Tag Archives: Garden

Officially Spring Now

The buffet is opened: Today came to visit the first bees! Still a bit slow and clumsy from the cold, but so nice to see them back in our garden!

Earlier this week, I went to my old childhood playground and gathered willow catkins. My mom dug out these old painted wooden Easter eggs and little beetles. In 2 weeks I will be moving. It is hard for me to imagine, but something in me is determined to discover and live in a new place.

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2018

March 07, 2018

After several weeks of drought and freezing cold, low “Wiebke” first brought rain and then snow, which lasted for a day and brought much needed precipitation. Within a few hours the white blanket was gone again and spring took over the next day. Winter slumber is definitely over! Alas, most early flowering plants had already blossomed at the end of an unusually warm January, and where then surprised by the Siberian cold that lasted throughout the month of February. In the end I ran around the garden with a watering can, carrying and pouring gallons of water from the rain barrel in our basement. Meanwhile we missed to empty the second rain barrel left outdoors and of course it burst when the water in it froze completely. To do: buy new rain barrel!

Now, there is still a bit of work to do with preparing the garden. And god, I am going to miss this view…

March 09, 2018

Meanwhile, I have been dedicating time almost every day to processing last year’s herb harvest, sorting seeds and also began filling the next seed boxes! As of yet, I am done with about 1/3 of the contents. This year I am not doing it all at once, but little by little, working on the boxes parallel with other creations.

I plan to finish processing and packing up all the remaining herbs, seeds and wood until the end of the month. Hence my quietude here. I will be back with news and updates later in April. So long, I am already wishing you a blessed spring equinox and much joy with your own gardening endeavors!

Below some pics from my winter:

And the first flowers:

May 2017

Rue, rosemary, rose, columbine, belladonna and henbane, various trays with young henbane plants, pots with mandrakes

May is a tough month, both for me, as well as the green. Whilst April is still cool, bulbous spring plants are in bloom and other plants just begin sprouting fresh green, May sees the arrival of the first hot days and the green now grow and expand rapidly. It’s the first time during¬†the year that I find myself running and watering daily. Seedlings have to be replanted and previously pricked out plants demand larger pots or have¬†to be planted to the ground, least they wither. It’s an overall stressful period. And as I find myself plagued with pollen allergy the plants too start to suffer from various diseases: first and foremost aphids (which have been multiplying rapidly and in significantly larger amounts than in previous years), secondly black spot disease and mildew (plaguing my beloved Munstead Wood rose) and thirdly a fungus that causes leaves to crumble and roll up (this fungus infests fruit trees and is effecting our cherry tree heavily this year). So I am constantly on watch, removing aphids by hand and cutting off diseased leaves and twigs.

It’s also a¬†month for harvest: paying attention to the moon’s phase, auspicious days and planetary hours, I dug up mandrake and greater celandine root and collected elder flowers.¬†Further the seed capsules of the Hellebores can¬†set free their load any day and I am of course eager to collect their seeds, especially those of the black flowering variants. Alas, ants also have an interest in the oil-rich and therefore nutritious seeds and quickly carry them¬†away into¬†the darkness of their underground abodes. I got serious competition… ¬†Did I mention it’s a stressful month as pertaining to the garden?

But there are also joyful moments, e.g. when the light of the evening sun shines through the flowering trees…

End of May the elder trees start blooming and the air smells of their sweet scent. I gathered the flowers during the night and hour of Venus.
Dog rose, swaying in the evening sun…

And yet there is more work to get done. My garden goals for this year include making a new flower bed beside our back porch. It’s a spot, where flowers will enjoy noon and afternoon sun during the summer. But before I can plant anything here, I first have to break up the old ground, which includes the removal of old tree roots as well as implementing a root barrier to the side of the hedge, mainly to keep the ground elder out. This part is done now. When finished with digging up the entire space and removing weed, I will blend the old soil with compost and humus-rich soil. The process thus far:

New flower bed process: breaking up soil and implementing root barrier to keep ground-elder from spreading, removing old tree roots

You see, it’s still a way to go for my future flower bed! But now some more impressions from the garden and recent herb harvest….

