vegetables 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. 
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This article first appeared in 'Coast News', 'Coast Chronicle' and 'The Pelican Post' Coast Newspapers 


Flooded and Soggy Garden Rescue

An overly soggy garden that dries out over a few days can be revived without too much fuss, but a flooded garden needs a deeper clean-up and a few more steps to keep you safe and get your garden back to health. If plants are left to stand in water for more than a few days, they can die from lack of oxygen supply to their roots and if they do manage to survive then fungal diseases that develop in these conditions may still be a major challenge.
Red-park-bench-2635551When flood occurs, toxic compounds can wash into your garden such as chemicals, petroleum products and raw sewage along with pathogens and unwanted weeds. Then there is silt. This is a sediment of dust sized partials that move easily in water and when the water recedes, the silt will compact and lead to increased acidity and oxygen starvation in soil. When this silt and mud is left on plants it will also stop the process of photosynthesis. Once the sun returns its gaze upon our gardens, it’s time to get into rescue mode, but not so fast! There is a right way and more importantly, a safe way to save our plants.

First Steps to Recovery
As always, safety first and if your garden was flooded then you need to wear waterproof gloves and boots and a mask is also advisable. This is to reduce the risk of you becoming infected with pathogens. If your garden flooded then you need to wash away any left behind silt and mud from plants, paths, structures, and the surface of the garden as soon as possible. Silt will harden as it dries and be difficult to remove. Get rid of all debris that has fallen or swept into your garden as soon as possible as rotting plant materials will contribute to the spread of disease and fungal activity as well as invite pests in. Let the garden dry out, don’t start planting just yet and do not eat any raw leafy greens, soft fruits, or berries as these will more than likely have absorbed dangerous levels of contaminates. Rule of thumb is to not eat produce for a month, to wash with soapy water and cook before consuming. If you suspect that your garden has been contaminated with raw sewage, then you should remove and destroy annuals and not consume from longer living plants until the following year. 

Soil Rescue
After washing, dig in any remaining silt and turn over soil well to help aerate the garden beds. Your soil will need to be treated with fungicide as well to hold back outbreaks. All that water would have also washed away nutrients and even broken down your soil structure. This needs to be repaired quickly so that your existing plants have a better chance at survival as well. Do a soil test to determine what may be needed to improve your soil and add organic matter, fertilisers, and composts to replace lost nutrients. If you can get hold of a bunch of seaweed, then mulching with this will help increase fertility of soil, break down any remaining silt and encourage the return of worms but any organic mulch will help.

Plant Rescue
You need to be tough and face the fact that some of your plants may not recover but you can help by using fungicides and pest control methods. Use seaweed solutions liberally as these promote strong root growth and are an amazing health tonic for stressed plants. Be ready for competing weeds to start showing up as they move in more easily with silt and remove as soon as you see them. If a plant seems beyond rescue, be strong and remove it as it may infect other healthier plants in your garden.

Lawn Repair
Flooded lawn areas can be saved if the remaining silt is less than about 2cm deep. Try and wash off as much as possible and go over the surface with steel rake to break up the silt surface. Hose on a seaweed solution to encourage root growth. For deep silt, you may need to start again but the trick is to get rid of the silt and to get air into the soil below.

When to Plant Again
General advice it to wait at least 60 days after flooding until you plant again. For those gardens that experienced heavy rainfall without actual flooding, test the readiness by rolling a ball of soil in your hand. If it will easily crumble when pushed with a finger and no water can be seen oozing out, then you are right to plant. If you need to wait, there is nothing stopping you planting your seeds in seed pots and trays while your garden recovers. By the time the seedlings are ready, your garden will have had time to rest, repair and rejuvenate.

FLOOD-PROOF GARDEN
I’m not too sure there is such a thing, but here are a few ways that may help reduce the risk of flood and help water drain more easily from your garden. Create a slope to your garden, even 2 degrees can be enough, so that water runs off more easily and make sure it slopes away from buildings. The installation of drains and even the clever French Drain will help immensely. These are also known as ditch drains, French ditch, sub-surface drains and land drains and they not only help save your garden but will pull water away from the foundation of your home as well. They work by collecting overflowing water and filtering it through gravel or rocks. Selection of plants is always important so considering planting more natives as these will generally be more adaptable to conditions and to recovery as well as helping stop possible soil erosion. To direct water away from your house and to store for later use, install a water tank and consider rain barrels under your down pipes. Collected water in these can be used for the garden later.

