Druid in the Garden at Beltane
Hearth of the Sacred Ways Grove
upon each of you my friends and welcome back to my garden and home. Please, feel free to join me in a cup of last summer solstice
mead - it only gets better as it sits and we are very lucky to have any left from last year! SO how is your year progressing?
Mine is, well, it has its challenges like any other persons life. Work keeps us busy beyond believe and then the needs of
the new home life is also demanding more than I have money and time for, but I wouldn’t trade most of it :)
SO what’s happening here? Well we have been getting warm!
The heat of spring is passing to summer, yet we had a nice chill back down to 40 degrees last week! Very late season for us
but not enough of a chill to warrant covering all the plants. MY little patchouli I have nurtured for years has not recovered
from our freezes earlier despite being covered, so I fear she may be gone from me. We also took out the very old and unidentified
citrus tree from the back yard. I made a point of having a talk with this old tree to encourage her to go to her roots and
she would be released from this trapped form. She seemed very eager for this which surprised me, but she had been very aggressive
at me making it a point to have large branches suddenly where I kept hitting my head and branch’s scrapping me up. She
did not fight nor bite once during the extreme trimming.
space if different for her having gone but then many birds began coming in that avoided the space before. Only the woodpeckers
would dare perch in her and they never stayed long. Her branches are being dried and all her leaves recycled to return to
the earth - she will always be a part of this land and remembered. It appears she had been here well 50 years or so. Now the
space is open and being prepared for hopefully 4 or so dwarf fruit trees to help build out little homestead. In the garden
itself - it is still more sand than I like but I know that will take years or adding amendments and the growth will only go
up from here. Did I mention the little rogue puppy that was dropped over my fence one night? Little fellow decided the bean
bed was his perfect bed and he dug a nice deep hole to sleep in and then proceeded the eat the cucumbers, garlic and onions
as well as run down the rest of the beans and squash. I was devastated and then he ran off before I could find his owner to
So I set to replanting what I could save.
Now I have half the beans I once had, but they are bearing fruits already. The broccoli is holding on as is the bok choy and
a few peppers and eggplants. A few looked really good and then seem to die overnight. No clue why. SO currently I have garlic
and onions - both green and bulbing types, still growing, spinach, beets and chard doing well as is the broccoli, bok choy
and peppers and eggplants that remain. Next are the beans and 6 or so squash plants I have managed to save. I have squash
ready to pick in the next days. Intermixed with the beans and squash are corn - an heirloom variety and radishes as well.
Oh and I transplanted all my gingers to the garden beds as well - lets hope they do well. Along the house we have additional
peppers, lettuce, bok choy and green onions. I also have beets, sweet potato’s, leeks and chards planted. I had put
in celery in the cooler weather but it didn’t come up. Seems the local kitty cats keep coming to use the local area
as a scratching post and in some places - the local potty! A wee bit of cayenne will deter them and yet doesn't hurt them
- but remember to sprinkle it again after rains! Also helps with squirrels too.
I have had little problems with pest in the garden, but the front yard, well that has been an
interesting experience. I have had a major outbreak of box alder beetles. I had to go and research them. They don’t
eat my plants but they are everywhere, breeding before they die and paying their eggs in local trees. Funny thing is - we
don’t have an box alders near me! LOL SO they must be in a nearby tree. The one thing I did learn was to keep them out
of your house. If there is a crack someplace - they will find it and then you will have to do the same! They will nest inside
where we like it as much as they do. The lizards don’t seem to care about them one way or the other, but dress them
up in a little clove spray - my attempt to drive them away - and the lizards suddenly think they are dinner and the clove
spray doesn’t hurt them either - thank the gods!! I love my little lizards! Now I also know the yard must be improving
in balance with the plants I am putting in, I have found some lovely and large skinks - silvery slithery soft leather in shades
of orange and blues - they are so interesting to watch. SO I build the compost bed and hope the leaves and veggie leftovers
and grass cuttings will all turn into fabulous compost next season. But the lizards love it. Oh and I have either a possum
or a raccoon that loves to eat grapefruits! I can clean up all the fallen fruits and then next morning I find 6 or so with
a hole eaten in them and the insides eaten clean - amazing and hope I get to see it soon :)
In the front we got a side walk from the city - sort of makes for less mowing and also sort of
cleans up the front yard a bit. The neighbors cedars were cut and dug out - may well be where my box alder beetles came from
too. Opens up the front of the whole area. I have been given lilies and also transplanted some of my own lilies into the front
corners by the side walk and they are settling in. The dill seeds are coming up and perhaps a few calendula and basil’s
but I can’t be sure - I still have hundreds of raintree babies coming up too! The local tree is most prolific during
that time of year! And the seeds keep on keep-in on! My bee balm and sages have acclimated and today the cilantro settled
in. I traded with a few people and have bush willow cuttings, wisteria and hydrangea cuttings all growing in pots in the back
- those will become the corner border flowers! My bonsai raintree babies I am raising in pots to keep the roots small are
quite happy. And today I put out my last cucumbers, cantaloupes, honey dews, two types of mini watermelons and Israeli melons.
