April Gardening Pt. 1 & other ramblings of a fae folk

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gardening and knitting 😀  

PINK MOON IS ON ITS WAY

Well, the pink moon has passed but any opportunity to quote Nick Drake 🙂

The weather is WARM and the sun has been gracing us with his presence!  I am happy, so incredibly happy.  A little sun burnt and exhausted but so full of the cleansing, full happiness that fresh air and manual labour brings.  I’m back to communing with the land, with roots and branches, robins and bluejays.  April is a muddy and plan brown (or red on PEI), drab time of year here, but as soon as you get outside and take a wee closer look at the earth, the trees the colours of life on this green earth are just abounding.

The work on our 1.25 acre is endless.  Especially since our plans include using every inch of space for flower, vegetable and herb gardens, animals and trees.   We have a huge checklist which includes new gardens, a ton of raking, preparing wood for next winter, tending to our forest (really a small wood but the forest just sounds so much more majestic ;)), mulching, digging, burning, felling trees (I’m starting to sound a little destructive but it’s all part of the process!).

This week has been g l o r i o u s.  I completely disconnected from instagram and feel as free as a bird by just removing myself from social media.  The earth is speaking to all of us, if we listen and work with her.

At this time of year, we are not even touching vegetable gardens because the earth is too damp to turn. So, it’s mainly raking, woodland, and clearing up flower gardens.  I even started to plant some chestnuts that have sprouted in our basement.  I hope you enjoy the photos of our work and can not WAIT to show you the contrast of now and a couple of months!

Horseshoe
Found while digging in a garden! Folklore tells us that nailing an iron horseshoe above your door/barn door will keep the fairies at bay.  Fairies detest metal and were notorious for interfering with livestock and crops – you still see remnants of this tradition 😀  It also translated over to holding your luck (I think originally because it protected you from fairies) however if you hand it upside down, your luck will dribble away from you : (
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Clearing out the rose bushes and plotting stones for a fairy garden in the front of the house – Not much colour at the moment! I started to mulch the roses with decomposing stumps and lining this garden with mossy logs and branches.
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Flora Helping out!
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Among the rose bushes – offerings from our beach walks to the elemental beings that inhabit the earth
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A friend of mine gave me this really cute, vintage garden gnome!  I’m so excited to finally give him a home in the garden ❤
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I see growth on this rhubarb plant!  My mom brought these over last year from her garden –  I love having a family connection to plants as well as a earthly entity connection (I guess we are all one big family afterall)

 

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One of our raised beds that I wattled last year – Not a lot going on in this part of the garden until late May so I’m leaving the cover of leaves on there
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Rosebuds ❤
Chestnuts
sprouted chestnuts I collected last fall – to be planted in the woods!
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The Forest literally looks like a tornado lingered there for a little bit – weedy like trees are trying to choke out our maple and trees and branches down everywhere!  On a good day, we have a long day of burning down what we can’t salvage (which is still a lot!) – the process of turning the woodland into a shangri-la will take years but it will be SO worth it – benefiting the soil, animals, insects and humble humans
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We have been making baked potatoes in the coals of our bush burns – salt, pepper, butter and a potato from down the road – delicious!

I N S I D E

And on the indoor front – it’s getting a little wild!  The plants are shooting up and need daily care.  The tomatoes are strong and the herbs already fragrant.  The lupin seeds I collected on the side of the road last year have sprouted and I am beyond excited to give back to the insects of our world!

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A little painting of one of my favourite spring time flowers – Siberian Squill – painted for a friend
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Tomatoes growing up and up – we still have a month and a half before they can go outside! I can’t believe how quickly they are shooting up – so different than the past 2 years
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A Vintage Owl Mug with a Tulsi basil plant as well as a few parsley plants
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Little Pine Tree ❤ I collected a few seeds last fall and am so happy one of them has burst into life!
More
Two more trays of seeds – displacing my work area and some old drawings I found from Botanical Art class back in 2010 (eep!) – I decided to spruce them up a big and still working on it 🙂
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Little Seedlings – my babies
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WORK SPACE MAGIC – It won’t be long before plants completely displace me 😛

A P R I L  P I C K S

BOOKS

I’m reading OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon and I can already say that it is fantastic.  A friend of mine suggested it when I told her I was watching the show and felt like it was made for us (plants, magic, Highlands of Scotland, yes please!). I stopped watching it immediately and started the book

I’m also reading through some Norwegian Folk Tales as well as our man, Ronald Hutton’s Witches, Druids and King Arthur.