YOU AND YOUR GARDEN
Soil to Plate with Youth Connections and SWAMP
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Sustainable Wetlands Agricultural Makers Project (SWAMP) at the Central Coast Wetlands is facilitating an amazing project with Youth Connections of Tuggerah. Created with the support of Central Coast Council and delivered by the enthusiastic volunteers of SWAMP, it is a grass roots pilot program aiming to deliver a nature, gardening, cultural and educational program for the young clients of Youth Connections. In the spirit of ‘soil to plate’ the project will see the creation of a ‘pizza garden’ and then the cooking of pizzas to share with family and friends. In the first week Youth Connections participants travelled to Narara Valley Nursery to begin the preparation and decision making around what will be needed to create the pizza garden. The youth engaged with decisions about which soil, what seeds or seedlings they might like in their garden, as well as the smells and sounds of a bustling nursery with a wide variety of plants. In the following weeks an above ground garden was established at the SWAMP community garden site by the group for the selection of herbs and vegetables that will eventually find their way into on to the pizzas. Other activities included kitchen apron making and a joyful visit to Grace Springs Farm in Kulnura which enabled all to experience agriculture on a larger scale.

Thank you to Syl Marie Photography.

youthconnections.com.au 
swampcentralcoast.com.au

GARDENING GUIDE FOR COAST GARDENERS THIS WEEK
With all this rain, again hold off on planting anything directly in the garden but you can plant out seeds in sheltered spots. You can plant the following now: Culinary herbs, beetroot, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbages, carrot, cauliflower, chicory, cress, endive, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, mustard, onions, parsnip, peas, salsify, shallots, spring onions, silverbeet, swede, spinach, turnips, ageratum, alyssum, calendula, candytuft, carnation, columbine, cornflower, delphinium, dianthus, everlasting daisy, forget-me-not, foxglove, godetia, gypsophila, hollyhock, larkspur, nigella, pansy, polyanthus, poppy, primula, snapdragon, statice, stock, sweet pea, wallflower

Next Week: Start Seed Saving

HAVE YOU GOT A GARDEN OR GARDENING TOPIC TO SHARE?
Down in the Garden is looking for Central Coast gardeners who would like to share their garden with us. We are particularly looking for: Evergreens, Tulips, Spring Bulbs, Water Feature Gardens, School/Children Gardeners, Commercial Kitchen Gardens, Medicinal Plant Gardeners, and Community Gardens but all gardens and gardeners are welcome contact: gardeningcentralcoast@gmail.com

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. Archived articles can be found on Cheralyn’s Blog:  www.florasphere.com

Send your gardening questions, events, and news to: gardeningcentralcoast@gmail.com


Growing Your Own Garlic


Garlic
Fresh garlic, straight from the garden is a divine experience and it is also the way to ensure you get the maximum health benefits possible. It is garlic planting time on The Coast and across temperate areas of Australia right now. Good news is, they are one of the easiest plants to grow and home-grown means more flavour and nutrients. This wonderful veggie can be planted in pots and garden beds and can be used fresh or stored for use all year-round. Garlic (Allium sativum), probably originated in the western areas of Asia, but it is such a long-cultivated plant that we cannot be completely sure. The Ancient peoples of Egypt, China and India, all have recorded histories of growing and using garlic as a medicinal and culinary plant with some even attributing mystical properties to it. Most commercial garlic is treated with a chemical to render it sterile, so you won’t be able to use those bulbs for propagation and it’s handy to know that there are two types of garlic, ‘hard-neck’ which has flowers and ‘soft-neck’ which does not. Soft-neck garlic will store for longer than it’s hard-neck friend, but I do like the flowers which are also edible, and the spikes make amazing, dried foliage material. Another factor you will need to consider is that you probably won’t end up with as large a bulb size as you find in the shops, but you will have leaves and you can eat those as well. Types to consider: Dynamite Purple, Spanish Roja, White Crookneck, Giant Russian, Melbourne Market.


