thoughts, ideas and know-how appreciated

last weekend i took cuttings from the holly trees at my grandmother's house, the ones that were planted on the day i was born. leaving those trees is the one thing that makes me feel very sad when i think about selling the place, because in all likelihood, they will be cut down. originally, there were three, but one was cut down almost thirty years ago - right around the time i married my ex.

the two left are male and female and the female makes the most beautiful red berries. now i have twelve - more or less - cuttings, six from each tree. this week i have been allowing them to rest in the shade underneath the big pines beside the party-house. the cut edges are soaking in water and rooting hormone.

my plan today is to get the rooting mix... whatever it's called... as some sturdy pots. i hope to nurture them inside all winter, in a sunny southern spot that didn't exist a few months ago. (this has given my wish to have the renovations completed a new urgency.)

i have absolutely no idea what i'm doing, except that i would dearly love to have at least two trees to plant come spring. if possible, i would love to give any extras as gifts to people i know will cherish them, since i have learned it is best to be choosy about who one gives one's plants too, especially if you feel they should included among your children.

so if any of you glorious goddesses and gods of this green world have any understanding of the proper propagation methods of trees... please share?

What is this?


I found this plant and rhizome while cleaning one of my gardens today. Anyone know what it is? 

The WHC According to Rose

In addition to the weedwalk already mentioned, I took some other workshops at the WHC and I thought I’d better share some simple highlights with you while they’re still fresh in my mind and heart.

I should begin by saying that travel was shared with the most delightful crew!

The lovely Kate Gilday of Woodland Essence shared a bit of Tree Medicine and Essence with us. I always enjoy time with Kate, be it in song or in the woods. She inspired me to tap a maple in the spring, if for no other reason than to sip the raw sap.

A workshop with the very talented and motivational Leah and Chloe of Appalachian Rising got us moving and vocal in no time. By the end of this workshop some 50-60 woman danced together in the open field and sang harmonies to dazzle the gods.

I made time for the offerings of Mz. Imani, for she is an amazing woman, an inspired teacher and great motivator. Oh, and awesome drummer too. And singer of chants and playful spirit and toe-wiggler. Her Drum Circle was much more that “just” drumming and Helping the Heart of Humanity Heal offered the wonderful opportunity to take an active role in creating sacred space with other woman for the Saturday evening Wild Women’s Fire Circle. Time with Imani is time in blessing.

Sunday evolved as mostly free time for me, after helping clear the Fire space of drums, torches, candles and such. A hearty breakfast was followed by Spiritual Bathing with the amazing Rosita Arvigo, where we not only learned about a bit of history and herstory, and the how-tos, we actually all partook in spiritual bath together in the dazzling morning sunshine. Then, I wandered off to break camp and pack the vehicle with my stuff. Once done, I sat in quiet gratitude in that space our tents had occupied and this led me to follow spirit to the lake where I floated and swam until they “closed” it. Then lunch and closing circle.

I had packed my drum and thought I would opt to observe and witness the closing ceremonies. I took a front row seat on the side opposite the drummers and quickly gave it up to join them, as one of Imani’s drums called to me. I sat in awe and gratitude and love and humility in a giant tent filled with astounding feminine power.

There’s more and I could go on, but this is more than enough for this venue.

For any woman, I recommend this conference. It is nourishing, regenerative, restorative . . . you get the idea and it truly has something for everyone.

Let's Start with a Weedwalk

I took a weekwalk with Bevin Clare at the WHC and was reminded of just how much I love a good weedwalk and how much I appreciate the perspectives and experiences of others who walk in Green wisdom. There's no way I could convey all that she shared here on this blog, nor would I choose to, for I rely on your empowerment to follow-through on learning about such things as you are guided. Of course, If you ask me, I will do my best to relay Bevin's wisdom to you as I recall it . . . or my own experience with the plant, should I posses such a thing. 

Trillium in fruit on the floor of a New Hampshire forest in August, out of focus but still lovely.

Sarsaparilla in the same neighborhood.

Hamamelis virginiana shading and loving the floor-level residents.

Mitchella repens, or partridgeberry if you prefer, a long-respected womb-ally.

Coptis spp., commonly called goldenthread . . . with bitter golden yellow roots that speak to the berberine it holds within.

The lovely Lucy Mitchella holding a specimen of Monotropa uniflora, a big medicine in my book and a plant to be honored and harvested with the greatest care and respect, so that we may continue to have it for years to come.

My apologies for the less than meaningful ID photo of this plant, Ambrosia artemisiifolia. Looks like those darn botanists and their name-changing got to this one, for it seems that I can only find it listed as Artemisia artemisiifolia. Funny that, for it is a plant that my friend Bruce and I were puzzling over in May. We agreed that it must be one of the Artemisias, but didn't know which one. I wonder now how it is that neither of us recognized the common Ragweed

Apocynum, or dogbane and a lovely woodland aster in bloom. I was nibbling aster petals all weekend.

Lycopus spp., or bugleweed, a non-aromatic mint.

Beautiful, elusive Scutellaria lateraflora. She deserves two photos. Enough said.
Last, yet never least, Achillea millefolium, the beautiful and multi-gifted common yarrow. There were others, but this is a good representation methinks.

And then . . . 

looking forward...

to hearing all about the Women's Herb Conference!!! :)

Schizandra chinensis

My Schizandra berries are just starting to ripen. They are sweet-tart and astringent with distinct, yet subtle bitters.

This beautiful vine, native to Asia, is a member of the Magnoliaceae family. It's probably best known as a traditional Chinese herb, commonly called "wu wei zi," which means five taste fruit. Just watching it grow in my gardens gladdens the heart and speaks to it celebrity as a heart tonic, though it has many traditional medicinal uses.

What do you have growing, blooming, ripening in your gardens?