Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Urban Garden Log #4: A New Venture

Red Pepper Bug Deterrent

A former rector of my church, many years ago, had a vision of ripping up the manicured lawn on the church campus and planting a garden to provide fresh produce for a local food pantry that serves the poor of our community.  This garden came to be and has been an on-going venture for many years.  The rector went on to other endeavors and left the garden in the hands of the congregation.

This morning I joined the group that tends the garden.  I am an amateur:   I know nothing more about gardening except that you need good light, healthy soil, the right amount of water and a lot of energy. The garden manager, who (in her own words) has “a passion for the earth”, is patient and eager to teach individuals like me.  What I learn, I plan to implement in my own garden.

So I had my first lesson today: using a natural homemade concoction made of habanero peppers to keep unwanted critters away from the baby plants.  For nearly two hours I spritzed and sprayed all manner of vegetable seedlings with red pepper pest deterrent.  Other volunteers were working on harvesting seeds for future planting while others were spreading compost, weeding and watering. It was truly a community effort. Another marvel was the diversity of the group.  Women, men, and children of all shades and hues were working together in harmony to heal the planet and help the poor.

You can’t do church any better than that in my opinion.

ljg 2019


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Qigong in the Garden

The work in the garden continues.   Rosemary plants are in the ground, with English lavender and herbs that survived the winter being readied for planting. The orange tree is white with blossoms, and a 60-year-old lemon tree is still bearing fruit.  The other corner of the yard is still a weed jungle, but that will come to an end soon. This morning was so lovely that I decided to do a morning qigong  exercise in the middle of it.

 

And here is an example of the type of qigong that I do:

 

ljg 2019


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Bee Garden

Last year I grew a vegetable and herb garden. Some plants flourished, others did not, and overall I was not pleased with the amount of produce versus the amount of labor and water.

This year I am not growing things for myself, but rather for the bees, and eventually, when I get a birdbath, for them as well. The garden will be an evolving one, and at the moment I’m just purchasing small drought-resistant plants,such as rosemary, lavender and salvia. They are not even in the ground yet and the bees have already arrived. We’ll see how this turns out in a few months.


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Viriditas: An Earth Day Reflection

It seems appropriate on this Earth Day weekend that I spent a little time working in my small container garden. In the past, I have not been overly successful with gardening, but this time I approached it in a different manner. In the past, I would determine that I would plant a garden, and then spend large amounts of time sweating and toiling, ultimately not seeing much of a return for all the effort.

This time I am letting the plants grow themselves. What do I mean by this? All I need to do is four things: plant when the temperature is warm enough, and provide them with proper light, nutritious soil, and the right amount of water. I only spend about an hour once a week checking on them, giving them a good long drink of water, and keeping an eye out for insects and anything else that might be an obstacle to their well-being. Other than doing these simple activities, I get out of the way and leave them alone to grow. Plants, it seems, have the power within themselves to grow.  I don’t need to fuss over them

The medieval abbess, Hildegard of Bingen, who was a theologian, musician, writer, scientist, medical practitioner, mystic and visionary, had a word for this inner force: viriditas, or “greening” power. This power pulses with vitality and fruitfulness.  It resides in every living organism.  It is life in abundance.

What if we applied the same basic gardening principles to our own lives, both physically and spiritually? What if we got out of our offices, away from our computers and devices and exercised in the fresh air, feeling sunlight on our faces, eating nutritious food, and drinking lots of water? The greening power within us would heal our bodies.

Similarly, what if we disengaged from social media and all the other obstacles to our peace of mind? What if we were to take time to pray and meditate, fellowship face-to-face with others, feed our souls with things that are pure and wholesome and not negative or hateful? What if we partook of the divine Spirit that “greens” this world?

Then true healing would take place. Of this, I am certain.

Ljgloyd 2018


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Urban Garden Log Post #2

It has been a little over two weeks since I potted a cherry tomato plant, some sweet basil, and several sprouted garlic cloves. This was an experiment to see if where I placed them in the garden would be suitable for them and other plants. So far, so good. The tomato plant has blossoms, and the garlic and basil are growing. So I went ahead and got a few more plants and put them out. I have added flat leaf Italian parsley, cilantro, and oregano, and just for fun I got a lavender plant and a big lemon balm plant. The “feral” mint next to the water faucet is going like gang–busters, and I fear that the rosemary bush is about to knock over a fence if I don’t prune it back. And the orange and lemon trees are still producing and continue to have blossoms on them. Since we are in a drought zone, I am striving to give them all only one big drink of water a week.  My plan is to get a couple of more tomato plants, and sow from seeds some bush beans.   We’ll see how this goes, one week at a time.

Tomato blossoms

 

Lemon Balm

 

I think there’s room for a few more pots.

 

The monster rosemary bush

 

Lavender

 

My feral mint seems to be happy next to the faucet so I will just leave it alone.

 

ljgloyd 2018

 


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Urban Garden Log Post #1

I do not have a green thumb. When people give me plants as gifts, the plants weep. This is weird because farming is part of my DNA, ever since the first hunter/gatherers in my family line cleared the forests of ancient Europe all the way down to my father’s generation that grew up on a New England farm. However, my past attempts to grow anything have miserably failed.

A few days ago I discovered a neglected garlic bulb in my pantry. It had sprouted, much to my surprise, and I decided that it needed to be put in some soil. Any plant that can come to life in the darkness of my kitchen pantry deserves to live. So one thing led to another and I ended up getting out some garden pots and purchasing some potting soil. I also got some basil and tomato plants. I am going to see how well these do before I invest in any more seedlings. I do not have much sunny space in the backyard, so this is why the pots are gathered smack-square in the middle.

I am taking some encouragement from the abundant fruit on my orange and lemon trees, and I discovered some mint that had been planted decades ago is springing up between the trash bins and the water faucet. I’m just going to leave it alone.

I don’t intend for this to be a gardening blog. I just wanted to have a place to make some notes. Hopefully in a few weeks I can make a good report on some progress.

Feral Mint

Sweet Basil

Pantry Sprouted Garlic

Cherry Tomatoes

The sunniest patch in the yard

An ancient lemon tree

The orange tree that won’t stop bearing

Note:   The moon is a waxing gibbous, which, if I remember my herblore, is a good time for planting.