Grow Your Own Garlic
Soil must be open, free-draining and well-prepared with compost. pH level sitting between 6.5 and 7.5 is best and whether you decide to grow in the garden or in pots, find a sunny spot. Garlic can be planted by seed but is mostly cultivated via bulbs. To do this, gently separate the bulb into individual cloves and only use the larger ones. Plant directly in their final designation into the soil with the tips just below the surface and firm down.
Garlic is not a fan of weeds so keep it tidy and water should be consistent but don’t drown your plant. They just don’t like to get soggy feet or humidity. Water seedlings a few times a week until they are a couple of months old and then back off to once or twice a week. Feed every second week with a seaweed-based fertiliser, as they love it and mulch with your usual veggie garden mulch medium but ensure you don’t crowd the plants as air flow and low humidly are important.
Harvest most varieties at around the five-month mark but this will depend greatly on type. You will know they are ready as the leaves will begin to wilt and yellow around this time. Lift gently, keep the leaves intact and hang to dry for a few weeks in a warm, sheltered spot to cure before storing in a cool, dry, dark place. The leaves are left on during the curing process so that all additional nutrients are pulled down into the bulb. Don’t forget to save some of those bulbs for next year’s planting. You can find garlic to grow at your local nursery or online: diggers.com.au or theseedgarlicshop.com.au and Giant Russian Garlic: naglesfallsfarm.com.au

Garlic Uses in the Garden & Beyond
Along with growing garlic, make this spray from it to combat pests in your garden. Blend together 4 cloves of garlic with 1 cup of water and a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid (not antibacterial), strain into 500ml spray bottle and top with water. Spray onto plants to deter pests. Test on a few leaves first.  Garlic is a brilliant companion plant for beetroot, carrots, strawberries, lettuce, and roses and provides a fair amount of protection from various pests, but it should never be planted alongside beans or peas as it will stunt their growth and production. For medical use garlic has been used as both an antiseptic and an antibacterial agent for over 3,000 years. Garlic is still used for these reasons in herbal medicine today along with treatments for digestive issues, respiratory diseases and for circulatory benefits as well.

Garlic Folklore
Firstly, don’t go giving garlic flowers to those you love because in the Language of Flowers and Plants, it means ‘Go away you evil one.’ Could be handy at other times though, so hold that thought. As much as we in Western cultures would like to believe that garlic has always been considered the great protector and many points throughout history support this, it’s just not always the case. While you will find that along with traditions, such as the roasting and sharing of garlic cloves on Midsummer’s Eve in France to use as protective amulets, garlic was forbidden in many cultures at times. It was looked upon as ‘unclean’ by religions including Hinduism, Islam and some sectors of Buddhism and Christianity at different times. The Ancient Greeks thought that garlic-breath was an offence in their some of their temples and so consumption was banned before worship.

The protection myths though are very plentiful and are probably related to the obvious health benefits that garlic shares. It’s not just Dracula and other vampires that are said to fear this plant but all demons and evil spirits. The Sanskrit name for garlic, ‘Ishunm’ translates to ‘slayer of monsters’ and it is thought throughout many folklores around the world that sleeping with a clove under your pillow will indeed protect you from such evil-doers while sleeping and from nightmares.

LOCAL GARLIC GROWING WORKSHOP 12th March 2022
Peter Donnelly of Coachwood Nursery, Somersby

Peter Donnelly  Coachwood Nursery
Getting along to a workshop at a nursery is the perfect way to experience growing anything in action as well as having the opportunity to ask questions. Another thing is this, you are not going to find local knowledge, tips, tricks and yes, secrets, online or in books. You will when visiting your local nurseries and especially when attending any dedicated workshop.  Central Coast local nursery Coachwood Organics & Coachwood Nursery has

a brilliant workshop coming up to help to help you Learn everything about growing Garlic successfully & organically. Join Peter Donnelly of Coachwood for his Growing Garlic Workshop. $29 at 3pm, 12 March 2022. Take home a range of different garlic varieties. Demonstration and guided tour. Bring a drink bottle, hat, and sturdy shoes. Students aged 12-18 welcome to join the class. Enquiries 0491 147448 or online www.coachwoodnursery.com

