Monday, July 18, 2016

rewilding ourselves

There has been talk over at Spirit Cloth about stitching secret gardens and such -- a tiny woven piece from over a year ago is already growing into a secret garden with a butterfly and some flowers.

I love my birthday cards -- one girl always paints me wearing my crescent moon necklace. 

I'm starting to collect a small amount of surplus seeds to package in origami seed packets. First up is beautiful nigella, Nigella damascena, next will be larkspur. Aren't the nigella seed capsules wonderful?

Nearly speechless over the passion flower, Passiflora caerulea.....ten petals, dozens of radial filaments with five anthers and three stigmas....I have tried to grow passion flower before but this is a first.

In order for our honeybees to become mite-resistant which is a huge problem for colonies everywhere, I'm giving up control. Weeds, vegetables, flowers and bushes all get to bloom and go to seed. Mint gets to grow wherever it wants and thyme, borage and oregano can follow along. I am not making any more white-sugar syrup to feed the bees and have removed most of the man-made foundation frames from inside the hive. Instead of using plastic chemical-laden "honeycomb" cells, they are drawing their own beeswax foundation in which to lay eggs and store food. The tiny hexagonal wax cells they draw on their own will be the size they need and not what the honey industry wants them to be. Mites don't like the smaller cells. Mites don't like peppermint or thyme. Mites don't like bees that have rewilded themselves into smaller, tamer bodies. 

That is the plan -- we are rewilding ourselves here.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

the sacred in the ordinary

At the beginning of this turn of the wheel, I pledged to find the sacred in the ordinary. Now at Midsummer I realize that it's all right here in my own backyard...the sacred in the ordinary.

The birds love angelica seeds, I love the solitary hollyhock.

Maximilian sunflowers and St. Theresa grapes both do well here in Colorado. In case you didn't know, Maximilian sunflower roots form a thick barrier to block invading species.

I like the perfectly fringed petals of an elecampagne, Inula helenium, flower. Elecampagne roots are a source of blue dye and a respiratory medicine but I don't think I'll have the heart to dig them up for either purpose.

Looking up -- this is a pinon pine tree that we thought was a lost cause many years ago but she endures. The flicker house has been home to birds and squirrels, there is a family of blue jays hanging around it right now but I've never heard of blue jays using a birdhouse so it might just be coincidence.

The nettle patch has been sparse for some reason although this grandmother plant is over 7' tall. I decided to help the family recover by not harvesting any leaves -- look at all her seeds.

A new bee-house -- each tube can be home to a solitary bee and her offspring. About 85% of all bees are solitary bees, wonderful pollinators who often go unnoticed because of their small size.

Birth of a sunflower blossom.

The garden is vibrant and lush, a flurry of activity with butterflies and bees and when things begin to go to seed more, the birds will join in as well. Lush is not so easy to come by here in Colorado, being inlanders the landscape can dry up quickly into varying shades of brown and tan. I think we are considered to have a high desert climate based on altitude and rainfall. Alongside the Buddha garden is a patch of grass already going dormant for the hot months.

Today I made a list of most of the plants I started from seed for this growing season, leaving room for additional notes -- a minimalist version of a garden journal.

A little 3" x 4" Solstice book cloth was woven, stitched and fringed. As I sewed I thought about planting more trees, bushes and plants and which ones and where. I thought about attracting more birds and how birdsong stimulates growth and makes the trees, bushes and plants happy. And I thought about naming this space I am so lucky to tend. All of this is in the works.

Blessings of the garden to you. xxxx