A Bewitching Garden of Buckets

9:29 AM


Well, winter has decided to mess with us here in the Midwest again. After days of temperatures hovering near 80 degrees Fahrenheit, just in time for the Vernal Equinox, everything blossomed and was gorgeous. Then the weather took a turn and dumped four inches of snow on us over the weekend. For the most part the blooming magnolias, forsythia and early plums shrugged the snow off and bounced back… even those damn Bradford pears. (I hate those trees- the most over planted tree in the Midwest- they are multi-trunk trees and very prone to wind damage and breakage. Plus the STINK when they bloom).

Yes, I know the Garden Witch is bitching about a tree- how shocking! Ask any nurseryman, wildlife biologist, or horticulturist about those trees. They are cheap, unattractive, hybridized to death and over planted. There are so many of them in the Midwest that they make everyone’s allergies go crazy when they bloom. Back in the day, I worked on a tree farm and had to tag thousands of those babies in a field- yeah thousands. To this day I can ID trees in the winter and early spring BEFORE they get leaves. What can I say? I have led an interesting life. But anyway when the Bradford Pears all bloom- they smell like a dirty cat box. Yuck!

Here at home, it looks like I am growing upside down 5 gallon plastic buckets in my magickal gardens. Here is a picture- of the garden of buckets this morning. Classy, eh?
I covered up all my foxgloves, my wolfs bane, some astilbe, and yarrow….and anything else that looked tender that might not survive a shot of ice or below freezing temps. I am worried about my lilac and all of my hydrangea shrubs… they are just starting to pop leaves.

You can see to the left of the picture my Oakleaf Hydrangea is showing hints of green leaves. But all of the shrubs in the gardens are too large and I have too many of them (I have eight different hydrangeas) to cover them all up….
The past weekend’s snow insulated the plants- but sleet and ice- that’s going to do some of them in for sure.
So I was also out there in my PJs and a hoodie this morning casting protective spells over the garden. And no. I am not posting pictures of that! With a little luck, we will just get a hit of snow and no ice. Plus its supposed to start warming up by tomorrow and staying that way. 

The weather man says we should be back in the 50’s by Friday- the same day I’ll be flying to DC for the Saturday, April 2nd author event at Turn the Page Books. http://www.ttpbooks.com/
My host for the weekend, Joyce  is going to take me to DC on Friday to see the cherry blossoms! Of course I have asked to see the Botanical gardens in DC. So fingers crossed that the weather cooperates otherwise I imagine we will hit a museum or something.
Come to think of it the Smithsonian is in DC….. Hmmmm I wonder if they have and Egyptian exhibit? Anyway, I rarely get to “see” any of the area when I travel for an event- so this is a big treat and I’m very excited.

For luck I’m posting a picture of one of my hydrangeas from last year. This one is an heirloom- the original plant was over 100 years old. I got this as a start from my husband's Grandmother, about 25 years ago... Its a beauty, isn't it? Here's hoping it is a s tough as I think it is.
Come on garden of witchery! With a little luck and whole lot of magick- you can pull through this latest batch of spring/ winter weather!

Blessed be, Ellen

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  1. Ellen you're going to be in DC?! Darn, half my coven is going to the Thorn Coyle workshop in NYC this weekend. I work the DC Bureau of the Pagan Newswire Collective so that would have been great to grab an interview with you while you're here.
    Oh well, maybe next time!

  2. That's a fine crop of plastic buckets you have growing! I've always wondered where they came from ;->

    I agree with you about Bradford pear trees. There were 3 planted here when we moved in. The tree guy told me they're actually a grafted tree, and the limbs rip off at the graft in the wind.

    Still, I was sad when the one in our backyard had a large limb break off in a crazy windstorm in late February and I had to have it taken down. I never found the scent of their blooms unpleasant, and the birds and squirrels loved it's "pears". But I'm planting a crepe myrtle, "Sioux", to replace it; I'd never plant a Bradford pear on purpose.

    I'm sure your garden will come through just fine from this (hopefully) last gasp of Winter weather! ;-D

  3. I've been covering up too, here in DC. Buckets, towels, sheets, plastic trash bags, big flower pots filled w/ shredded paper, etc. If you can make a trip out to the National Arboretum, it's definitely worth it. Where IS that bookstore?

  4. Hecate, Turn the Page Books is in Maryland.
    here is their website, phone number and street address.
    Turn the Page Bookstore Cafe
    (301) 432-4588
    18 N Main St, Boonsboro, MD

  5. I'm sure your garden will withstand the weather with your protective spell. I have noticed such a difference in my garden when I do a blessing. Amazing. I like to tuck in crystals with my plants as well ~
    Have a wonderful time in D.C. I grew up in Delaware and visited there often, but yet never saw the Cherry Blossoms!!
    Your Hydrangaes are beautiful ~

  6. Please share your hydrangea secret... My mother and grandfather had beautiful hydrangeas and I so want to have them in my yard!! I know I could go and buy them, but I really want something of theirs in my yard!

  7. Funny picture! I'm a Witch and a Master Gardener, so I can totally relate to your dislike of the bradford pear.
    And the bucket picture cracks me up, as I have done the same thing before. But one year I thought, it is what it is, Mother nature is going to do what she does, buckets or not. That and the fact that I don't have enough buckets to cover all of the perennials I have!
    Here's hoping that you don't have to break out the buckets again this year!


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