TV / PODCASTS

Other than repeatedly watching Tales from the Green Valley, I’ve been listening to The Higherside Chats with Greg Carlwood – about fringe topics.  He has an episode on PLANTS that I definitely suggest called “Earth Alchemy, Plant Spirits, & Engineered Abundance” with Shamangineer.  My sister suggested it to me and I am hooked.  It’s available both in his website and youtube.

Maybe I’ll reveal a part of myself I don’t tend to share on the internets but, I was thinking of making a compilation of books/videos/documentaries on modern fairy lore.  I’ll start with a really fun documentary that hits very close to home here on the East Coast  ❤  ❤ ❤

THE FAIRY FAITH

KNITS

I’m working on a lopapeysa, of course! Hazel Heather and I’ll show you soon, I promise!

MUSIC

Quilt’s self titled album (on Google Music) and the birds that are singing a consistent tune.  I love slow, droning psychedelic guitars, need to start playing music again !!!

Other than that – I’ve been working outside and then coming in exhausted and ready to sleep zzzz.

B E   W E L L

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Beach Girl ❤  Something I love about living on the East Coast – often the only people at the beach
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20 thoughts on “April Gardening Pt. 1 & other ramblings of a fae folk

  1. Good Morning! It is Easter Morning here the states. A little breezy today with clouds, chance of rain, temp is 72 degrees. We have planted green onions, radish seed and cabbage. I received some day lillies from a friend and planted those yesterday. Have a good week!

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    1. Hi Margaret!

      How lucky you are 🙂

      We just went to buy our onion sets yesterday but will not be able to plant them until the beginning of May (along with the potatoes). It seems like you live in a very different zone than us here in the North East. The rain has let up, so I’m putting on my work clothes and heading out for more fires and working on helping our forest!

      Best of luck with your planting and have a good week as well!

      Green Blessings!

      Julia

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  2. So much fun to see more of your plot! You are lucky so have so beautiful surroundings. We had snow today. I wasn’t a lot, but just enough to make me sad about it. Heh That’s spring in the north, right? Can’t wait for some sunny days to spend outside in the garden. Being Norwegian, I’m curious about what folktales you are reading 🙂 And what did you think out the outlander book? I must admit I stopped watching the show, because it was just too violent for my taste, but I really do love the setting and the storyline. 🙂

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    1. Hi Camilla!

      Where do you live in Norway? We also had snow the other evening and yesterday was freezing, below 0! Such a change from our days that were over 15 C! Yes, April (or spring really) in the North is so unpredictable and rather wild! We still do not have our spring flowers but they are peeping through now.

      The Norwegian Folk Tales that I’m reading right now are called “Norwegian Folktales” by Peter Christen Asbjornsen. I have also East of the Sun, West of the Moon and just bought Norse Gods by Neil Gaiman 🙂 I love old folktales – although the Norwegian one that I’m reading right now has many very similar if not the very same to Grimms Fairy Tales. The first story in the collection was amazing, I had never read of any folkloric motifs like it (it involved 3 trolls who shared one eye and passed the eye between them to see) 🙂

      I’m really enjoying the Outlander book! I have seen teh first episode of the series and I find that it sticks pretty true to the book – down to the dialogue. I honestly haven’t noticed it being very violent.. but I might be a little accustomed to it from studying medieval history (and just general tv/movies).

      If you have any Norwegian literature to suggest, I would love that! I finished Kristin Lavransdatter last year and absolutely loved it, as well as Gunnar’s Daughter by Sigrid Undset. I’m trying to find her other trilogy but will probably have to order it online.

      ANYWAY, I wrote a lot about books, I am sorry >.<

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      1. Hi Julia. 🙂

        I live in a city called Drammen, just south of Oslo. So I’m not that far north. But spring is slow this year. My husbands grandpa used to say that is isn’t spring for real until after easter. I think it was something about the moon phases (of course 🙂 ) I hope he was right and that the weather will be warmer now.