Leaving flower ‘islands’ on our lawn: this year appeared these lovely heartsease
Black petunia flower, floral galaxy unfolding…
Nightsky in a flower, May ’17
These two irises are back and I love them!
Valerian, Foxglove and Monkshood at dusk
Buzzy times for bumblebees. Here is one cleaning itself and almost falling over from the flower of my Valerian.
Mandrake root harvested in May ’17, under the waning moon: long legs and an auspicious hip swing it got!
The way it looked at me from the ground… sadly the upper part was rotten, probably due to a late frost in April. I saved what was left.
Greater celandine (Chelidonium majus), harvested on the day of Mars and night hour of the Sun. To me it is one of the most powerful witching herbs native to where I live.
The color is real. Here it shows why greater celandine is sometimes compared to Canadian blood root. It is also known as tetterwort and its applications in herbal medicine are similar.

 

April 2017

I spent this month mainly with work on the next row of wooden seed boxes, adding new herbs to the set and reading up on them. The central theme this time were summer¬†herbs¬†(with the summer solstice in mind), which are sown in spring or early summer, such as poppies, cornflower, chamomile, evening primrose, yarrow, viper’s bugloss etc. Then I paid attention to Harold Roth’s book “The Witching Herbs” (signed copies available here), and included seeds for the magical herbs discussed there. Besides these I added some endangered plants such as the wonderful centaury and plants that are in decline, such as the field larkspur.¬†With¬†wood betony and motherwort¬†there are¬†some new old, forgotten about healing herbs¬†joining the series.

Another herb I was curious about (and I know that you are too), is the enchanter’s nightshade. It is quite inconspicuous in appearance, almost invisible between other herbs. It is not poisonous at all and in fact, much more beneficial than, what its name suggests. This makes for some very interesting treats for employing this herb in sympathetic magic…

Along with adding more new herbs I also updated the sowing tables and added info texts for each.¬†Further, my attention was¬†drawn to the Euphorbiaceae plant genus. Last year I had been pointed to the spurge as part of a Martial incense recipe. I started researching but could not pinpoint which type of spurge was meant. There are many plants in that genus, which is found in large diversity all around the globe. But which is the one most relevant in Western medieval / renaissance magic?¬†By chance and when searching for spurge seeds, I came across a seller on eBay who just mentioned randomly that the caper spurge (Euphorbia lathyris), with its impressive size, poisonous milky sap¬†and auspicious shape, was the plant famously believed to break hexes and ward of witches from one‚Äôs home…. Well, here we go. It is now added to¬†the selection of poisonous herbs coming with¬†the boxes and I can’t wait to grow it myself.

What more? I finished and shipped the last of my ‚ÄúPoisoner‚Äôs‚ÄĚ seed boxes. I will now overthink the concept and design for this one.

I also spent a lot of time in the garden, harvesting masterwort root, thinning and weeding out, pricking out seedlings and sowing more…

My shortage of henbane last¬†winter led me to sow new henbane, which resulted eventually in hundreds of little plants of black, white and the rare Egyptian henbane! These have now been separated and planted in trays of 24 each + 1 mixed tray. The temperatures are still low¬†and even though it did not actually freeze again, it is too cold for the small plants (the¬†test tray doesn’t seem to like my outdoors experiment on the window sill). I am therefore keeping the trays with the white and the Egyptian henbane indoors, together with purple Indian datura and several moon vine plants. The tray with the black henbane seedlings stays in the unheated greenhouse.

This month’s harvest:

  • Lamarck’s Aconite (Aconitum lamarckii), thinning out, Tuesday (11th)
  • Masterwort root (Peucedanum ostruthium), thinning out, Tuesday (11th) and Thursday (27th)
  • Herb Gerard (Aegopodium podagraria), weeding out, Saturday¬†(22nd)
  • Myrtle (Myrtus communis), pruning, Sunday (23rd)
  • Horse tail (Equisetum arvense), weeding out, Friday (28th)

Besides, l am now a lady with a barrow full of fragrant lily of the valley!¬†ūüĆĪūüĆĪūüĆĪ¬†(Thanks to an unexpected gift from our neighbors, who are restructuring their garden.) I now have to prepare a spot for them to grow. Else, that barrow has now met its final destiny…

Herbs I plan to sow this and the following weekends:

  • blue hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis ‘Caeruelus’)
  • caper spurge (Euphorbia lathyris)*
  • centaury (Centaurium erythreae)
  • clary sage (Salvia sclarea var. turkestanica)
  • enchanter’s nightshade (Circaea lutetiana)
  • evening primrose (Oenothera odorata ‘Sulfurea’)
  • honeywort (Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’)
  • lion’s tail (Leonotis leonurus)
  • poison hemlock (Conium maculatum)
  • snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus ‘Night and Day’)
  • st. john’s wort (Hypericum perforatum ‘Tauberthal’)
  • thyme (Thymus vulgaris ‘Frnech Summer’)
  • wood betony (Stachys officinalis) *

So long, I wish my followers a Blessed Walpurgis!

