The Language of Plants Feed

How to Save Your Seeds

Although it may seem a simple enough task, to be effective a little planning, preparation and commitment is needed to save seeds from your garden. You can just shake, squeeze, and scrape those plants and collect all the seeds, but to ensure they have the best chance of being viable (being about to sprout), and will grow you a healthy, strong crop next time around, I’ve gathered a few tips and tricks for you to follow.
Seeds 2
Seeds are the embryonic stage of a plant, created after fertilisation and there are many reasons to collect your own. Firstly, money! While a packet of seeds may only be a few dollars, that adds up over a garden. By saving seeds you get plants for nothing and while you will never be able to plant all the seeds collected, you may consider selling them or their seedlings, swapping or giving them away. Your local community gardens will thank you too as many are now setting up Seed Libraries as a central point for swapping seeds to preserve varieties of the more successful crops or endangered plants in an area.

Commercial seed producers focus on what is standard and popular. This is not because they are being picky, it’s just a matter of logistics. No one company, or even bunch of companies, could ever be able to satisfy everyone’s seed desires. By saving your own seeds you are adding to the diversity of plant types available and keeping alive a genetic legacy. One great Aussie institution that was founded on this principle is The Diggers Club. Created in 1978 by Clive and Penny Blazey to stop the disappearance of many plants including heirlooms and to have them available to the public. Members not only benefit from being able to purchase seeds but many assist in the preservation of seeds as well. diggers.com.au

Other reasons to save seeds include the opportunity to preserve the genetic material of the cream of your crop and because you need to let plants fully mature to collect their seeds, you will be helping our bee population but providing more flowers in the environment. My favourite reason is the opportunity to keep my personal garden legacy alive for my friends, family and to take that into the future. Being able to replant and even share the seeds of the plants I have loved, along with their memories is a beautiful thing and yet nothing new. The Ancient Egyptians believed that by telling a plant your hopes, dreams and plans that they would carry on through the eons long after you yourself had departed the earth. So, let’s get started saving those seeds for the future!

Seed Saving Planning
A possible problem with ducking out to the garden right now and collecting seeds is that they may be hybrids. Some may be hybrids that you have planted, and these won’t always produce the same plant from their seed. Also, pollinators, e.g., bees, have hopped from flower to flower in your garden and crossbreeding has occurred. While this can be exciting as it is how new varieties have been found in the past, if you are after a plant that is a true offspring of your original then you will need to ensure it is ‘open-pollinated’. Some plants self-pollinate like lettuce, tomatoes, beans, and peas and are considered open pollinated, but others can be protected by planting with space or barriers between varieties or by pollinating by hand. You also need to plant more than a few of each type to ensure genetic strength and health of your seeds. While planning be prepared for those crops that take more than one season to start producing seeds. All this in mind, there is nothing wrong with collecting the seeds you have now and giving it a go, especially if you only have one type of each plant growing in your garden.

Seed Collection Process
There are two types of seeds: wet fruited or dry fruited and they need to be harvested differently. You need to wait until the fruits of wet fruited seeds fully mature for many plants and this will mean past what is the edible stage. To do this, just leave a few of these fruits (this includes what we know as vegetables too i.e., cucumbers and eggplants) growing until they are just at the end of their life before harvesting. Seeds will need to be obtained by cutting open the fruit and then washed and sometimes soaked to remove all traces of the fruit and then dried. Seeds from dry fruited plants can be collected as soon as you notice that the seeds are hard and if they are contained within a seed pod, removed from it. Then both wet and dry fruited seeds need to be dried out. This can be done by spreading out seeds onto very fine mesh screens, filter papers or waxed papers, indoors in a cool, dry place. While they should not be touching, you will need to move them around every few days. Leave for 2 - 3 weeks. Another more modern method involves using silica gel. Easily available online, place a layer of silica gel into an airtight flat container and then cover with fine mesh. Place seeds upon the mesh, spreading out as much as possible. Place lid onto container and leave in a cool, dry place. This method takes between a week to two weeks depending on seed size. Dry fruited seeds can also be collected and dried in one easy step. Place the stem of a mature flower or flower head into a brown paper bag, head down. I clip these bags onto a line in my garage, but you can also lay the bags down if it is in a cool, dry, and dark place. Give the bags a shake every few days to release seeds. Once seeds have all fallen into the bag, remove stem, keep top open and leave in there for a few more weeks, still shaking occasionally.

