The Gardens in May

We have had some really unusual weather here this month. A heavy frost of 24 degrees this week was a particularly extreme (and for a gardener an unfortunate) moment. In the aftermath of this frost, the beech trees in the surrounding hills turned brown as did the young leaves on many of our spring blossoming shrubs. Out in the vegetable garden, the baby radishes, beets and collards bit the dust and had to be reseeded. The perennial gardens looked almost as if they were melted by this cold, but in the past few days, most plants have picked themselves up and begun to regrow. The abundant Lemon Balm had made an impressive and gorgeous ground cover under many Roses. I was quite chuffed by how well it all looked. Now it has bravely picked up its tattered, brown and frizzled leaves to try and regroup.

Even with this frost, the gardens are still filled with lovely and thriving Flower friends- many of whom are Flower Essences we lean on every day.

Bleeding Heart is granddaughter Grace’s favorite Flower. I remember feeling the same way when I was ten. There is something so compelling about its shape. Of course it is a vital ingredient in our Grief & Loss mix, offering much support for a broken heart and all the sorrows of life. (Bleeding Heart can also be purchased separately as its on our Additional Flower Essence list)

Leopard’s Bane is a key ingredient in Golden Armor, our beloved Essence for the protection of our energy field. Most of Leopard’s Bane’s Flowers survived the frost, but I was still glad I had made our year’s supply of the Flower Essence before the frost. Again it can be purchased separately too as its on our Additional Flower Essence list)

Today I made Lilac Flower Essence. I went around the entire property collecting Lilac Flowers from all the different varieties of Lilac we have here- a good two dozen varieties. The Lilacs in this photo are from Siberia. Lilac has such an immense restorative and strengthening energy. I love the feeling of this photo which conveys both the majesty of this Flower and also its mystical qualities. Long live Lilacs!

The Apple and Crab Apple trees are done blooming, but only just. We don’t yet know if the frost will mean no apples this year. I love the cleansing quality of Crab Apple Flower Essence. Many spring Flowers including Crab Apple have such a strong cleansing and restorative energy. They make me think of Hercules cleaning the Aegean stables.

Celandine is a Wildflower, but it thinks it should be part of every Flower/Herb/Vegetable bed at the farm. Actually that is not entirely true. I was weeding out copious amounts of Celandine in the Roses yesterday and paused to consider whether I should just let Celandine bloom unimpeded. Celandine had the grace to tell me to keep weeding as if I let it go there it would take over. So yes, sometimes Celandine demonstrates restraint. It’s a Flower Essence about cell to cell communication, and somehow I felt that it was respecting the harmony of all the parts of the garden by telling me to keep weeding.

Today the first Tree Peony opened. Tree Peony is a show stopper. This first Flower’s petals look a bit wonky from the frost but still radiant. By the time I noticed this blossom the honeybees had already found it and were busy enjoying the bliss of its abundant pollen.

I hope your May is going swimmingly and that you find many moments of peace and beauty. All of us here send you much love.

The Unique Month of May

The month of May can be both bliss for the gardener and a nightmare challenge. To say May is a busy month is an understatement. To bring this point home let me just say that I think of April as a preparation for May. If it is snowing and the ground is still frozen in April, I hack through the dirt to plant peas because I KNOW there just won’t be time in May.

When I was young, a hoary old lady gardener with a mustache told me to never ask any questions at a plant nursery in May. This stuck with me as did the concern that I too would have a mustache in my eighties. Not only do I not ask any other gardeners questions in May, I don’t have any answers to offer in May. I barely have any thoughts. I am just a fast moving basket of tools trotting from task to task with a list in my head which the Angels and Elementals constantly edit.

Thank goodness my Angelic and Elemental support team is not in overworked bodies like the folks at plant nurseries. Unhampered by physical constraints, they can take all my questions in May. And a good thing too, as May is entirely about me asking them questions.

This morning for example. Mild mannered Jim asked me what I was going to do today. It was a gentle question meant to engage us in gentle breakfast banter. Instead it lit up my brain like pinball machine. Would I prune more Roses ? Or mulch them? Or fertilize those Roses that haven’t gotten their compost and amendments yet? Or would I mulch the asparagus? Or the blueberries? Or fix that pesky leak in the Sacred Feminine pond (again)? Or would it be weeding? Were the weeds in the herb garden or the perennial beds or the vegetable garden or any garden on the property calling my name this morning? Or would there be time to deadhead the Daffodils? My pea brain exploded with possibilities to the point of meltdown. How to even pluck a possible job from the barrel of tasks in order to give Jim a civil friendly response? I was flummoxed.

So I croaked out a random answer. “The raspberries. I’m weeding the second row of raspberries this morning.”

Is this likely to be what I do? Doubtful as 100% NO. What will actually happen is I will water all the seedlings in the hoop house and greenhouse, and then my upstairs crew will alert me that something much more urgent timely than crabgrass in the raspberries has cropped up. I will then be off to do the first task on their rota.

All my marching orders come from the Angels and Elementals, and thank God for that. They actually know the weather conditions ahead and which plants and gardens need care the most. Once they give me my first assignment for the day, I will enjoy a dizzying day of bouncing from task to task as chosen by them. I do love it that as I get older, they adamantly include the task of rest. Apparently sometimes I am the Flower in the garden most in need of water and a weed job.

May is a month in which my mind could go into a crazed state, but with the help of the Angels and Elementals, it becomes a month in which I just go mindlessly from task to task and leave all the deciding and agonizing to my upstairs staff.

This leaves me free to glory in the beautiful May. Every glance up from weeding or watering or pruning is sensational. So many old Flower friends are there to savor as they spring back to life after our long winter. I love how these old friends move around the garden and have a life (and mind) of their own. They often are NOT where I planted them but have launched themselves into surprise places where they thrive. I love that. This place is a big four decade conversation in which all my plans for the gardens get tossed by the plants and my dear friends the Angels and Elementals. And because of this, the gardens are much more amazing than anything I could have ever imagined. I love this.