The blackbirds singing in our garden is my favourite music. And now, we have this in our kiwi!
Thank you for nesting under my sons window, Mama Blackbird!
During my herbalism-studies I’m always taking notes about plants I wished I had, and why. One of them was Albizia julibrissin Rosea, or the Persian Silk Tree.
This plant is amazing! It is *beautiful*, it’s a great nectar tree for bees and butterflies, the seeds can be fed to livestock (I still need to check on that…) and it is medicinal (anti-depressant, sleep-inducing).
It is cold tolerant (can survive temperatures down to -25 degrees Celcius) and it folds its leaves in at night – it’s common name here in the Netherlands translates as “Persian sleep-tree”.
So who wouldn’t want to have such a beautiful, multi-facetted wonder tree in their garden? I do! So much that I was seeing it – with my minds’ eye – blooming and attracting bees in the healing garden, radiating its silent blessings to its immediate surroundings. I was over the moon to find it in a webshop here in the Netherlands and ordered it (along with another long-time love, Schisandra).
When I unpacked it I actually asked myself “what’s this?” for a second or two before I burst into laughing – the contrast between my visualised wondertree and the young sapling I held in my hands couldn’t have been greater.
Life has a great sense of humor!
What a magical time this is. In many ways, but let’s now concentrate on what is happening on the windowsills and outside: growth.
I’m fascinated about the miracle of seeds. The same principle – a hard little package – with so many variations! From tiny to substantial (avocado!), rough, smooth, round, straight and long, smooth, wrinkled, hairy. I love to watch the first signs of germination, the tender green emerging, the plant taking shape. Some people watch TV, I watch plants…
It’s a busy time of planting, repotting, tending. Last year I lost so many plants to slugs, I was angry, sad and devastated. This year I’m trying to keep myself in check with sowing (ha-ha), I applied the natural pest control in January and now I’m armed with a garden spray that works on air pressure and this:
my garlic&cayenne potion. It should work like this: One takes a bulb of garlic, crushes the pieces, puts them in a jar, throws in a cayenne peper (or two – mine were dried) and pours hot water over it. Let sit for 24hours+ , sieve out the plant material and keep the liquid in a refrigerator until needed.
To use: pour some garlic-cayenne potion in the garden spray tank, thin out with water – I did about 1:10 – and spray your tender seedlings with it. Repeat after rain.
The principle: the garlic-cayenne water stinks! It should be too hot&repulsive for the slugs, and they should leave your tender broccoli seedlings untouched.
Let’s hope it works.
Happy sighs. This view, the cries of buzzards as they circle above the fields, all my baby trees alive, the space, the peaceful presence… The pioneering grasses in the field have done exactly what I hoped they would do – they’ve been flattened against the ground by the weight of snow just some weeks ago. New humus in the making! A new,try-out with shiitake logs. Try-out #1 has not produced a single shiitake mushroom – the spawn plugs were probably too old. This time they were sticky-fresh, covered with promising spawn… I hope we’ll succeed. It was an intense week of trimming fruit trees, thinning out a hazelnut bush/tree, trimming roses and other flowering perennials. While I was at it, I encountered a big, green frog. “Well, hello there!” I said, surprised by seeing it in daylight, at the end of February. Perhaps I had disturbed it’s sleep? It crept into a snug hole between winter-brown stumps and stems, quite contently. The next morning I found this in our little pond. And the morning thereafter there was even more! …and more… I think the next time we go, we shoud take earplugs with us, just in case. Our son had a friend visiting and they made a little expedition on the land, in search for “nettles and other nasty stuff for our soup”. The soup contained dirt, twigs, grasses, moss and such. These guys are 8 years old, and the cherry tree to the right of our son was planted two years ago. I’m curious to see what the proportions are after 8 years from now. I had hoped to bring some structure to the field this time – some paths, or beds for plants for instance. But the time was too short, and it didn’t feel right yet. I’m happy I got all the trimming done, and I even hid some seeds here and there. It is my permaculture playground, a future food forest (I hope), a healing garden and my school for spiritual gardening. Quiet talks with Deva’s, feeling this and that…and a lot of physical work. Thankful that the dream, born about ten years ago, has manifested!
I’m tucking little seeds into pots of soil every now and then…
This year I’m following the biodynamic almanac of Maria Thun for the first time, to give some astral allure to my sowings. I’m hovering almost daily above the seed trays, and of course, just when I miss a day the magic happens – small seedlings appear and wave at me cheerfully.
Outside the signs of spring progress, little by little. I’m very happy to greet the regular guests, the snowdrops and crocus, and keen to see how my tiny trees and bushes are doing in their pots (to be relocated from Garden 1 to Garden 2 as soon as they’ve got some height). Goji is alive (as I thought it would), looking very sweet with its round leavebuds. I’m holding my breath for the pomegranate – did it survive the winter? Time will tell.
Inside, I’ve dug my artists’ tools out of their hooks and nooks – I was itching to “be creative” and set out to try my hand at illustrations. You will see the results emerging slowly but surely in the Portfolio section.
I’m curious to know what are you itching to do? Take a baby step in that direction…and then another one…