Welcome to my first post of this new journal. Every year (well, almost every year), I embark on a journey to grow food, herbs, magical plants and other interesting things in my backyard garden. I’m not really a good gardener, or even an incredibly serious one at that (in that I don’t obssess). I don’t spend hours after work lamenting over my plants either. Usually I just plant stuff, go outside, water and fertilize it, and if it grows – great! If not, eh, it’s not a huge thing. I do it because I enjoy it, not because it’s a marathon.

In more recent years I’ve found I really love growing tomatoes (I’ve had some awesome crops), and I’m also into herbs, magickal plants, and peppers. They’re my favorite of all the things I grow. I also do beans and peas usually. Sometimes squash. Each year the harvest is different. Each year I have this new-found ambition for a garden and sometimes that ambition wanes as the year goes on.

This year I’m doing a few interesting things. First things first – the 13th of this month I started growing 7 basil plants in the aerogarden. These will remain in the aerogarden until the second week of April, at which time I’ll take them out – transplant them to pots, and then start my garden seedlings (heirloom tomatoes and peppers and possibly some peas and green beans). The garden seedlings will be removed from the aerogarden after being hardened off, and transplanted to large outdoor pots the first weekend after Mother’s Day. All other seeds being sown directly into the pots will then be planted as well. Into the Aerogarden after that will go the cherry tomatoes and some peppers.

In addition to the large planters of food crops (I love vegetable gardening in pots!)  I have every intention of growing a unique interest garden this year (this year’s theme is poisonous magickal plants, plus I wanted to grow more of what I use in my magick). One that supports my interests in magickal plants and plants of botanical (and alchemical) interest to me. These plants include:

  • Mandragora officinarum – White mandrake
  • Atropa belladonna – Deadly nightshade
  • Solanum nigrum – Black nightshade
  • Artemisia absinthium – Wormwood
  • Acorus calamus – Calamus root
  • Melissa officinalis – Lemon Balm (I had a really nice plant up until the backyard deck project. After wood was stacked on it, well…. time to start over.
  • Cupressus sempervirens v. stricta – Italian cypress

I say again – I am doing all of this in pots. It’s important to understand that at the moment my backyard is in a state of flux. Pots, at the moment, are the best choice for me. I don’t want plants in the ground to be trampled during backyard construction, hence I’m not putting anything important in the ground. Not to mention my husband will mow down anything that looks weed-like and he dumped all my planters of soil last year, some of which had some really cool bulbs in them. ::sigh::. He’s also poured cooking grease over my flowers (needed to dump it somewhere and thought the garden was the perfect place) and has mowed down my babies breath and ivy with the weed whacker. ::shrug:: So while pots are mostly safe from him, nothing in the ground is. In his defense our backyard is such a crap-fest that everything looks like it needs to be mowed down. ::laughs::  I am not a gardener who tries to obsessively control nature.

In that spirit, he and I have talked about me graduating from my four-shelf  “greenhouse” to a small home-made pvc and poly sheeting greenhouse. For experimentation, of course (and extending the growing season for my lovely tomatoes!). This would also let my husband know what was good and what was bad so he wouldn’t toss pots with bulbs in them. I’m reading up on greenhouse gardening now. We’ll see — whether or not I get the homemade greenhouse is going to depend on DH and if he feels he can manage it (with my assistance, of course).

Anyway, this journal will likely only be active from February to October and it will depend how ambitious I am year to year. I’ve actually taken the past few years off just because we were busy with building the deck.

About Steph

Steph is an award winning and bestselling author of thrilling steamy and paranormal romances, dark urban fantasy, occult horror-thrillers, cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, sword and sorcery fantasy, and books about the esoteric and Daemonolatry. A Daemonolatress and forever a resident of Smelt Isle, she is happily married and cat-mom to three pampered house cats. Her muse is a demanding sadistic Dom who often keeps her up into the wee hours of the morning. You can contact her at swordarkeereon@gmail.com

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