        The Norwegian folk tales are very similar to the grimm brothers’. They are not the same though, but they did sort of “collect” them in the same way. Asbjørnsen and Moe walked around the whole country and asked people to tell them folk tales that had been told among people for generations. Because Norway was a country with mostly food farmers most people counldn’t write or read, so they had to memorise the tales, and they weren’t written down until Asbjørnsen and Moe did so. I think the Grimm brothers also collected folk tales like that, but in Germany? Some of them have a lot of similarities I can imagine (I haven’t read all the Grimm brothers’ tales). Please tell me your favourite when you are done 🙂 I haven’t read _all_ the norwegian, because there are so many, but maybe my favourite is White-bear-king-Valemon (but I can’t really decide).

        I’m not usually watching tv, and I do try to watch more films, but I just don’t have the time. So I’m not that used to watching violence. Sigh. (Feel like such a wimp).

        I read Kristin Lavransdatter right now! 🙂 Really depends on what sort of genre you like? I think there are a lot of good Norwegian books, but I don’t know if you want to read an old classic, or a newer book? 🙂

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      2. Hi Camilla,

        The new moon is next week, so hopefully we will see a very tangible change in the weather! Today, it is cold hovering around 0 C and I’m not feeling 100 % so am taking a slow day.
        I really think it’s a very healthy thing to be a whimp when it comes to not being adjusted to seeing and being accustomed to violence in any form! I would feel blessed if I were you!
        As for books, I am more partial to classics and I love women writers. My favourite genre of books is actually Canadian literature from the 20th Century, mainly women writers like Margaret Laurence and Margaret Atwood. I love Sigrid Undset, Sylvia Plath, Carson McCullers (American writers).
        This summer Im planing to read Gone with the Wind since I’ve never tackled it before as well as some others. My Mom talks about Karl Ove Knausgaard constantly – so maybe I will try one of his books!
        p.s. I can not wait until I get to the White bear king Valemon story! I always flip through books while I read them to just look at the illustrations and this story has the most beautiful illustrations in my book.

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  3. Hi Julia
    This was a really enjoyable read this morning in bed with a cup of tea. It’s my last slow morning before the kids go back to school tomorrow, then we are up and at it.
    I was reading along about your planting etc and then I came to your April picks and Books! Well… yes to Outlander so much, I’m just watching catch up second series but also contemplating reading as my daughter Bronte has the first two books. But then I came to where you wrote ‘Ronald Hutton’ and my eyes lit up. My mom has just been to one of his talks in Bristol and had a lovely chat with him. She got her book signed by him and he said to her “I’m so glad you enjoyed the book and illustrations” ~ a kind, gentle, modest man. My mom was completely in awe during his talk, his knowledge and public speaking was amazing she said.
    She sent me some info on it so I may just email a copy of it.
    Thankyou for your insights, ramblings, sharing your great work.
    Eliza x

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    1. Hi Eliza!

      Oooohhh, I am intrigued!! Your mom saw Ronald Hutton speak?? That would be amazing, I am sure! And I love how you mentioned that she said he was a kind, gentle, modest man! He is in a sense, one of my cultural ‘heroes’ just such a total individual, brilliant and as you said modest! I love when people are just their unique selves, helps give me a little bit of confidence to indulge in my own eccentricities. Do you know what the talk was or what book she had?

      Outlander is really good, it’s one of those books that you should be sleeping but it’s like “just one more chapter.” If you have watched the series – one thing I’m finding is that it’s VERY similar – the show did a really good job on keeping true to the books, not sure if that will make you want to read it or make you feel like you have read it.

      Thanks for sharing about Ronald! I always picture him with a big purple feather in a cap from the 17th century (I’ll post a picture of him in my next blog post ;))
      Be well Xo

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  4. Wonderful to see and read about your land and garden awakening. The rhubarb in particular has special memories for me because my mom grew it in her garden and I would get to go out with her and help her pick it and make pies. It was so special to make pies with food grown in our own garden!
    Love that gnome, and also (especially) the Scilla painting! 🙂 xo

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    1. Valerie 🙂

      I thought I would still respond to you on here too !
      I really hope you can have a rhubarb plant! Do you have space at your home to have a garden? I love how rhubarb plants and apple trees are often signs of older human settlement in NA. There are spots around my parents house in Nova Scotia that clearly were once homes due to the rows of apple trees, man-made ponds and rosebushes but no house to be seen!

