January Dreams

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Sprouted Oak – this acorn sprouted in the cold room so it will be planted in a cup for now!

J A N U A R Y

January is like the deepest sleep.

“Tending my inner garden went splendidly this winter. Suddenly to be healed again and aware that the very ground of my being — my mind and spirit — was given time and space in which to go on growing; and there came from my heart a radiance I had not felt so strongly for a long time… ”

Rainer Maria Rilke, to Heise, 1922

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Seabuckthorn – planted in early December in this pot – hopeful for it to establish itself outside this spring.

 

The sun definitely begins to restore that “radiance” in January.  The still, bright night sky all a lit with pure silver cast stars!  The sun that lingers in the kitchen while I fix dinner, cats wandering on counter tops.  I feel like we primarily driven by the sun and the moon, so it makes total sense to me that the longer days have me dabbling with seeds, earth and growth!

I have sensed revival and growth – and maybe I express it through a primeval way – working with new life.

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Seeds Collected over 2017

The earth and plants have bewitched me and I feel like I’ve become their faithful, voluntary servant.

And so, early in January I began to take a little bit of action in this realm, despite the seed packet guidelines.   My logic is that I have house plants of all kinds, so why shouldn’t I be able to start some perennials as “houseplants” before transplanting outdoors.  I have done this for the past 2 years since we have had our own acre and never experienced any problems with starting some early plants! It actually really deepens my bond with the particular plant because they receive so much early care (as opposed to my plants in April because there are hundreds!)

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Mostly Holly Hock – collected from one beauty plant in the back!
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Seed Packets for 2018 – collected in 2017!  Among the Foxglove to be packaged up and a pack of poppies filled to the brim – I use old window frames to house the seeds throughout late summer and fall
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The tiniest echinacea beginning to germinate – to plant in the spring – the last seed that I have as well.  Echinacea or coneflower does not flower the first year of planting (like so many others!) and are difficult to germinate so I like to give them a little bit of a head start.
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Milkweed in a David’s Tea tin – I will have to move these quickly – I wasn’t expecting this many to germinate!
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Hollyhock in a yogurt container and a very dirty window – taking these photos makes me realize how badly they need cleaning 😛
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Peperomia – I actually gave this beauty a ‘hair cut’ yesterday
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January Yard – Today it is 5 C and there is no snow – the river is melting – such a strange up and down winter
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A small seed order – I have one more to place for the final veggies, flowers and herbs –

So it begins… I can’t wait for the day in May that we go to the nursery, the greenhouses!  But for now, I really don’t mind just the stirring of life, the rising sun and clear night skies.

In other parts of my small world – I am working in the library, knitting a sweater that just needs button bands and buttons and preparing to make a little pattern available on here for the last pair of fingerless mitts.  It may be so confusing which is why I am just going to put it up here and state “make at own risk.”

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Mountain Ash

 

In memoriam of Dolores O’Riordan – she helped me through being a teenager and always, always made me think of spring and life and growth and just moving on.  I feel so incredibly sad for her and her family and just wanted to share with you her beautiful voice ❤ May she rest in peace

 

 

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!

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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 ❤
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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!
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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

“I wish to speak a word for nature…”

“For absolute, freedom and wilderness” Henry David Thoreau,  Walking

Walking is one of my absolute favourite activities.  Walking for no purpose aside from joining nature and losing oneself. I feel very lucky and grateful that I live in a place that is so close to many magical environments. There are so many different landscapes on the East Coast! This past month we have explored an old growth eastern hemlock forest in the centre of Nova Scotia, rocky shores and conifer forests along the East, the Mountains in the North and the mixed woodlands not far from our home on the Island.

October in the East of Canada is so beautiful!  Our landscape is painted with the red and orange leaves of sugar maples, crimson blueberry fields, stark whites and golds of birch and the ever fluctuating bright blue and dark, smokey sky.  There’s the song of the Canadian Geese overhead and black specks of crows perched atop the trees.  It’s short and oh so sweet.

What do we do in the woods? We certainly spend a lot of time there.   We Listen to the birds, the squirrels, the brook.  Notice every adorable fungi we come across and marvel at the plush moss where I’ve always fantasized about laying my head to sleep ;).  Sometimes, I forage or draw.  When it’s really nice outside, my sister and I can spend a whole afternoon sitting by the river, wading in it, deciphering faces in the bark of trees and picking out the perfect quartz crystal.

It’s where I feel happiest and at home.

What landscape makes you feel happiest while hiking?

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Conservation Trail
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Fall Foliage
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a little clearing
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Surprise in Truro
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