, to the great puzzlement of Muggles).

Watching Mooncalves dance by moonlight is a fascinating experience and often profitable, for if their silvery dung is collected before the sun rises and spread upon magical herb and flower beds, the plants will grow very fast and become extremely strong. Mooncalves are found worldwide.

Making a Herb or Vegetable Garden

Gardening is a hobby that I am as enthusiastic about as baking, however probably not as well adapt at. Still I try my hardest for at least 4 months of the year and attempt to keep things ticking over for the other 8. For the past year I have been patio gardening building up a collection of pots of all shapes and sizes but have recently decided to upgrade to a raised herb bed. Here are the basics on how my husband and I built the bed.

First, we set about clearing some unwanted space in my parent in laws garden. Removing the unwanted plants and weeds was the hardest part. The moss had grown like turf and so the top layer of soil was basically removed. After a hard hour (ish) we had our cleared patch, weed free and almost flat.

My then husband carefully laid everything out how it was going to be and cut the pieces down to size so we had roughly a 4 ft by 3 ft space. Next, it was my turn. The wood was untreated so it needed quite a few coats of wood treatment/stain to weather proof it. Each piece was individually painted rather than once constructed and in-situ to ensure that all the edges including the contact edges were covered and protected from the wet weather etc.

The inside of the wood was covered with a waterproof membrane that was simply tacked on. Four corner posts were staked into the ground about 1 ft and then the planks of wood were nailed on in a U-shape against the already existing wall/fence. We only made the bed two planks high as it was for herbs and so we did not need a lot of depth, this saved money on the filling of the bed too.

Once created we filled the bed with compost and firmed it down before planting our herbs. We decided to go with a great mix of the classics but stuck with hardy herbs as opposed to the more delicate Parsley and coriander. We already had chives and bay growing in pots so there was no need for these either. We ended up with Sage, Oregano, Lemon Thyme, Marjoram, French Tarragon and a Curry Herb.

The finished product was fantastic and it gives us great satisfaction knowing we made it all from scratch ourselves.

7

OUR LITTLE CULINARY HERB GARDEN, AND OTHER HERBS IN OUR GARDEN

I have always wanted a herb garden based on a medieval monastic garden and used to visit the the splendid one at the Melbourne Botanic Gardens every week. It has taken time to establish one here (and the potted bay tree from a little cutting) and it is still undergoing change. 

I didn’t want box surrounding all sides of each bed of herbs as it would have taken up valuable space so I have recently come up with the idea of thick chive borders for the inner sides of each square. Being only planted last autumn they have not yet made their presence felt but when they thicken and flower this spring they will make a ribbon of mauve. We use a lot of chives so this plan should work well.

 Also now I only grow herbs that I use for Mediterranean cooking in the herb garden - common and lemon thyme, garlic chives (mainly for their white flowers in high summer) sage, bay, Italian and English parsley, tarragon, marjoram, winter savoury, chives and the annuals, basil, dill, coriander and chervil. Elsewhere are the potted mints and rhubarb in the shade and sorrel and marigolds planted in the vegetable garden, and of course, rosemary, once in a pot to stop it growing too big but now planted in the vegetable garden precinct in full sun. 

Spring is the time when most herbs are at their best, when they are young and delicate, but I do rely on the stronger flavours of the thymes, savory and marjoram in winter. I love the beauty of borage flowers and leaves and dill flowers so I plant these in spring. If the herb garden was bigger I would certainly include angelica and other medicinal herbs in other brick-pathed squares. We grow sweet basil with the tomatoes in the vegetable garden as it appreciates some shade in summer and the leaves are less tough than those plants grown in the full sun of the herb garden.

I grow sage bushes in the front garden with the old roses as their flowers are quite spectacular when the roses bloom in mid-november. I also have other thymes along the front that spread over the warmed squares of volcanic bluestone that mark our perimeter and also mats of golden marjoram within the garden, a very pretty lime green herb with pink flowers in high summer. Of course lavender, liverwort, society garlic and catnip we have aplenty in different parts of the garden, and a lemon verbena tree, and they are classed as herbs too. 

In all, you could say that I am very keen on growing herbs, mostly because of their association with medieval physic gardens but also because they are aromatic and useful and beautiful and pest free and hardy. In fact, if I had to choose between herbs and roses (may I never have to), I would say herbs.