Most if not all of us are self-isolating right now – if not under outright quarantine. That means that we are all stuck at home, with our loved ones, who we may or may not be about to strangle if we have to spend another second with them. Everyone goes stir crazy eventually, and if hasn’t happened to yet…..it will. So here are some things that I have been doing to keep myself from climbing the walls!
Reading- You might be saying to yourself, “duh,” as this seems like a no- brainer given the fact that we are a literary website, BUT I’ve been reading, wait for it, outside. The great outdoors, god’s country, or, as it’s more commonly known, my back porch. I’m exploring the forest and becoming one with nature, from the comfort of our outdoor couch. The days have been nice here, even if the news hasn’t, and a cup of tea and a little escapist literature never hurt anyone. And if you ever find yourself a bit down and in your own head a bit of a sit or walk outside clears the head if you can manage it. If you are truly stuck inside trade bouts of reading with any kind of exercise – even walking in place!
What can be more calming during a time like this than gardening? (That is if your cat doesn't put his giant, hairy bottom on the tray of strawberry seeds you painstakingly sprouted in plastic bags and transferred to the growing material with tweezers! But I digress...) Today friend of the chickens, Kathy Melton, gives us tips for growing a garden from vegetable scraps.
Looking for signs of life during social distancing, I’ve started focusing on the small. Sometimes even the very tiny things around…well my house…because that’s where I am. I have some advice for Sacred Chicken’s readers based on my observations of table scraps. (Yes, you heard that right…keep reading!)
Take care of yourself so you can take care of your plants!
I’m sure every gardener has at some point pulled a muscle or strained something in the middle of a big project. I have reached that point in my gardening career, but it requires a bit of backstory. I decided in January, when everything was still normal, that my front garden needed expanding. So, I set about removing sod from the existing flower bed, expanding it from 1x10 to 4x 20. I also decided, in my infinite wisdom, to do it all in one day. Oh, and get this, it had rained the day previously, so it was mud. Yeah, I’m smart. So naturally, I was sore after, but I was experiencing pain that was worse than normal in my lower back. That’s when I started to worry because I know people with back problems and being injured is never any fun…but the biggest problem…it puts a real damper on gardening! Nevertheless, I got through it in about two days with plenty of Tylenol.
One of the many things that I don’t enjoy about living at school is that I have no opportunity to garden. There’s no garden bed to tend, no weeds to pull, and no flowers to enjoy. So, I started taking horticulture-based classes a few semesters ago, and that has saved my sanity, what little I had. At least I have something that I can do that’s related to plants.
We're just sharing a list of the seeds we bought today, but we thought the garden nuts out there might enjoy it! Don't ask us how much we spent!
Canary Bird Zinnia
Purple Prince Zinnia
Peppermint Sticks Balsam
Marbles Mixed Four O'Clocks
Moonflower Morning Glory
HYACINTH BEAN "MOONSHADOW"
Urizun Japanese Winged Bean
Bowling Red Okra
Sunset Runner Bean
Purple Lady Bok Choy
Takane Ruby Buckwheat
Rosa Bianca Eggplant
Welsh Bunching Onion
Glaskins Perpetual Rhubarb
Lincoln Garden Pea
Red Wing Lettuce Mix Salad Blend
Beni Kodama Watermelon
Korean 'Golden Jubilee'
Agastache- Navajo Sunset
Echinacea - Green Twister
Milkweed - Red or Swamp
Whenever we have a work meeting at Sacred Chickens, we always seem to end up wandering around some garden somewhere, even in the middle of the winter.
Jarad and I went to the Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical gardens because of course we did. First, any excuse to wander around a garden, and second, it sounded really cool. It did not disappoint. Magical tunnels of light, a singing, dancing forest, the floating lights of the Atlanta skyline and spiked cider. A perfect winter evening for a couple of garden nuts.
Maybe next year we'll invite you all!
A few years ago, I reviewed The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, which you can read here. I ended up reading it for class this semester, and my gardening senses started tingling when I read about all the plants in the book. I decided to write a paper about the herbs that the witches/healers used in the book, and horticulture's relation historically to witchcraft.
Witches and witchcraft permeate our culture. Every Halloween, without fail, congeries of witch hats flood the streets. There seems to be a cultural fascination with them, especially in recent years. However, witchcraft as a scholarly expedition is not new. Countless articles, journals and books have been written about them. The topics of incubi and succubi, demons, turning into animals, the devil and midnight joy rides on various cleaning apparatus are nearly to the point of being overdone. Well, maybe there’s room for more stories about traveling on appliances as technology advances. Who’s up for some stories about witches riding roombas?
How Julie Steals Garden Ideas from Her Neighbors…And You Can Too!
by Julie Carpenter
I moved into a new house in April. I have done a few things around the yard. I’ve dug up some flowering peaches that were, sadly, in the wrong place and planted a few low-growing radicans gardenias instead, underplanted with June bearing and ever bearing strawberries. I also threw some seeds in the ground, cleaned out some beds, removed some awkward brick circles filled with irises that won’t bloom due to lack of sun and being buried too deep, and pruned dead branches.
I know that a lot of people move in somewhere and immediately have big garden ideas. I’m not those people. I need time to see how I feel about the garden and how it feels about me. I like to take the time to see if it offers me any gifts. I wait for bulbs and perennials to show themselves, for shrubs I don’t recognize to bloom. My new place might have garden ideas of its own. I don’t make garden decisions quickly. I also need time to steal garden ideas from my neighbors, a practice I highly recommend.
Since it is fall, the gardening season is winding down. So, to distract himself, Jarad thought that he’d talk about other gardens he wants to go. Writers and gardening seem to go hand in hand, so many of his dream gardens are also the gardens of famous writers!
Babylonstoren- Located in Africa, dating back to 1692 and one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms, this is a place with a garden of about 8 acres that supplies several restaurants and a winery. It has fruit and vegetables, a healing garden and a spice garden. Overall, it’s a very beautiful and peaceful place. It also has a hotel, and I’m afraid if I were to go, I’d be gone for a very long time.
Beatrix Potter’s Garden- When you read Potter’s books, you may inevitably begin to wonder what her actual garden was like. I certainly have for a long time. Potter herself was a fascinating individual, an accomplished naturalist and mycologist. At the time of her death, she left behind 14 farms and 4,000 acres of land. Her home, Hill Top, is still available for touring.
I’m supposed to be blogging about autumn gardens, or creepy gardens, in honor of the month of October, but I’m having a hard time because instead I’m thinking about cemeteries. Which is weird, I know. But bear with me for a minute. Some of the most beautiful and moving gardens I’ve been in have been…cemeteries.
When we went to Paris, one of my favorite excursions was to Père Lachaise Cemetery, and it felt very much like an odd sort of garden, the dead planted like the trees with the moss growing on their stone house and roots tangling around them, finally and truly becoming part of nature. There was a light rain; crows were cawing above us in the trees. It was the perfect autumn garden, as sleepy and comforting and sorrowful as the smell of the leaf mold on moss as the trees drop their foliage. Old cemeteries where ivy and moss crawl up the mausoleums and tombstones, eating the sharp edges of memory, those with trees and shrubs, seem perfectly right to me for fall. They have the serenity of a garden, coupled with the restfulness of boundary, an end in sight.