      I thought you might like the Gnome! We named him Dusty, after the man that came to look at our broken washing machine (now we just need a whole new one :P… he didn’t look like a gnome or anything, he just happened to be at our house when the gnome began his outdoor life haha).

      and of course, I am so glad you like the painting 🙂 ❤

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  5. I love to see everything growing! It makes me long for some space in the country again.

    I too love plants that are passed down from generation to generation. I have my grandmother’s peonies and my Mom has my grandfather’s grapevine and rhubarb.

    It has been really rainy weather here lately and the ground is too wet to do anything. I have been spring cleaning in the house.

    Have a good week!

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    1. I forgot to mention, I have the whole Outlander series of books. You will really enjoy them. They are hard to put down once to start reading.

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      1. Hey Kimberley!

        I am already finding that about Outlander, I could stay up all night reading it! Although, I have other books to read so some nights it’s hard to put it aside and choose some others. Do you enjoy the whole series? I’m wondering if I’m going to commit myself to reading the 8 books or if I will just be happy with reading the 1st, Je ne sais!

        Intergenerational plants are so neat! You’re lucky you have peonies! We have some here from the previous owners – they are basically one of my all time favourite flowers. When I was small, my mom had a beautiful flower garden in the front of our house – we had pale pink peonies with the most wonderful scent. They bloomed around my birthday which was also the end of the school year (June 23rd) and so I always associate that very magical time of year with the scent of peonies.

        Happy Spring Cleaning to you and I’ll be sending some good weather vibes your way!

        J

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  6. Hi Julia! Love ❤️the photos of life you share with us. I look forward to seeing the progress in your yard and the lopapeysa. I encourage you to be courageous and share the side of yourself that you normally don’t. The universe is calling us all to BE our TRUE SELF now, to live our purpose, to share our passions.

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    1. Thank you ❤ !

      This is the exact kind of message I think I need to hear, so thank you !I try to tell myself this and am trying to work on it – part of working on this for me right now is disconnecting a little bit more from SM so I can remove that anxiety or pressure I feel in order to be my true self.

      I love that the universe is calling us all to be our true selves ❤

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  7. Amazing! I love your blog. We are the opposite here in new Zealand, we are heading into winter! So I’m busy collecting seeds and planning winter knits! Outlander is an amazing series I’ve read twice! And watched the series so far… hooked! Happy spring to you x

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    1. Hi Katie!

      How is your fall in New Zealand? It always confuses me how the seasons are different in the northern and southern hemisphere >.<

      Wow, you have read the whole series twice? Are there about 8 books? I am very much hooked on the first book! Anything that includes magic and herbalism and the past is pretty well the best thing ever in my books 😀

      Happy fall to you! x

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  8. Hi Julia,
    The talk was in Bristol, Ronald’s hometown and where he lectures. I’ve just spoken to my mom and she has some photos to show you so I’ve DM’d you on Instagram with more details.
    Ohh Outlander, our favourite and I would so like to go through those stones for a visit! I really do want to start reading the books ( I have a long list to read!) and Bronte said that the Tv series is very similar just a bit more graphic in places. Good though that they are alike I think!
    And oh the excitement of so much to do, read and learn in this life, I can’t keep up with it all in my head, which is why I need to take heed with the slowing down on social media and enrich with the stuff I have many list of.

    Blessings
    Eliza x

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    1. Enjoyed learning a little more about you today Eliza!

      And I agree totally, there is so much more to life than this and we really need to get away from our phones, etc. to leaarn and develop skills and just feel full and happy in this life!

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  9. Julia!

    I was unable to reply to your comment above, so I’ll just leave a short one here:
    I read Gone with the wind a few years ago, and I liked it a lot. I’m noting the names you wrote, because I have heard of those women, but never read anything written by them. Where do you recommend I start? If you would like something of a female, Norwegian writer I would recommend Herbjørg Wassmo’s trilogy “The house with the blind glass windows”. Kind of sad and dramatic, but very good. Karl Ove Knausgård is said to write very well, I haven’t read any of his books yet.

    My favourite books by norwegian writers are “Doppler” by Erlend Loe (about a man that gets fed up with society and decides to move into the woods near his house to live in a tent 😀 ). I also like “The unseen” by Roy Jacobsen (About people living on a small island up north some time around 1930), “Out steeling horses” by Per Petterson. Sorry about all the writing about books. We should start a reading club or something. Heh.. 🙂

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