March 2017

Spring is here

Since some years, just before Lenten, I am spending a little fortune on oriental hellebores.¬†This year it had to be – among others – a filled purple-black variant. It is not as black as I had hoped, but still a lovely sight and very Gothic. The bees love it too, along with¬†crocuses and other early spring flowers. Out of a heap of soil left out on the meadow from last year‚Äôs construction work grow little snowdrops. Looks like this one will have to stay. I am thinking ‘herb spiral’…

Sowing Season

I have sown a couple of new plants, among others different species of henbane. I bought the seeds from a french seller on eBay, who shipped them at near speed of light and included  gift seeds of Datura discolor. I have sown them beginning of March, without priming. The Hyoscyamus niger var. agrestis seeds germinated within a week. The seeds for the rare Egyptian henbane (Hyoscyamus muticus) germinated after 2 weeks, as can be seen in the following pictures. I am really satisfied with the results.

The first round was sown on the 4th of March. I prepared another tray two weeks later, with dream herb, sinicuichi and primed moon vine. Further I primed seeds of mandrake, morning glory, white henbane and datura, which were sown 25th of March.

Thus far only the Ipmoea alba germinated (it did so within 3 days after priming with 100% germination rate). But no sign of the daturas yet or the other herbs.

Now here are also the results from my 2016 winter solstice sowing:

The wormwood was the first that germinated, but now is going slow. The second photo shows what I hope to be a comfrey seedling. I would love to have it in the garden. Comfrey is easier to propagate via cuttings, but you know seed ->¬†genetic diversity… The third photo is of different henbane seedlings. It will show which of the¬†henbanes are annuals and which are biennials. I had sown a lot more but nothing happening thus far.

The garden awakens

From seed to root, from flower to fruit¬†‚Äď impressions of the plants in the garden, which is just getting started…

The greater celandine has sown out itself in a circle and now forms an auspicious ‚Äėfairy ring‚Äô. I am not sure yet, what to do with all of it. Tincture the entire circle? For the moment it just looks fancy.

The aconites return ‚Äď thankfully. I had lost half of them last year due to root rot. (Partly my mistake.) I was wondering though, why other plants grown in that corner would fade as well. I had grown wormwood there earlier. Wormwood emits substances into the soil that keep other plants from growing in its proximity. Could it be that these are still in the soil and effecting other herbs?¬†On the other hand it had a lot of rain and the ground was sopping. Aconite likes a moist ground but this may have been just too much.

The deadly nightshade now appears in places where I can’t remember to have planted it. Nice coincidence: on the above picture a single thin thread of spider web is attached to the plant, which is named after the Greek Atropos. (Atropos was one of the three fates and in charge of severing the thread of life.)

Last year I planted a small Aconitum hemsleyanum, which I had grown from seed and kept in the pot for too long. It was on the brink (pot left outdoors during ceaseless rain).

Far from tender is the masterwort. In the raised bed it found the perfect spot, ready to conquer all. I don’t mind, its root is a powerful magical and medicinal agent.

Closing this round, the lovely lovage is working its way through the ground elder. Lovage does not like competition. I will have to help here¬†‚Äď which means, it¬†will be another year trying to dig up and decimate the obnoxious ¬†ground elder.

New Seed Boxes

This month I also got to work on the next row of wooden seed boxes (numbers 31-36). I received such a wonderful feedback last time and more emails. I have been working on them non-stop for the past weeks and they are near completion. Emails will be sent out to those that reserved one and then it’s first come first serve… Meanwhile here are¬†the last four sold and shipped earlier in March:

Useful

Herbs to sow in March:¬†agrimony, bittersweet nightshade, chamomile, columbine, evening primrose, henbane, mandrake, monkshood, poppy, thorn-apple (pre-culture), tobacco, viper’s bugloss, wood betony

Herbs to sow in April: agrimony, black cumin, borage, caraway, catnip, chervil, clary sage, columbine, elecampagne, enchanter’s nightshade, evening primrose, fennel, henbane, lemon balm, lovage, mandrake, marigold, marshmallow, moon vine, morning glory, motherwort, mugwort, poison hemlock, poppy, purple coneflower, rosemary, rue, sage, tobacco, tansy, thyme, valerian, wood betony, wormwood, yarrow

Links: plantacasa (Hellebores), Odysseé Naturelle (seeds)

 

Rauhe Nächte, Contemplating Time

I could write about the stiffness inducing cold of the approaching winter and how I very much would like to hibernate together with the green in my garden.  How I would like to sleep all day and wake up only to nurture my self and then return to sleep wonderland.

