The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Some early spring gardening tips from a New England Witch

Happy Sunday,

What a nice Sunday afternoon I've had.   Relaxing and taking time to enjoy the day, the sunshine and the birds singing outside my window.  Recently I've been asked many questions regarding our natural world and springtime in New England. A few questions specifically regarding the early spring plants starting to burst forth and how they will fare with a snowfall or two.

Right now, daffodils are about 3-4 inches high, and even with a good amount of snow on top of them, they will be fine.  They are actually cool weather crops, like peas and lettuce and unless they are in full bloom, they will be fine, and most will handsomely survive a snowfall or two.  These plants are planted in the fall and stay in the ground year round, so they know the weather better than we do, I am always reassured of this,  this time of year.

Over the years I have planted literaly thousands of flower bulbs in the ground in the fall.  One year I planted crocuses in a huge pentagram design in my front lawn!  Unfortunately I didn't plant them in large enough numbers, so even though they still bravely come up and are out there even as I write this, only I am able to see and appreciate the symbol in which they were planted. Trying to reinforce the design in the fall, when crocuses should be planted is difficult at best as there is no sign of the crocus after its done blooming, as the crocus's leaves brown and die away by the beginning of summer.  I could attempt to plant them now, but alas its difficult to impossible to purchase crocus bulbs now!  Toadstools and salamanders, the dilemmas a witch can find herself in!

Mother Nature is amazing in her wisdom and many times, humans tend to fight her, rather than coming at a situation with understanding and patience.

For instance did you know that if you plant a flower bulb, like tulips or daffodils upside down or at the wrong level that over time, it will right itself and readjust to the proper level? Brilliant! It's all about survival. The small flower bulb wants to survive as much as we do, or any animal like deer for instance.  Many people complain about wild life eating their flowers and crops.  They truly don't do this to tick you off, but as a matter of survival. Yes, well, this can be bothersome but there are ways to naturally and gently co-habitat with nature  and her wild life.

For deer, these beautiful, gentle majestic beasts that have only gentleness, fear and hunger within them, so they will and can jump as high as 10 feet to clear a fence, if food is on the other side.  So, if this applies to you, have your fence and place deer trough feeders on the deer side of the fence and keep them filled.  Yes, that will be a financial commitment, but at this point in our history on earth, I think we owe a debt to our fellow animals who try to reside with us, while we continue to crowd them out then cop an attitude because they're hungry and need food to survive, and dare to destroy our flower beds in an effort to do this.  Oh my, if I could be so fortunate as to be able to see deer every morning at a feeder, I would buy feed by the truck load and just consider them bigger pets.  Many people love horses and spend money to care for and house them, so I guess it just comes down to a sense of perspective.

I grew up in the country, on a diary farm surrounded by thousands of acres, which consisted of fields, ponds, streams, forests and orchards.  Many times we would see deer and other wild life on the lawns of the property.  Now, I live in a cute little suburban neighborhood, which I absolutely adore!! I am  fortunate to have a small strip of woods behind my witches cottage and though it boasts of rabbits, possum, woodchucks and the occasional sassy skunk,  it is not large enough to sustain deer, and it has never attracted deer to this area. 

I am all for pretty flower beds, I have many myself,  but not at the expense of an animal suffering hunger pains.  I know people who will spend literally thousands of dollars on the care and upkeep of a domesticated cat or dog, but then complain about the deer that grace their property.  Many want beautiful birds to enjoy at their feeders but resent the furry, inquisitive squirrel who co-resides in the same trees as the birds, and eats at the same feeders.  I was entertained and delighted this entire winter watching the big, black eyed squirrels become brave enough to come to the feeders which were just a few feet from my kitchen window and they watched me with as much curiosity as I watched them.  Just thinking of them, high in the treetops in their nests during the freezing cold, the bitter snows, ice and rain made me more generous with the bread and seed I put out. 

We don't and should not have the luxury of picking and choosing the nature we wish to surround ourselves with, not if we wish to live a green existence. Spraying chemicals, placing poisons, or traps or otherwise trying to control nature is an exercise in futility.  I will concede that at times its necessary for the security of a building or the safety of an animal around electrical wiring and other human created hazards for an animal to be safely trapped and relocated to a more urban environment. This is much better than trying to kill something that just wants to live, and didn't receive the eviction notice as us humans moved in and took over.

Its not always easy living with nature, but its far more important that we try than to control, dominate and destroy nature. 

 Did you know that poison ivy will only grow on land that has been at one time, manipulated by mankind. It won't grow in virgin, untouched places.  It is a warrior plant and grows in defense and  protecton of places already laid waste by human negligence and lack of care.  The more love and care we give to an area, the less likely poison ivy will even take root.  When touched with this wicked plant and suffering the pains of its sting, we are reminded that nature has tried to come up with ways to prevent us from doing even  more damage.  Makes me wonder if we are evolving, or is the earth evolving to survive with us inhabiting her?

      The woodlot behind my home.  Its small but sustains all sorts of wildlife.

If you live in such a place that you don't enjoy a yard, woodlot, or wild area you can start one by container gardening and flower boxes.  This time of year you can plat peas and lettuce.  Start these boxes indoors if you wish and move them outside for a few hours every day and back in again at night. By the beginning to middle of May they can then stay outside all the time.  You can sow the seeds directly in pots and containers outdoors and keep them out, just be aware of potential freezes where they will need to be covered up.  One needs to be aware of the weather on a daily and at times a few times a day basis when working closely with nature.

Now is a great time to walk outside to see what surprises nature has in store for you.  What's turning green, bursting through the earth and while you're noticing, notice that winter has almost slipped away and rejoice in the spring, that we can now feel and appreciate. 

Peace and Happiness 

© 2010 - 2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. 

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  1. Speaking of nature, I wanted to thank you for talking about moving bird feeders to where you could see them better and making a feeding station. I used an old piece of plywood as a base and moved all the feeders up onto the deck before the snows hit.If I hadn't, I never would have made it to the treeline to fill them! The birds thank you as well! :)

  2. Thanks so much CabynFevr for your kind words. Its so nice to hear when some of my concepts work for others, and I'm so glad your birds enjoy the tips as well!!