Seed Storage
The longevity of seeds depends on many factors and while it is true that there have been viable seeds found hanging out in old jars that are thousands of years old it really is not the normal. The best place to store your seeds is in an airtight opaque container in your fridge or freezer where they will last for many years. Those kept in paper envelopes in cool, dry, and dark places in airtight containers will last until the next season and perhaps into the following year after that. The disappointment at seeds not germinating is caused mostly them being too old.

Cheralyn Darcey is a gardening author, community garden coordinator and along with Pete Little, hosts ‘At Home with The Gardening Gang’ 8 - 10am live every Saturday on CoastFM963. She is also co-host of @MostlyAboutPlants a weekly botanical history & gardening podcast with Victoria White. 
IMG_0201
This article first appeared in 'Coast News', 'Coast Chronicle' and 'The Pelican Post' Coast Newspapers 


Flora Grows Apples

WEB Flora Grows Apples Cheralyn Darcey
THE MAGICK & POWER OF APPLES (Malus domestica). This fruit can help you connect with energies to assure a brighter future. Apple helps build and hold hope stronger in your heart. If you are working on your future, on goals and re-evaluating past decisions, this powerful fruit will be a strong ally. Those wanting to align with the energy of love and especially on bringing romantic bonds closer together can use apple via essences, cooking, imagery and magic to assist. Apple also beckons us tp look at the individual elements of situations a little more closely and be sure that you do not lose your unique qualities.

GARDENING NOTES
Plant apple trees from early winter to mid-spring in tropical zones (suitable cultivars) and late autumn through to late spring in all other areas. Grow in a sheltered, full sun position with a free-draining and fertile soil. Ensure that the young tree is very well watered in the first few weeks. Apples benefit from a nitrogen-based fertiliser each year before fruiting. Harvest apples when they smell and taste ripe.

MAGICKAL CORRESPONDENCES
Uses: immortality, prosperity, love, spirit realm, blockages
Deities: Hera, Athena, Aphrodite, Pomona, Gaia, Morgan le Fay, Idunn, Olwen
Celestial: Venus
Astrological Sign: Capricorn

AN APPLE SPELL
Apples hide a pentagram within, so use this natural magick in a dried fruit display.
Gather 3 apples, ½ cup lemon juice, 1.5 tablespoons salt. Core apples, slice 5mm (.20 inch) thick. Soak for 15 minutes in a mix of 2 cups lemon juice and 3 tablespoons salt. Pat dry then dry on a baking sheet for about 6 hours at in an oven at 150 degrees. Keep the oven door slightly ajar to ensure good air circulation. Turn the slices when they start to curl.

I know a lot of you love Flora as much as I do so here is a full sized print to keep. 
Click on the image to download a full sized print. 
It is still copyright protected and may not be sold. 
Flora Grows Apples Cheralyn Darcey


Rosemary Powers and Creating Cuttings

This is my beloved Rosemary plant below that I've had for about 8 years now. In flower on this rainy morning and here are a few cuttings I took a couple of weeks back and a bit of advice on how you can do that and I've shared how Rosemary can enhance and support you!

Rosemary 1CREATING CUTTINGS
ROSEMARY (Rosmarinus officinalis)
You need the nodes! One of these cuttings have been removed correctly, one has not. Spot the difference? It will help you create the best cuttings.
I created these cuttings of my Rosemary by taking semi-ripe cuttings about two weeks ago. To do this, you ensure that you select non-flowering tips from your plant that are beginning to harden and turn brown (you should be able to see what that looks like in my photo). I snipped my cuttings just below a nod (a bumpy bit) on the stem and then striped off all the lower leaves as you can see.

I dipped my cuttings in honey and set in small glass vases to shoot and had about a 70% success rate

Rosemary 2Potting up today into compost in small pots and because it has turned chilly here, I will cover with my mini greenhouses so that the roots can establish.

Rosemary is a perennial shrub that can be planted from late autumn to late winter in the tropics, from early spring through to late autumn in temperate zones and mid-spring to early autumn in colder places. Plant in garden beds or containers in most free-draining soils and although rosemary will grow in semi-shade, it usually does better in full sun. Harvest leaves as required.

THE POWER OF ROSEMARY
Rosemary helps develop deeper levels of connection with people, concepts and plans. It enables you to keep in touch with your inner wisdom, paying heed to the past and to clear what needs to be released. Rosemary also warns of gossip and those who are false in their appearance or word.