I could write about the past, present and future – the terminologies in and of themselves, happenings, the greater context, details… The form of thoughts¬†and thought forms… How solutions are only possible when 1.) a problem has been recognized and 2.) the problem has been understood. But…

…for convenience we come up with¬†problems that can be solved and ignore the problems we should solve.

The realization of this ignorance is the source of this moment of nihilistic reluctance. Every part of me screams change and action. Yet I am as paralyzed as the frozen tops of the plants in my garden.

It’s having cold¬†snow-less nights and days. Sometimes it rains. Right now¬†it’s freezing again and the green remain covered in white ice crystals. Yet the garden is filled with live.¬†Song birds of all color¬†strike up their daily pre-winter concerto. The white flower heads of the black hellebore show up¬†when most other plants are¬†dead¬†above ground.¬†Some plants also stay green¬†despite or because the¬†shortness of daylight, safe under a blanket of fallen leaves and taking advantage of the extra light that permeates through barren trees. The mandrake, rue and rosemary, which I planted in the raised bed, seem to be doing fine thus far.

I could write about how I am craving a glycerin equivalent in my blood to protect me against this debilitation. But the truth is, I cherish this moment. I¬†insist on this temporary luxury. I enjoy¬†this¬†moment¬†of¬†purposeless Venusian fatigue and procrastination, of¬†musing about my garden and the nature of time. Because I know it won’t last long. In fact, when I post this, it is already over. Time – this strange intangible abstract concept, which all and everything is subject to.

The future as the elimination of all possibilities save for one?

Physics says our perceived “flow of time” is actually more like a “frozen lake”, in which all possible events are already contained and that the notion of past, present and future is an illusion created only in our minds. Yet it is real on an everyday level. Because what is future is soon present and subsequently part of an unchangeable past. We still¬†have to bother about the¬†future and the consequences of our¬†actions. On a larger level it means, that whatever I do in this second, my action already contains the consequences within it.

The universe as we know it moves away from an ordered state towards a disordered¬†state. To uphold order requires effort/work/energy.¬†Not only does the entropy increase but it does so exponentially until the literal end of time or until the entire universe will be “devoured” by black holes. Due to this ongoing process, which we are a part of, time cannot move backwards and we cannot go back in time and change it. My cells age, whether I want it or not. On a larger scale this process is part of the increase of the universe’s entropy. But depending on my location and movement this process may occur faster or slower. Because every object or person has its own time. Literally, my slice of time is different from¬†your slice of time, depending on where I am located, whether I stand still or move and in which direction and how fast I move.¬†Impacted by gravity a person at sea level¬†may age faster than a person on a mountain.

Life is in a way, one huge effort at trying to maintain a higher ordered state against that primal impulse towards entropy and ultimately nothingness.  Or perhaps it can also be viewed as an attempt at moving against the direction of the pre-established arrow of time, away from the increase of entropy and dissolution of time in a distant future and back towards a state of highest order at the beginning of time. A vain endeavor it may seem, yet it gives our ephemeral existence purpose and meaning.

Reflecting on these circumstances, I do well investing some of my limited life time into realizing the reality above and outside my own.¬†Then¬†I¬†wouldn’t miss out on the greatness of the sheer impossibility that is my existence. Nothing is easy, everything else isn’t. In heated up times such as these, it is for example not easy to tend a garden. The only advice I can give to myself: when the mind feels cluttered or the ego feels hurt, go in front of the door, observe nature, read up on nature science, clean up and get back to work.

