April Showers and Countdown to Beltane

6:30 AM

Good Morning,
Well, I have a week to buff up my gardens and get them ready for the Beltane celebration with my coven. There is just one problem. We have had so much rain for the past few weeks, with more rain coming until Thursday, that its going to be a “dash out when the rain stops and work on the gardens- mud fest”. The gardens are waterlogged. Big time. 

I love April Showers… however we have had a series of severe weather problems in my area for the past few weeks. Tons of rain and hail. A couple of days ago we had a tornado rip through the St. Louis area, and trash the airport and destroy many homes all in the area where I grew up.

The last big tornado to hit St. Louis was in 1967. I was just three years old but I remember vividly the sound it made and the fact that my parents had us in the center hallway of the house. My dad pulled the mattress off of the bed and we huddled under it- as we had no basement. That storm blew out all the windows in our house in Bridgeton and took the roof off the house next door. My parents are still surprised that I remember what they said to each other in the middle of the tornado. I was only three, but some things stay with you.

Friday’s storms traveled a very similar route. While at my house we had tornado sirens blaring, thunder, lightning, hail and torrential rain. I checked on all of our adult kids via cell phone, told them to be ready to take cover at their own apartments and watched the clouds roll and circulate past our neighborhood and then move on to the north and the east. I said to my husband. “Oh, damn, that’s nasty. Somebody is going to get hit today.” Then the hail started and we both moved back from the windows and went to the center of our home and waited. Oh and before anyone asks, yes we were prepared to take shelter, and no we do not have a basement.

We lost power at the height of the storms, but it was back on within an hour. The next morning, I went out in the daylight to see if the car or the gardens had sustained any damage-- and other than a few holes in the leaves of the hostas- we came through amazingly well.

So this week I’ll be out in the garden (in the mud) buffing it up as best I can. I look at it this way, the weeds will be easy to pull, and the rain is good for the gardens, but a few of my containers took a beating. I think I’m going to have to drill a few drainage holes in the bottom of that big urn I planted for the formal herb gardens.  I have noticed standing water in that urn and keep having to tip it over a bit to pour the water out. Oh well, that’s what cordless drills are for. I’ll have to make sure I do that while my husband is at work… he gets twitchy about me taking his fancy tools out into the garden. He would not even let me use the air compressor and nail gun when we added onto the privacy fence last year. Sheesh men can be so territorial about their power tools.

Good news? The iris are blooming, the snowball bush’s green flowers are turning to white, and the peonies are very tall. All of my hostas and ferns are lush and my painted ferns are bigger than ever, pretty and purple in the garden. My herbs are all greening back up and spring is here! In a couple of weeks I’ll have roses in my garden again. This is going to be a fun week, while I countdown to Beltane.
Blessed be, Ellen

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  1. Hello,
    I grew up in small town , St. Clair, west of St.Louis. When I heard about the storms and the tornado there I thought of you and wondered if you were anywhere near all that.
    It's good to hear you're alright. Here in Carmel, In, we are having alot of rain as well. I'm so anxious to get working in my little kitchen herb garden.
    I have several of your books and they have been helpful to me while studing the Craft. I have just completed my year an a day. Thanks for all your good thoughts and helpful words.


  2. Hi Ellen, I'm so glad you came through the storm unharmed. I live in The Netherlands and here we just can't imagine the great storms you have over there.
    I hope you get the garden in shape before the Beltane gathering. Your iris is very beautiful. I love the colours. Mine are an old pinkish colour and I've got a light peach coloured double one too. I really love that one.
    Lots of luck with gardening !!


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