GARDENING BOOK REVIEW
Gardening for Everyone, Growing Vegetables, Herbs and More at Home
by Julia Watkins, Little Brown Publishers, 2022. 304 pages, ISBN: 9781472146922

Gardening-for-everyone

This gardening book is big on planning and in my book? That makes it a winner straight off the block. Julie Watkins focuses strongly on sustainability and very much on long term goals. Her advice is peppered with personal accounts of her mistakes and lessons and that makes gardening more accessible for those wondering about their own past challenges or current aptitude. The book is encouraging and to beginners and I feel expansive enough for more experienced gardeners looking for sustainability gardening practice information and inspiration. Big on beautiful photographs to light that spark in us all and a clever section called ‘Play’ that brings fun and creative ways you can add joy and usefulness in your garden spaces. My only little gripe here is that the title is not a good fit and being an author myself, I know this is usually a publishing house issue, not necessarily an author one. The contents and advice miss the mark with many gardeners as it focuses primarily outdoors and for those with no limitations. Other than that, a good and rather lovely sustainable gardening book.

GARDENING GUIDE FOR COAST GARDENERS THIS WEEK
(for temperate regions early autumn)
If your soil is still waterlogged from the recent rains then hold off direct planting but you can plant in seedling pots now and transplant later. You can plant the following now: Culinary herbs, beetroot, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, carrot, cauliflower, chicory, cress, endive, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, mustard, onions, parsnip, peas, salsify, shallots, spring onions, silverbeet, swede, spinach, turnips, ageratum, alyssum, calendula, candytuft, carnation, columbine, cornflower, delphinium, dianthus, everlasting daisy, forget-me-not, foxglove, godetia, gypsophila, hollyhock, larkspur, nigella, pansy, polyanthus, poppy, primula, snapdragon, statice, stock, sweet pea, wallflower

Next Week: Rain and Flood Garden Rescue  

HAVE YOU GOT A GARDEN OR GARDENING TOPIC TO SHARE?
Down in the Garden is looking for Central Coast gardeners who would like to share their garden with us.

We are particularly looking for: Seed Saving, Evergreens, Tulips, Spring Bulbs, Water Feature Gardens, School/Children Gardeners, Commercial Kitchen Gardens, Medicinal Plant Gardeners, and Community Gardens but all gardens and gardeners are welcome contact: gardeningcentralcoast@gmail.com

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.

Send your gardening questions, events, and news to: gardeningcentralcoast@gmail.com

Garlic newspaper
This article first appeared in Coast Newspapers the week of 7th March 2022


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. 

 


Quick and Easy No Dig Veggie Garden

At the moment it seems a lot of people are looking for ways to start a veggie garden quickly. I now have in ground and above ground constructed garden beds and this is one way I have tried very successfully in the past. It is quick, easy and will ensure your veggies thrive!

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one of my beds this week

POSITION
Vegetables need sun for best results, but the amount will depend on what you are planting. You can grow things like potatoes and other root crops along with leaf crops with a few hours of sun a day, but you will find that fruit bearing plants such as tomatoes and capsicums will need a lot more sun, at least 5 hours per day.

SIZE
How long is a piece pf string? Some tips to consider are to ensure you can reach into all areas of the garden bed without having to step into it and consider what you are actually will eat, need and are going to plant. You can find the garden area requirements of all plants on seed packets and on seedling tags, in good gardening books and online resources and with your local garden centre. 

CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS
A container of sorts needs to be created to hold the soil and this can be constructed from timber that hasn’t been treated in any way (including painted), as the chemicals will leach into your soil.
This construction is simply a square or rectangle and needs to be at least 30cm in depth, 60cm being optimal for a no-dig garden growing mix to suit the layers I will suggest. 
You can also create an above ground bed with large rocks and even brick blocks. Garden edging could also be used for leafy shallow rooted plants. 

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through my veggie garden gate this week


PREPARATION
Mark out the footprint of your garden. Lay down a thick layer (at least 10cm) of newspapers/cardboard and wet completely. If your garden will stand on concrete then create a layer of dried branches and sticks. Construct your garden perimeter with materials of choice.

SOIL
I’m sharing with you a ‘no-dig’ method of gardening and this means that you have not dug into the earth in your garden. To dig into your garden requires soil testing; heavy, deep digging and usually changing the soils natural composition to suit the needs of your introduced plants. A no dig garden is a great idea for many reasons that suit both you and the natural soil, but you need to understand that you have to add everything needed for your vegetables to grow and thrive. Just bags of potting mix aren’t going to cut it.