So much about my musings on time. I did without referencing any mythical creature or man-made deity. Only the “magic” of nature. In my next post I will hopefully write about my winter sowing. Also, new seed boxes are in the making, the last for 2016! ūüôā

Beltane

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Beltane 2016

recreation, renewal, creative inspiration, changes

The sun is here and that means work! The garden and green house needed cleaning up, I have been weeding out and harvesting the first herbs. Here¬†is my¬†Beltane spent in the garden…

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The garden this evening. Say hello to my friends: mandrake, monkshood and foxglove.
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The year’s first herb harvest: lemon balm, fresher than fresh and very aromatic!
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More poisonous friends: the northern wolfsbane, monkshood and belladonna are growing fast now. Belladonna caught a virus (you see the leaves start rolling), but adopts quickly.
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It’s having more space for the monkshood and it likes it.
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And now for a nightmare: any gardener with that plant in their yard will sooner or later despair. It’s thanks to the Romans that it now grows in abundance just about anywhere it finds favorable conditions. Mowing the lawn is one way to prevent it from taking over. Therefore it grows in the shadiest corner and loves hedges, where it’s especially tricky to remove. Today I did just that: weeding out the ground elder from the hedges that surround my little poison bed. I removed quite a few long roots, which was an arduous task. I know I didn’t catch all of them and it’s going to come back. But not as strong as before. And having repeated this a couple of times it will eventually be gone for good. At least in that spot.
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The new babies arrived this week!
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Old and new mandrake plants. Moved from the basement to the green house and need to recover a bit. They didn’t like the winter indoors. The only reason I don’t want to plant them to the ground are snails, which eat the leaves as if it was salad.
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Lilac is going to flower soon!
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Slate black Hellebore: There shall be seeds!
Queen of the night
Queen of the night tulips are almost black. The flowers are a very dark matte purple and they are perfect for a ‚Äúblack flower‚ÄĚ theme garden.
Tulips, Roses
Tulips and roses in our front yard… I need to find free time to sort through this maze of tulip and hyacinth bulbs!
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Old planting pots left outdoors, things start happening…
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Just in time for may day: lily of the valley has started showing up! I planted these end of February.
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Our apple-tree just started flowering. As past year I will again collect a bunch for my Qalmana incense and a new, Beltane dream inspired blend…
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April in the garden: for a few days our meadow is abloom with cuckoo flowers
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The white blossoms of our old cherry tree
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Flowers of almond, cherry and Cardamine pratensis
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Feeding the compost!
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It’s also the time when the ferns unfurl their fronds…
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Useful wild herbs: wood avens (Geum urbanum) and greater celandine (Chelidonium majus), both herbs with healing properties and both yellow flowering. These established themselves and I let them grow, giving the ground a break, so it can return to balance after it was full packed with various nightshades in the past years.
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And yet another wild herb in the garden, also with yellow flowers: lesser celandine (Ficaria verna). The herb is poisonous (as it’s a member in the buttercup family), but the young leaves were once consumed to prevent scurvy, as they are rich in vitamin C. Though recently this has been suggested for Cochlearia officinalis.

Male Fern Dragons, Knights Fighting Snails

Male Fern (Dryopteris filix-mas)
Male Fern (Dryopteris filix-mas)

The fronds of the male fern fade during the winter time and leave behind a flaky root-stock, which grows bigger every year and turns black at the center, whereas new fern fronds sprout at the periphery. I like to think, as the years pass, the root begins to look like the scaly back of a dragon hiding beneath the earth, whereas the fronds form the dragon‚Äôs wings…

Male Fern (Dryopteris filix-mas) old roots
Male Fern (Dryopteris filix-mas) old roots

…and one may even spot the dragon’s head lurking in¬†the soil.

The root has been used until recent times as an anthelminthic to expel tape worms. This is supposedly due to flavaspidic acid, a Phloroglucinol derivate, which is contained in the glandular hairs. The root stock and leaf stalks are deadly poisonous, especially in young plants. Overdosage may result in severe poisoning and death.

Rainy spring day

Banded grove snails¬†(Cepaea nemoralis) overwintered between withered fern fronds.¬†Snails and slugs¬†are a gardener’s nightmare, though I’d like to think these banded snails are the “good ones” as opposed to the brown Spanish slug (which I myself battle by the means of¬†sharp iron tools and worse).

However, not only gardeners of modern times are struggling in the fight against terrestrial molluscs, but also medieval knights went to battle the creatures in full armor, as a recent article at the Smithonian.com website elucidates utterly strange and still unexplained depictions in medieval manuscripts:

The Queen Mary Psalter, c 1310-1320 via British Library

And as if that wouldn’t be enough, snails occur also as a¬†metaphor for¬†death and withering¬†in the biblical Psalm 58:8

As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun.

