View from the deck on a glorious morning in early June.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Garden Lessons painstakingly learned: Being Shiva and dealing with Coyote spirits.

There are some garden lessons I have finally, painstakingly, learned.

The first one is this:

Respect Shiva the destroyer as an aspect of Creation.

Plant and tend only the best and compost the rest. The garden is NOT the place to nurture runts. Less is More.
One huge carrot will yield more than ten overcrowded 
stunted roots. Thin, thin, and thin again, ruthlessly. Cauliflower for instance needs the right weather and high fertility, or else. It can take up a huge amount of precious space and not yield more than a few tablespoons worth of curd. Rip it out at the first sign of wimpiness.

When you go out into the garden, decide which hat you will wear: herbalist or gardener? There is a time for both. Decide on one, lest you become paralyzed by indecision and your garden entirely covered by weeds, healing or not.

Dandelion, Chickweed, Plantain, Purslane, Shepherd's Purse, Burdock, Mullein, Yellow Dock, Horsetail, Sheep's Sorrel:
they are Coyote spirits.

Yes, they are wonderful healers. I am glad to see them. But keep this in mind: They deserve respect, but do not need protection. They are quite able to look after themselves, thank you very much. They will gleefully trick you and take over if you let them.

In the past I have fallen for the plant equivalent of beseeching brown eyes. A friend mentioned how she had been anemic till she took tincture of Yellow Dock. In her words:"I can feel it building me up." So I let one or two plants go to seed. Good grief. I can practically feel that plant smirk several years later whenever I dig up one of its enormous roots.

Sheep Sorrel may have been one of the main components of Renee Caisse's cancer healing formula, that still doesn't mean I want it taking over my new tomato bed. And so on.

So today, dear chickweed, I am visiting you as the gardener.
I will take a few of your luscious leaves to add to the salad, but the rest of you will be tossed on the compost pile. Look for me in two weeks at the new Moon, when I will don the herbalist hat and make some of you into a tincture.

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