HEALTH & WELLBEING
Rosemary can be used to improve memory and provides mental clarity, so helpful when studying. Best used as an essential oil for this or even (as I do), work inside a locket or as a small spring. It does taste so zingy and yummy on food but it also improves digestion so is perfect added to meals latter in the day or perhaps those larger festive dishes.  Rosemary contains anti-flammatory elements and antioxidants and can be used to assist health issues that could benefit from these qualities. 

MAGICKAL CORRESPONDENCES
Uses: the mind, cleansing, consecration, psychic development, lust
Deities: Elves, Virgin Mary, Hecate, Helios, Sea Spirits
Celestial: Sun
Astrological Sign: Leo

A ROSEMARY SPELL
This herb can easily be used as a smudge stick to cleanse the mind and areas.
Gather a bunch of rosemary and natural string or yarn. Trim as many sprigs as you please to an even length that you feel will create a smudge stick of the size and appearance you want.With the string, wrap the cut end of the stems a few times and tie to secure and then tightly in a crisscross fashion to the end and the tie off. Hang to in a cool dry place until dry.

 

 


Flora Grows Cos Lettuce

I've been asked for prints of this artwork and I thought I'd gift them to those who are interested.Flora Grows Cos Lettuce  Cheralyn Darcey

"Flora Grows Cos Lettuce" Cheralyn Darcey 2020 
watercolour, pen, white ink, pencil on paper 
Click on the image above to download a full sized image
It is copyright protected, can be downloaded and printed for personal use only and may not be altered. 

This post and social media posts can be shared and the image can be shared online with full credit to Cheralyn Darcey. 

COS LETTUCE
(Lactuca sativa)
This vegetable will help you find fulfilment in many areas of your life. It will help you overcome challenges and find new ways to obtain financial gain or recovery. Cos Lettuce helps us get better physically and emotionally and so asks that we watch the way we are caring for ourselves and to be careful about what it is we are focused on.
Flora Cos Lettuce
GARDENING NOTES
Usually planted in spring or autumn in most areas or late winter through to mid spring in cold zones. Before sowing, lay on wet paper towels and refrigerate for two days before sowing. Keep well-watered once sown or seedlings are planted out. Lettuce grow best in full sun with an open soil that is rich and kept moist. Although all are annuals, many types are ‘cut and come again’ so can be harvested as they grow until the end of their season. 

MAGICKAL CORRESPONDENCES
Uses: 
lust, renewal, recovery, love, fertility, desire
Deities: 
Venus, Min
Celestial: 
The Moon
Astrological Sign: 
Cancer


SPELL 
Renew your skin and boost your desirability while bring what you desire closer.
Gather 2 tablespoons finely shredded lettuce, 1 teaspoon of corn flour, 1 tablespoon of rolled oats, 1 tablespoon of dried milk, 1 tablespoon fine powered clay and 1 drop of rose oil.

Place in a red bowl and mix together while visualising what it is you desire. Pat onto a clean face, leave for 30 mins then rinse off. 

 


Learn Green Witch Gardening Online with Cheralyn Darcey

Green witch garden sq

Learn Green Witch Gardening and how to Create a Home Apothecary​ Online 
lifetime access online
 with ethnobotanical gardener, author and artist Cheralyn Darcey

EXPLORE & BOOK HERE🌿

begins 1st March 2020
​(start anytime thereafter and complete at your own pace) very special early bird enrolment $66US booking now
with Instagram code:
PLANTMAGICK
(code expires end of first week of Feb) 

No experience is needed. 
Content is suitable for enjoyment and knowledge no matter current garden setup. 
Suitable for indoor or outdoor plants. 

Work at your own pace with information that is relevant anywhere and any climate in the

Garden Design with Magick
​You will learn how to plan and design a beautiful garden space (indoors or out) while learning magical correspondences that will empower, protect and boost the energies you will be working with.
Tumblr_p13su8PF971te8cr4o1_500
​Plant, Grow, Nurture
Lessons to help you start, renovate and get your garden growing with plants you can use for healing, magick and culinary purposes, all grown naturally by you. 
Cheralyn elder

Create A Home Apothecary
Learn how to best gather and preserve your harvest and where to obtain additional items to create your personal at home Magickal Apothecary.
A2FE3785-844E-4744-9837-B9316094BE89



The Language of Sunflowers

My first Sunflower of the season!
Sunflower 1

Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) will assist you in finding happiness and focusing on it. Sunflower will also support those who require additional strength and resolution at the moment. Self-esteem boost.