Not enough? I strongly recommend you to check out the Hunting for Snails blog, for a plethora of wondrous examples of snails in medieval manuscript art and this collection by the British Library.

Sources:

Echter¬†Wurmfarn + Giftpflanzen.de +¬†Grove Snail¬†+ Why Were Medieval Knights¬†Always Fighting Snails? + Knight vs. Snail +¬†Snail, Psalm 58:8 +¬†Strong’s Concordances + Hunting for Snails +

Garden diary, photos of seedlings and more

two new site sections

Documenting¬†the garden all year round,¬†the new¬†garden diary. Photos, experiences and observations pertaining to the garden as an ecosystem throughout the¬†seasons, the influence of weather, soil, sun, interactions of¬†pollinators, birds¬†and¬†other animals, the work that needs to be done and whatever does not fit into the other categories. I hope to complete a full year circle with this diary, starting now, during the winter rest…

January 24 2016

January 24, 2016: half of yesterday’s snow is already¬†gone. Temps rose from -8 ¬įC to + 8 ¬įC over the weekend. The birds took advantage, searching for worms in the moist grass. According to my father, even bumblebees¬†could be seen flying around.

Upon request, providing now photos and documentation of seedlings and young plants, as an aid for recognizing and distinguishing self-sown plants from other plants and weeds. Along with this, I also provide information and experiences pertaining to the germination of seeds and seed dormancy. Making the start are young rue plants, sown in 2015 and a mandrake germling, which popped today:

These rue plants were sown in 2015 and hardly developed in my unheated greenhouse. I took them indoors before the frost, first having them by the window in the basement and now on the window bench in my room. At last they are growing. Warmth and enough sun light are the essential thing with rue plants.

Mandrake seedling, 2016

Living proof: sometimes seeds need to fall dry before they will germinate. I had not watered this tray for a while and let it nearly dry out. Then started watering again. That’s apparently what was required to break the slumber (dormancy) of this little Mandragora officinarum seed, which germinated yesterday. It was sown in the summer of 2015 and spent several months in the soil, where exposed to warmth and cold.

New Moon Sowing, Garden August ’15

Mandrake seeds, Rue seedlings Aug. '15

Today I have sown the remainder of the mandrake seeds, which had been primed months ago. They were kept in wet paper towels and placed in the fridge for weeks, then taken out and placed in fresh wet paper towels. I’ve been hoping for them to germinate but thus far no sign of life. Yesterday I took them out, cleaned them (all seeds sunk in water, which is a sign they are still viable) and placed in soil today. In addition I have sown the same amount of unprimed mandrake seeds for comparison. I have one tray on my window bench at room temperature, but may move it to the basement, where it has cooler temps. The other tray is in the green-house.

Besides Mandrake I have also sown biennial henbane (Hyoscyamus niger) from fresh ripe seeds.

Now below some impression of the flowering green and the garden,¬†from August 13-15 ’15

Datura metel var. fastuosa

Last evening both my “black datura” as well as toloache opened their first flowers for this years. The black devil’s trumpet (Datura metel var. fastuosa) is grown from seeds from Malta and has really big, double filled flowers, which smell absolutely enchanting.

Datura inoxia

There goes the beautiful “moon flower” (Datura inoxia), flower about to open. Comes back year after year, always a sweet joy.

Atropa acuminata

A fine addition: Indian Belladonna (Atropa acuminata) has slightly smaller, more cone like and edged fruits compared to her European sister. Flowers are a touch darker, velvet brownish purple. Grown from seed. I’m happy to have this lovely sister of the native deadly nightshade.

Aconitum lamarckii

One of my favorite ‘ghost’ flowers: Yellow Monkshood (Aconitum lamarckii), returns every year and makes for a nice contrast beside the Blue Monkshood (Aconitum napellus), both of which are in bloom now.

Solanum dulcamara

The bright red berries of Bittersweet Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara) are tempting to taste, but poisonous! They still make a beautiful contrast to the pale yellow flowers of Aconite etc. The stems contain cortisone-like substances and are used in herbal medicine. They are harvested in autumn or spring.

Red Sun, Poison Green I

Through the tunnel of the poison green, illuminated by the red sun…

Red Sun, Poison Green II

As the sun sets and bathes the poison green in red, the day in the garden ends. I started my work at noon and finished at dusk. It felt like only a second had passed.