You can find a lot of ‘recipes’ out there and suggestions and here is one I have created myself that I’ve had success with in a 60cm deep vegetable garden, adjust for the depth of yours by increasing the individual thicknesses of the layers.

20cm of plain straw
10cm of dry leaves
an even dressing of blood and bone or slow release fertiliser pellets  
10cm mushroom compost

5cm layer of manure
a light sprinkle of lime
10cm of pea straw
an even dressing of blood and bone or slow release fertiliser pellets  
10cm mushroom compost

Top with worm castings

Leave for a week before planting seeds/seedlings

Cheralyn carrots
bunches of love, 
Cheralyn 🌻

For more 'how-to' information on vegetable gardening: 
'The Little Veggie Patch Co' Fabian Capomolla and Matt Pember 
'Yates Garden Guide' 
'Dig' Meredith Kirton
'Grow Your Own' Anger Stewart and Simon Leake 


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.
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​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.
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🌿 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)


around here this week...

👢I thought I was getting THE moon boot off this weekend but it's just not there yet. 
With 11 breaks, it is looking more like 8 weeks of healing but things are going well. 
I'm allowed to be out of the boot a little over the next two weeks yah!! 
Mnoonboot
I drew a few flowers on my boot to cheer me up. Sharpies and the black is with a Sharpie Extreme. 
Oh and thats me with one of my eye patch elixers I love making. 
photo of me: Karen Burgess 

🌝 SUPER MOON
On Wednesday evening I went for dinner at The Entrance with friends and the beautiful Super Moon shone down upon us all on our wander home...
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NEW TITLE 🌿🌸
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I can't show you the art I'm working on at the moment as it is still firmly under wraps with my publisher for an upcoming title of mine but here I am working away at the linocuts. There is a very large manuscript that goes with these and I am also working diligently away on that alongside the artworks. 

🌻 FLOWER SPELLS
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There are a lot of lovely messages from people who have found my new books 'The Book of Flower Spells' and 'The Book of Herb Spells' and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to now continue this series with another two books coming out later this year and I'm working on the next two after that! Thank you everyone for connecting with and loving this collection of my plant spells, stories, wisdom and tips. 
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🌸 AROUND THE GARDEN
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Nasturtiums everywhere! 

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The last of my Cosmos. They are a legacy plant that obviously have either been here before me or they have drifted from someplace else. I love the colours and the way they delightfully dance on the late summer breezes. 

🌿 IN THE GARDEN THIS WEEK
This week I am harvesting: baby eggplant, rosemary, thyme, creeping thyme, black chillies, cos lettuce, candy stripe roses, nasturtiums, Tom Thumb tomatoes, chives, radishes, cucumber. 
This week I am planting: nothing the moment but I have begun to propagate a couple of fiddle leaf figs from my ridiculously high tree (mine is about 40 feet high)
This week I am working on: tidying up the vegetable garden as there are a lot of annuals that need attendance, cutting back my kangaroo paw, gladiolus and dahlias. Saying goodbye to the cosmos and zinnias. 


Hope you are having a fabulous week. 
bunches of love, 
Cheralyn 🌻
Cheralyn roses small


around here this week ~

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As the weather cooler a little,  I worked outside a lot this week. 
This is looking out over my beloved back garden, oasis this week. 
I am working on a book (not part of a current series), that will be released later this year I hope, if not, next year. 

In the garden I am doing a lot of clearing up of leaves! My 9 magnificent gum trees are shedding a lot of spent leaves and twigs and the hot summer winds are helping move that process right along. I'm harvesting lots of basil, chillies, parsley, chives, rosemary, last of the silverbeet,  cos lettuce, tiny toms, sage, sorrel, cucumbers and I am blessed with many beautiful roses! The last of the most wonderful sunflowers has faded for the year and I've carefully collected millions of seeds. I am sure there are at least thousands! 
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one of my herb patches this week

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one of my lovelies with a card from my Flower Reading Cards deck

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harvest! 