Language of Flowers Oracle:
A turn in fortune is indicated and a chance to mend matters of the heart as well. Friends could be very helpful and projects which require groups who are in some way connected through friendship or a mutual passion for the subject are also indicated.
Masculine and patriarchal connections are very strong when any Sunflower is showing it's energies to you.

Flower Lore:
Many myths, legends and stories (early references outside of the Americas) which speak of the sunflower are actually speaking of other flowers (such as marigold) which are also Heliotropic (follow the sun) although, Helianthus annuus is not truly Heliotropic. Young plants do follow the sun in their development but once the flower blooms, you will find they forever face the rising sun direction.
The Incas worshiped the Sunflower and it is believed this is because they found magick in it's geometry. Indications of sunflower are found in abundance in their temples and spiritual artworks.
It is said that if you wish to find the truth in a situation, you can sleep with a fresh sunflower under your pillow or bed and it will come to you.
Pick a sunflower right at sunset and make a wish to have out granted before the sun goes down the following day.

Gardening Notes:
Depicted in this card is a Wild Sunflower which is distinguished from it's domesticated sibling by it's branched stem and multiple flower heads. If you do obtain seeds from a Wild Sunflower, growing notes are the same.Although they will grow in part shade you really will do best planting them out in a full sun position with a loamy soil.
Plant your seeds after the danger of frost has passed in early Spring. I plant every 4 weeks a few times over so I have a summer full of sunflowers. Feed every few weeks.

bunches of love,
Cheralyn🌻 xx

card: the Language of Flowers @rockpoolpublishing @weiserbooks


Are you Listening to the Language of Plants or just tapping into what you can gain?

The Botanical Spirit works without us and apart from us.
Tree way

It will not die because of us as it is a universal energy and we are only a small event, a bud of possibility, upon the vines and tendrils that it sends out across time, space and dimensions. We really know nothing of the plans of plants.
Our actions can certainly harm it but it will simply cut us off and guide us to land that hibernates our energy.
The Botanical Spirit responds to us because we are that bud of possibility and if we are aligned and work with it? We may be the leaf, the branch, the root, the flower or the bulb that carries forward and works in harmony with this energy.
Droughts come and fires alight because they must as there is no regeneration and chance for evolution without. Plants need water, air, earth and fire.
Unwanted drying of earth and flames lit without consciousness, through the hand of the people occur because they are not aligned with Plant Energy but there is no botanical plant jury handing out punishment over the supposed morals and personal actions of people.
Plants care about themselves and they have work to do that we are only just awakening to. We are lucky enough to live within the branches of these energies and to listen and learn from their language of botanical energy. You are a part of it but don’t mistake what this energy is saying.
Are you really listening to plants?

May nature bless you and may you always be a blessing to nature.
🐝 Cheralyn


🌿 Magickal Botanical Leek (Allium ampeloprasum)

Leek journal

So while my lovely Leeks are still out there in the garden waiting to pop up, I’m indoors in this cold rainy day studying them and adding to my Garden Journal. They will bring you strength, good health, protection and even love! Biting into one will even help break spells cast against you.

Start seeds indoors about two months before the last frost. They prefer a sunny to semi shade spot and a rich nitrogen slightly acidic soil (6.0 to about 7.0) ready to harvest in just over three months, cut and leave a few cms for regrowth instead of pulling up.
Journal entry: Lamy inks and pens, Prismacolor premier pencils over old watercolours and various mediums (I just fill up my journals with left overs from my pallets as I create so I avoid waste)


Magickal Botanical Moon Gardening & Energy Guide 31st August ~ 6th September 2019

Hello Blossoms! 
Hope you are having a lot of fun with the change of season ‘busy time’ whether you are getting ready for Spring or Autumn. Things are a little difficult as I have not been well of late, (THE Flu followed by pneumonia and a couple of broken ribs from coughing). I create my gardens and maintain them completely on my own, so if I can’t do them, they don’t get done. Oh but I do still get a lot completed as gardening is my first love and I'd crawl on my belly if I had to! ;) 
Peas, radish, bok choy and potato are delicious right now and I’m delighting in early lettuce, jasmine and daisies.
014BFED5-35D8-404D-8351-CC522A178CC3
Hope you have a wonderful gardening week, wherever you are and here are my general interpretations for Australia, USA and the UK for those of us who enjoy gardening by the energy of the Moon phases. For each day I have given you he subheadings: 
Gardening: These are suggested activities broadly based on your country.
Magick: Use these notes to create spells, magickal troops, blessings, alter and so on as well as flower and plant essences and botanicals with the energies listed.  


