The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Friday, June 24, 2011

How is your garden doing so far?

 Good Afternoon,

I wanted to give you an update of what's been happening in my garden of late.  I HAVE HUMMINGBIRDS!! Yeah!  This year I made my own hummingbird nectar and it's working!  We saw a big, green and blue hummingbird just a day or so ago.  The seemingly constant rain has put a damper on many peoples plans for outdoor activity, but our gardens and lawns are so happy with it.  It also saves us from having to water everyday, sometimes twice a day!  This rain will give our gardens and the annuals planted this year a nice start and a deep root system, making them better able to withstand the hot, dry weather we're sure to be experiencing before too long.


This is how you make hummingbird nectar. It's really easy, inexpensive and they really love it!  The formula is one part sugar to four parts water, and a few drops red food coloring.

1 cup sugar
4 cups water
place on the stove and heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. It does not have to simmer or come to a boil. Once the sugar is dissolved remove from the heat and allow to cool. Add a few drops of red food coloring, this color attracts the hummingbirds. Put nectar in hummingbird feeder, these do have to be purchased as it's a special design that the hummingbirds seem attracted to. Remaining nectar does need to be refrigerated and this is important!!  Replace the nectar and thoroughly clean out the feeder every three or four days!! If you don't the hummingbirds could catch illness from mold and other contaminants in the nectar and then your hummingbirds will be no more. 


I have butterfly weed self sowing along my drive and it's different from the butterfly bush that you may know. Butterfly weed is a plant that grows only about 2 feet high and has nice orange heads.  Butterfly bushes, I have a few, aren't doing too well this year. I haven't checked into the whys of this as I've been so busy making sure everything else is happening, but I'm planning on dosing mine with some fertilizer and we'll see if that gives them a much needed jump in growth. 

 Butterfly Weed 
 Butterfly Bush

The St John's Wort is cut down, having been harvested at the Solstice when it was at its peak, and I've also harvested some holly as the bush needed a good trimming.

I'm trying to grow one of those upside down tomatoes in a special holder. ? We'll see. So far I'm not impressed, as I am a bit old fashioned and think plants should grow as nature intended, but it was a gift and so an experiment to see how well an upside down plant does grow.  I suspect it would do well if it was tended to daily or multiple times a day, but this witch does not have the time for such hand holding. 

Take note, it's almost the end of the time when you can purchase annuals from your local nursery, and many are offering specials like buy one get one free.  Just be sure to remove a third to half of the root ball of small potted plants in the little six packs as they are sure to be pretty root bound by this time. Use your fingers to spread the roots apart to give them a chance to absorb water and nutrients when planted. Leaving them exactly as they are right out of the six pack will only succeed in their dying a slow, starving death in a month or so.  Also, if you remove part of the root system, be sure to trim the top of the plant, even to the extent of of cutting off the blossoms. This will give the tiny plant a better chance of survival and it will put off new flowers before you know it.

Make extra sure you check your yard this time of year for hidden, standing water. Turn over or eliminate anything that can hold water, especially with all of this rain we're experiencing in the south of New England, as these water catches are perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.  Many have heard of West Nile Virus, a nasty disease spread by mosquitoes, but they also carry malaria, encephalitis, and a host of other illnesses you just don't need!  I had a water garden without a pump system, and I found the mosquito dunks placed in them to kill the mosquitoes are harmful to cats, dogs or any other animal that might wander by and take a drink. I have possums, woodchucks and the occasional skunk that has gone through the yard looking for a drink or something to eat. I find it safer for all to not provide any additional food for them, and certainly not any poisoned water.

So what's happening in your garden? Remember to take a moment to sit out in it and just observe and enjoy! 



Please check out my newest blog The Life and Recipes of a Medieval Cook @ http://thelifeandrecipesofamedievalcook.blogspot.com 

© 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 www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. 

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