Vegetables

In the Garden: September 2019

September Gardening Tips

As very much a novice gardener, I often find myself trawling the web trying to find out what I should be doing in the garden each month in a language I understand! There’s a lot of terminology to learn with gardening I’m discovering, to be able to make the most of the vast amount of information out there.

One of my favourites is the RHS website (link below) which has a ton of articles for all abilities, including monthly tips for how to keep the garden looking grand all year round if you’re based here in the UK. If you’re a beginner too, this might be an excellent place to start:

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/in-month/september

It’s definitely given me plenty of ideas to be getting on with – September seems an especially busy month! Here’s what I plan to get on with starting tomorrow and throughout the rest of the month:

Harvesting

Time to reap the rewards of the last few months by harvesting any ripened fruit or veg from the garden. In my case, having only moved into our home last year, I haven’t done that much with the garden this year other than to maintain it. We are still lucky enough to have already had strawberries yield fruit earlier in the year and now raspberries and blackberries to pick too so this is where I plan to start!

Give the Garden One Last Good Once Over

We had a crazy amount of wet weather throughout most of August here in Manchester so the lawn is well overdue a good trim. There’s also plenty of plants to be pruned/deadheaded or divided. If you have a pond then this would be a good time to have it netted to avoid it becoming clogged with leaves and other debris. Get the kids involved on an “autumnal treasure-hunt” to gather materials to use in an art and crafts session. My youngest did a great job of starting us off today:

Autumn leaves, plants, berries, feather
Our hoard from our Autumnal Treasure Hunt today

Rainy Day Jobs

Rainy days are the perfect days to get into greenhouses, sheds, garages and summerhouses to get them winter-ready too. Get all your gardening gear, cleaned, tidied and put away, including any used pots, to avoid unwanted pests and to keep equipment at its best. We don’t yet have a greenhouse (though it’s on the wish list!) but do have a garage and summerhouse that could do with a bit of TLC before winter arrives, so next rainy day they’ll be all tidy and sparkling clean.

Up Your Eco-Warrior Game

As I’ve become more interested in gardening, one of the many positive effects of this has been a greater desire to be more eco-friendly. We already have a fair amount of animal garden visitors including birds and squirrels so my husband does a fantastic job of keeping our bird-feeder well stocked but this might be something you decide to invest in if you don’t have one already. Starting a compost now is also perfect with all the autumn leaves about to start falling. At the very least, if your local authority provides a “composting bin” for food and gardening waste, make sure you’re using it. Water butts are also an excellent investment now and something I’m adding to the wish-list!

Start Planning Next Year’s Garden

Start taking accurate measurements and notes now on how your garden currently is and think about how you would like to improve it. Maybe you’d like a herb garden next year or a vegetable patch. This is the time to start thinking about what it is you would like to see growing in your garden next year and planning for how you can achieve this. This is one of the rookie mistakes I made when I first got interested in gardening. At the start of Spring, I’d get terribly excited about the garden and then realise I probably should have started in the previous autumn. There are loads of great gardening apps and tools out there to help with this so if you’re interested, try a Google search on “garden plan” and you’ll be spoilt for choice!

What about you – what will you be doing in these last few warm days of September in the garden?

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Nature Health Herbs From The Meadow Natural Medicine

The Magick of Herbs: The A’s

The Magick of Herbs

The A’s

As I start upon my path of learning about various herbs and plants and their different properties, uses and associations, I thought it may be of use to others to jot down my findings, as honestly, up until recently, I found the topic so vast, I was at a loss as to where to start.

Where to Start?

I thought a nice introduction to the topic would be to order a “Witch Starter Kit” via Amazon last week and honestly whilst it may not be for everyone, I’ve been delighted with it. It came with numerous exciting packets, all neatly labelled with some names I recognised and others I’d never heard of, with a helpful list of potential uses – all for the bargain price of £15.00!

I should say that many herbs can be found in supermarkets, garden centres and kitchen cupboards or grown at home, so it is not at all necessary to invest in a starter kit like this – unless you want to of course!

Get to Know What You’re Working With

Before using any of these herbs, I thought it sensible to begin my own glossary of each and therefore my list of magickal herbs is limited at this time solely to the ones that came with my kit and some everyday herbs I grow in my kitchen and garden that I intend to add to my purchased kit.

This glossary, therefore, is to be a basic A-Z guide to begin with which, in time and with better knowledge and understanding, I intend to add to. The glossary is alphabetical rather than set out in terms of importance and/or relevance. I will include any related histories or philosophies that I come across that I believe are important for context, but for those more experienced in these arts, I’d be grateful for patience and tolerance with any errors, although more than happy to be corrected!

All that being said, on with the A’s….

Agnus Castus.

Agnus Castus

Use half to one teaspoon in herbal teas once ground down and strained mainly for “female” based issues such as PMS, menstruation and menopause.

Agrimony

Agrimony

Best used in protection and reversal magick in an uncrossing bath, a floor wash, worn or carried as psychic armour, in purifying incense or satches. Works well with Frankincense and with white candles. Also good to banish bad dreams in a dream/comfort pillow.

Alder Cones

Alder Cones

Alder has strong associations as a portal to the fairy realm, it being considered bad luck to cut down such a tree. Good to use its cones in divination or carried for protection or to soothe anxiety/nerves.

Alfalfa

Alfalfa

Known for bringing prosperity, health, wealth and abundance, alfalfa is good for gamblers or for inducing generosity from others. Can be used in money spells by sprinkling at the bottom of a green candle or carried in sachets. Placing in a jar in your kitchen is said to ensure you always have enough food, whilst carrying a little in your wallet helps you to hold onto the last of your cash. It can also be added to salads/used in herbal teas.

Arrow Root

Arrow Root

Another herb considered lucky for gambling! Before placing a bet, dust hands in the powder or coat lottery/prize tickets in a light dusting of arrow root and place under a green candle (already sprinkled with alfalfa – see previous herb) before lighting candle and burning just a little each day until the winner is announced.

Ash Keys

Ash Keys

Ash keys are said to unlock the doors to wisdom and knowledge so you may wish to use them in divination. They are also said to be protective so in spell-work can keep out negative energies or entities. Carry an even number of them in a sachet for good luck. Place in a dream/comfort pillow in even number to induce prophetic dreams and visions.

Avens

Avens (Wood)

Used in spells of love and protection as well as a purifier and in exorcisms – being in love can sometimes feel as though we are possessed! Useful in spell-work to keep out/purge negative energies/entities. Can be used as a cleanser in a relationship turned sour.

Next week, we will continue with our A-Z guide to herbs and their magickal uses as we proceed with the B’s….

As with any remedy or medicine, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before beginning to work with any herbs listed.