307E636A-512C-4700-9033-B4AE78EE2842
from my gardening journal. I keep notes about gardening, energies and natural observances. 

AUSTRALIA
Saturday 31st August 

Gardening: The Waxing Moon is in Virgo vegetable crops should be doing very well. Do not preserve fruits during this time, but you will find that transplanting, repotting, along with sowing and planting out garden beds will result in stronger and healthier plants.
Magick: Increase of finances, success and creativity. 

Sunday 1st September & Monday 2nd September
Gardening: Waxing Moon moving into moves in Libra and this means you should refrain from watering. Planting and sowing flowering herbs and plants iOS best done on these days. Still good period for the development of flowers until Tuesday as well. 
Magick: Balance, harmony and finding a way to bring these into being.

Tuesday 3rd September & Wednesday 4th September
Gardening: Waxing Moon making its way into Scorpio, now will be the best time to mow lawns as well as trim plants that require it. Watering of all plants, including those indoor, that need it is favourable on these days. Now is a good time for the sowing and planting of leafy vegetables and plants as well.
Magick: increasing efforts to get rid of negative energies and to work on transformation for the better.

Thursday 5th & Friday 6th September 
Gardening: The Waxing Moon is moving into Sagittarius and you will find that leafy vegetables and plants should be doing well as are fruiting crops. Now is a good time to preserve fruit crops and for planting them. 
Magick:
work involving increasing higher understandings, working on spirituality and rising above.

USA 
Saturday 31st August 
Gardening: The Waxing Moon is in Virgo vegetable crops should be doing very well. Do not preserve fruits during this time, but you will find that transplanting, repotting, along with sowing and planting out garden beds will result in stronger and healthier plants.
Magick: Increase of finances, success and creativity. 

Sunday 1st September & 
Monday 2nd September
Gardening: The Moon moving into moves in Libra and this means you should refrain from watering. Planting and sowing flowering herbs and plants iOS best done on these days. Still good period for the development of flowers until Tuesday as well. 
Magick: Balance, harmony and finding a way to bring these into being.

Tuesday 3rd September &
Wednesday 4th September
Gardening: The Waxing Moon is making its way into Scorpio, now will be the best time to mow lawns as well as trim plants that require it. Watering of all plants, including those indoor, that need it is favourable on these days. Now is a good time for the sowing and planting of leafy vegetables and plants as well.
Magick: increasing efforts to get rid of negative energies and to work on transformation for the better.

Thursday 5th & Friday 6th September 

Gardening: The Waxing Moon is moving into Sagittarius and you will find that fruiting crops are developing well under this influence. Now is a good time to preserve fruit crops and for planting them.
Magick: work involving increasing higher understandings, working on spirituality and rising above.

UK
Saturday 31st August 
Gardening: The Waxing Moon is in Virgo vegetable crops should be doing very well. Do not preserve fruits during this time, but you will find that transplanting, repotting, along with sowing and planting out garden beds will result in stronger and healthier plants.
Magick: Increase of finances, success and creativity. 

Sunday 1st September & 
Monday 2nd September
Gardening: Waxing Moon moving into moves in Libra and this means you should refrain from watering. Planting and sowing flowering herbs and plants iOS best done on these days. Still good period for the development of flowers until Tuesday as well. 
Magick: Balance, harmony and finding a way to bring these into being.

Tuesday 3rd September &
Wednesday 4th September
Gardening: Waxing Moon making its way into Scorpio, now will be the best time to mow lawns as well as trim plants that require it. Watering of all plants, including those indoor, that need it is favourable on these days. Now is a good time for the sowing and planting of leafy vegetables and plants as well.
Magick: increasing efforts to get rid of negative energies and to work on transformation for the better.

Thursday 5th & Friday 6th September 

Gardening: The Waxing Moon is moving into Sagittarius and you will find that fruiting crops are developing well under this influence. Now is a good time to preserve fruit crops and for planting them with Thursday still a good day for planting leafy crops and plants.
Magick: work involving increasing higher understandings, working on spirituality and rising above.

The interpretations of the Luna Calendar for Gardening and Magick are written by Cheralyn Darcey. 
Sharing is permitted in original form.