Sunday, November 27, 2011

Our magical garden...

Originally I thought excitedly in our new garden space to grow some traditional witch/shamanic plants from seed, plant them out and my shady garden would be perfect for them to flourish.  That wasnt the journey that eventuated a couple of months down the track when the sun shifted and the seed raising mix was still free of sproutlets....

My attempts to grow traditional plants like Henbane, Belladonna, Mandrake and also Lobelia inflata have had very disappointing results. However, whilst focusing on the Solanaceae I did discover two kinds self seeding here, Solanum nigrum, and an as yet to be identified vine with purple flowers like a tomatoe. Solanum nigrum berries are edible and the steamed leaves tasty. Perhaps the northern Australian climate just isn't condusive. A friend and I visited a local specialist nursery and they had had little luck either. I'll have to work with what occurs organically in the area, which includes Datura species. We have a white one, Brugmansia suaveolens, and Ive seen others growing locally.

The native ferns i planted out this week amidst the bromilliades and succulents are doing well. Ferns having a long history of magical and medicinal use, being some of the most ancient plants on the planet. Said to be gateways to the otherworld and realms of the fey, especially on Midsummers eve. The spores said to allow one a degree of invisability to go about daily business without attracting overt attention.

 The Elderberry I planted soon after moving in as a just sprouting cutting has quadrupled in size. The Elder has such potency that the lore around harvesting its wood is detailed and comes with warnings not to offend resident dryads. Its flowers and berries are known for their medicinal wine but the bark and wood belongs to the Crone. It seems that rather than me working with the plants, again, I find it is they working with me, and that nature provides just not always what we expected.

I now have a slighly different vision for the garden here thats evolving into a more realistic assessment of soil, climate and salt air. Literal rainforest and heathland occur naturally. It will take time, energy, nutrients, suitable planting and water, but Im getting to know the potentials of the space, 6 months down the track. The outdoor area is quite big and has lots of different microcosms/ mini ecosystems, its a matter of finding plants to suit the various areas. I want to add a lot of vegetation, which was part of the reason I wanted to grow herbs from seed. :( Vegies I can do, but herbs, no joy. Not like our previous garden where I just broadcast seeds direct into the soil, watered and up they came, chamomile, echinacea, here they get fried and dried out in one hot day.

I envisage a lot of diversity, native bush flowers, tropical plants, herbs and vegies, to maximise survival and beauty. Learning what grows will be slighly experimental. I want sculptures about, and have setup an outdoor altar of an old wood fired stove. Looks like something from a fairy tale eh? That sits by the fern patch...
Yesterday i found this bench thrown out because one of its planks is broken, still has ample room for my behind and makes for comfort amongst the afternoon breezes area.
So gradually our garden is becoming, just not as expected, but after all what garden doesnt contain a little wilder magic? Like the sawn off stump thats resprouting in our front yard. When I first looked at the place there was a big ol tree but when I came to move in it had been sawn off to a stump, it was a  bit of a shock really. Apparently its a weed, well we should be able to tell shortly as shes covered in regrowth. Is it a fig or a rubber tree?  

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