I am catching up with a cluster I missed last year at Pearsons School of Floristry ~ Hand Tied. 
Learning how to create bouquets and flower presentations and prepare them for sale and for occasions. 
Flowers 1  Flowers 2


This week I had a lot of fun on STUDIO10 again, sharing some flower love and fun 
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Next week I plan to:
*ensure I get a Flower of the Day up for you all every day! 
*climb up to the half-way mark on the new book I am writing. 
*complete a few block prints I have sketched out
*catch up on my Pearsons School of Floristry assignments 
*repot my Devil's Ivy and propagate a few new babies 
*plant some leeks and radish and perhaps some more lettuce. 
*tidy up all my daisies! 




❁ This Magickal Gardening Week ~ broccoli, snapping dragons & the celery forest

It's a busy week with my work as I complete illustrations for my fourth Flower deck which will be released early next year and I'm sure being lost each day in the dreamy tones of spring in these delicate watercolours is no coincidence. I have found I work best when what I am creating aligns with the turning seasons, with what is occurring in my garden and environment. The energy, messages and wisdom I am then sharing through my writing and art is pure and clear.



Flora beautiful card

Today in the garden ~ 

Cheralyn garden


artwork I'm creating for my fourth flower oracle deck ~ 

Draw

A few Flowers in my garden this week ~ 

Snapdragons!
Antirrhinum
I planted these out last year and it is a joy to see their return. Chattering to each other in a quiet corner of my back garden, they seem to hold court while watching over their soon to arrive flower friends, daisy, jasmine and cornflower. 
The Language of Flowers: truth~telling, grace, secrets, "I long for you" 

Snapdragons 2


A tiny Snapdragon visitor ~ 

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Bottlebrush 
Callistemon
Oh it is time for cleansing away the sleepiness of winter, of letting go of the dream~state and awakening and so Bottlebrush is making a most welcome appearance not only in my garden but naturally everywhere! 
The Language of Flowers: balance, cleansing, clarity "I understand"

Bottlebrush photo 2


Pigface
Carpobrotus 
Nothing speaks to me of childhood summers really like these. They grew in abundance in the rockeries of my grandparents home. 
Perfectly strong, yet somehow a little unreal with their bright petals springing forth from leaves which to my eye, never really looked somehow matched to these flowers. 
The Language of Flowers: survival, tenacity, forgiveness "I forgive and let go" 

Pigface
Some interesting Pigface Flower Facts: 
http://www.sgaonline.org.au/pigface-carpobrotus-glaucescens/



Calendula
Calendula officinalis
So blessed with the love of this plant. She is growing so well nestled next to my Wormwood with brilliant orange faces greeting each dawn. 
The Language of Flowers: contentment, cleansing, healing "I am grateful" 

Calendula 44



And so the Veggie Garden
It is time to harvest the last of Winter and so prepare for Summer. Memories of rosy red tomatoes and crisp green lettuce are enticing me to being the preparation of the soil, to rest some areas, to work others so all will be ready. The chill is leaving our mornings and nights and the earth is opening, warming and ready to welcome the plants of the coming seasons. 


Harvest this week: 

Celery
We have been enjoying celery for weeks and weeks but we are heading into a very abundant time and I'm loving adding it to juices and just about everything from frittatas to asian dishes.

Celery

Broccoli 
The time is over for nibbling as we delight in the very last of this year's crop. One of my all time favourite vegetables, I'm personally just about living on it and the taste is amazing. Steamed with a tiny bit of lemon juice ~ YUM! 

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Herbs
Well I'm constantly harvesting herbs, its the best way to ensure they grow but right now I have a really bumper amount of thyme, rosemary, wormwood, vervain, calendula, parsley, rocket and society garlic. 
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may Nature always bless you but more importantly, 
may you always be a blessing to Nature 
bunches of love, 
Cheralyn


Cheralyn Darcey is a passionate gardener and botanical history author and artist who loves sharing her three plus decades wealth of flowers and plant wisdom, stories and knowledge through her publications, presentations and workshops.

This weekend I will be presenting a workshop at Sydney's wonderful Festival of Dreams at 3:30pm Saturday.
I'll be sharing all things Flowers, Plants and Gardening and how you can find personal healing, guidance and a little magick with Nature ~ 



Festival of dreams square workshop