The Summer Garden
There has been some drama in the summer garden consisting of the near death of the henbane plants, the death and astonishing rebirth of the potatoes, mysterious baby tomato plants growing beneath the fennel, the decline of the bittersweet nightshade and the rise of the black… The main downside of a container garden on a hot sunny terrace is that containers require a lot of water and I can’t just hose them or sprinkle them as there is no water hose near my terrace. So I water them with a one gallon watering can at dusk and if it was a really hot day I mist the leaves at night with a spray bottle. The plants still get sunburned due to almost 12 hours of sunlight, so I’m thinking of building an awning for shade next year to protect the more delicate plants and trees.
The Elder root cutting finally burst to life with more and more new branches. It’s becoming prolific and gaining size fast! Maybe it will produce berries sooner than I’d hoped! I’ve always wanted to make a cough syrup and of course mead with Elderberries. My Daturas are also prolific – they won’t stop blooming! I’ve heard some people have trouble getting theirs to bloom, but mine seems to be quite happy. It’s even producing a few large spikey fruits I’ll be able to harvest seeds from.
I already harvested a large amount of my catnip so I let the rest to flower and I’m so glad I did because it turns out wild bumble and honey bees love catnip flowers. It is so enchanting to step onto my sunny terrace with my morning tea to the sight and sound of little bees buzzing around my garden. One morning I even found a dead wild honey bee underneath the henbane right next to a dead white spider. I considered them a gift and preserved them both for magic. My container garden is turning into a mini ecosystem for the first time thank to the variety of plants. The aphids eat my plants and the lady bugs and spiders eat the aphids. There are even bugs in the soil now – it’s a good thing! Next year I will grow more food plants now that I know I can rely on pollinators and I will also introduce more trees to attract birds.
I love Stargazers, they are one of my favourite lilies from back when I worked at a florist. The scent is so lady like and feminine. I never thought I could grow them, but a friend gave me a potted lily last year and not knowing what to do with it after the blooms died, I planted it. It took me by surprise to see those huge pink flowers in my garden one morning as I had forgotten it was a Stargazer! My Devil’s Club is also doing surprisingly well considering they hate to be transplanted and handled by humans. It was a gift from my apprentice and her witchy boyfriend. It’s still in the container they brought it in as I’m waiting for the weather to cool before transplanting it to the garden at the front of the house so the change doesn’t shock it. To have Devil’s Club at my front door and not have to trek deep in the mountains to visit it is certainly something! What witch can resist a plant also called the Devil’s Walking Stick?