We shall see how it goes. SO many more seeds and plants to get established and yet it seems so little time.
Time..... that is a funny thing isn’t it? We have oodles of
it yet never enough. And here we are yet again around at the beginning of another light half of the year. It is cyclical is
it not? Yet it is never the same as it was before, therefor it is a spiral if you will. We strive to do more with what in
truth is less time. We move our clocks ahead or back to allow us more time, yet time never really changes. Take away the lights
and power of the “city” and what happens? We rise with the sun and we set with it as well. Our body;s clocks hear
again the natural call of the cycles. Have you lost that call? Do you sleep with any lights on? And yes, that includes the
lights of your alarm clocks and any machinery you keep by the bed. Science is beginning to see this connection in proving
the incidence of breast cancer and various health disorders and connected directly to disrupted sleep cycles due to ambient
lights. This also includes the street lights and tv’s. It is important to have a truly dark room. Kind of funny I speak
of the dark at the entry to the light - no? But we are looking to rebalance and restore ourselves and as we enter the light
and airy time of the year, we should look at what propels us and aids us in our daily endeavors to be out there. For me here,
I prepare to enter the “winter” of the year. How can you say winter? You mean summer right? Well yes to both.
Summer here is so hot and blistery that so much dies, like winter for many of you we lose plants galore and some days it is
too extreme to be outside, at least for me. Some of you are saying they would trade their winter for our summers anytime.
Sure! But there are trade offs - think hurricanes! LOL Being a native I have learned a bit more about adjusting to this than
some. Am I perfect at it? Heck no! I learn more everyday and with every season. There are so many things I want to grow -
but I have to make the environments right and keep them something that is self sustaining, not artificial. SO to for our lives
- we must make them real and self sustaining - something many people have lost in this modern day and age. How many of you
can make a meal from scratch? I mean really scratch! If I gave you raw meat, veggies, flour, milk, water, seasoning and maybe
eggs - could you whip up something delicious and sustaining? I can think of at least half a dozen meals with just those ingredients
including breads and pasta’s and perhaps dessert too! Now lets go even further, how many of you know where your wheat,
eggs, milk and meat come from? How many of you have ever milked a cow or collected eggs still warm, or helped to butcher your
own beef, pig or other animal so you can give thanks to it for its life and make sure that its death was not in vain? This
is one of the many reasons so many have chosen vegetarianism. I am not going to et into whether it is right or wrong - that
is for each of us to decide. But at this turn again to the light, the truth of life, I think we should each and every one
of us look at our lives and take stock in how we choose to do things. If you choose to be a total meat eater - fine go ahead,
but do so with some thought and process put into your selections. Make use of the local butcher perhaps not only for better
cuts and perhaps prices, but also to help local businesses and perhaps also buy a more local product that has been given a
good life while it was alive. Think and act locally, or as they say dine from beneath your own fruit trees. Not everything
is available locally and we have been taught to just go to the store and grab it. There are time I may have to do that, until
I learn a more seasonal and suitable local replacement, then I will work on having that on hand. I am endeavoring to eat seasonally
and if i can grow it at that time of year, I will make use of it. My little effort to keep from using so much gas as well
as trying to buy from local farmers.
So what does
this coming back to the light hold for you? What is your truth this season, regardless of whether is it food or something
else? How are you being true to yourself? Have you reclaimed your lost bits? Taken time for yourself to stop and look out
at the world and see where you fit in? How your being here is a vital link in the web - or as the norse would say how we play
a part in the wyrd - the web that binds us all. One action has that rippling effect that can and does impact each individual
around you in some way. Be aware of it. Open your mind and your heart to the warmth and light returning. You are half way
through yet another spiral in the circle. Will you just slide on down and let life fly by you? Or will you climb that slippery
slope to see what is over the next horizon? Me? I am a climber even when I do slip and slide back a bit, I usually find another
route makes all the difference :) Life is like herbs - full of flavors, smells and taste - savor each one and see what you
can do with them. We come next to our harvest again - so think on your harvest yet to come - there is still time to plant
a few seeds - what have you not planted yet?
Blessings from the Garden!!
About the Author:
Aauriane Veleda is Priestess Hierophant and founder of Garden of Sacred Wells Lyceum and Seekers of Sacred Wisdom Iseum.
She is Grand Dame Commander of the Green Ways of the World Tree Priory and ArchDruidess of the Hearth of the Sacred Ways
Grove. She currently lives in Central Florida with her husband and one fur child, a kitty called Kerridwen. In addition
to the FOI, she is an active member of the Henge of Keltria, a Druid Companion of the OBOD, trained Celtic Shaman, Gythia
and Seidhmather. Her personal work is focused on Irish and Scottish Druidry with its Avalonian connections through Kildare
and the connections to Northern Ways (Norse). She is a full time Nursing Instructor, Master Herbalist, Naturopath and Reiki
© Aauriane Veleda 2009
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