Love Spells, Charms and Potions from the Garden

Invite cupid in from the Garden!

Invite cupid in from the Garden!

Express Your Love

There are many different ways to express the feeling of love.  For many people this can be expressed in the form of flowers presented to a partner.  Flowers are an age-old way for those who care about one another to communicate those feelings in a symbolic and meaningful way.   While flowers remain one of the more traditional ways to express intimate feelings between people there are a number of other plants whose uses include love spells and even potions; and let’s not forget the all important aphrodisiacs.

valentines-gift-seeds

Pick Your Love Herbs

Herbs have been a staple of the love potion consortium for centuries and remain a key player in today’s potions.  The types of herbs that can be used in love potions range from the common to the obscure but all have their uses.  Most of us are busy with the routines of daily life and therefore may not have time to shop for the various exotic herbs available.  Luckily enough there are still a wide variety of common household herbs that can be utilized.  Basil is one such herb.

Basil

An age old Love Magnet- Basil!

An age old Love Magnet- Basil!

Basil holds a special place in many Eastern religions and is a more commonly used herb for culinary purposes in the Western hemisphere.  It has been said that basil is the course to true love.  Many of the spells relating to basil has to do with the burning of the herb to invoke its magical properties.  One such spell is the Aphrodite New Moon Love Spell.  This spell can be used for attracting new lovers and is a fun way to use such common herbs as basil.  Another common herb that is utilized through burning is the Bay leaf.  The Bay Leaf Love spell is a simple spell that can bring forth the love you desire.

Aphrodisiacs

Many herbs grown in the garden have Aphrodisiac properties

Many herbs grown in the garden have Aphrodisiac properties

Ginseng

Aphrodisiacs are a popular, easy and extremely fun way to keep the excitement of a relationship moving in the right direction.  Similar to herbs, there are a number of simple aphrodisiacs available for purchase at a reasonable price.  One such aphrodisiac is ginseng.  Ginseng has long been used for its medicinal qualities in ancient China, as well as Korea, and has now seen resurgence in today’s popular culture.  Ginseng, now commonly seen in many energy drinks, can be found in two forms, the American and the Asian. Both forms of Ginseng have been found to enhance libido and increase copulatory performance, according to a recent Southern Illinois University study.

Damiana

Damiana is another amazing aphrodisiac easily available at an affordable price.  This plant has actually been around for hundreds of years and was a cherished plant of the ancient Aztecs and Mayans, who used it most commonly as an aphrodisiac in the form of a tea that was drank.  Nowadays Damiana is still used in teas as well as some Mexican liqueur, and is still regarded for its enhancement of sexual drive in both males and females.  If you’re looking for a little excitement to share with your partner give Damiana a try and see why it’s been around for hundreds of years and will remain in use for hundreds of years to come!

Saffron

If you are looking for an aphrodisiac with a little more exoticism and are willing to pay a little more, there is one of the oldest known herbs on the planet, saffronSaffron can be dated back to potions used by the ancient Sumerians as long ago as the 10th century BC.   Saffron is a marvelous aphrodisiac rumored to be used by Cleopatra.  The famed Egyptian Queen would sprinkle saffron into her bath water to enhance lovemaking.  Today saffron is the most expensive herb by weight but still holds much of the allure it did in ancient times.   Saffron holds magical properties as well, such as the enhancement of lust and is said to be most effective when used by women.  When you’ve got money to blow and are looking for a fun way to spice up your love making, turn to the age-old herb that is known all over the world, saffron!

valentines-gift-seeds

Throughout history there have been a large number of plants and herbs used to ignite the passion between lovers. In general, there are a number of amazing herbs and plants that are conveniently accessible to the everyday gardener, which can spark a fire between you and your partner.  While flowers prove to be something on the ordinary side of life, why not add a little vehement enthusiasm to the bedroom and try some of the other extraordinary things plants have to offer.

Invite cupid in from the Garden!

Invite cupid in from the Garden!

Posted on January 28th, 2012 by Dr. Greenthumb  |  2 Comments »

The Top 5 Seeds to give as a Gift – Gifts of Meaning and Beauty

The true spirit of the season is to love and protect each other and our Earth

The true spirit of the season is to love and protect each other and our Earth

This holiday season is marked by widespread economic and environmental trials. We are all being asked to look honestly at our actions and our choices. For many, this means the always difficult task of finding unique gifts for our loved ones has taken on the new depth of finding unique, meaningful and purposeful gifts!

As we are faced, both as a country at large and within our own families, with the challenge of making smarter choices, the backyard garden is finding a new home in our hearts.

Here are my Top 5 suggestions of Seeds to give as gifts this Holiday Season. I chose these seeds based both on the meanings they hold on on the usefulness and/or beauty of the plants they produce.

Enjoy!

5. Vervain

Beautiful Blue Vervain may help bring you love money and sleep!

Beautiful Blue Vervain may help bring you love money and sleep!

Give Blue Vervain Seeds as a unique way to wish your friends and family blessings of Love, Healing, Protection, Peace, Purification, Chastity,Youth, Money and Sleep. Blue Vervain has also been used for thousands of years as an herbal remedy for a variety of ailments.

4. Thyme

Thyme is useful in your garden and your kitchen and may improve your Health and bring you blessings of Healing

Thyme is useful in your garden and your kitchen and may improve your Health and bring you blessings of Healing

Thyme was considered by the Greeks as a symbol of courage and sacrifice. Thyme is believed to have been in the straw bed of the Virgin Mary and the Christ child. In the Middle Ages, ladies would embroider a sprig of Thyme into scarves they gave to their errant knights. At various periods in history, Thyme has been used to treat melancholy, reproductive system ailments, and to improve digestion. In the 18th century, it was recommended as a cure for a hangover.

Give Thyme as a gift of Courage, Strength, Health, Healing, Love, and Purification.

3. Echinacea

Echinacea is frequently used to shorten the common cold or flu

Echinacea is frequently used to shorten the common cold or flu

Echinacea is one of the most well known and widely used herbs in America today. Native American are thought to have used Echinacea as a “cure-all”.

Today, people use Echinacea to shorten the duration of the common cold and flu and reduce symptoms, such as sore throat, cough, and fever. Many herbalists also recommend Echinacea to help boost the immune system and help the body fight infections

Echinacea should be given to bring wishes of Health and Strength.

2. English Lavender

Beloved worldwide for its unique Fragrance and Calming remedies

Beloved worldwide for its unique Fragrance and Calming remedies

Lavender is well known and loved for it’s beloved fragrance and calming effects. Ancient Greeks and Romans used Lavender to scent their bath water. The flowers are believed to contain a special magic- they bloom over an extended period of time and have the unique quality of retaining their scent even after drying.

Give Lavender seeds to those you wish to bless with Love, Protection, Happiness, Peace, Chastity, Purification, Sleep and Longevity.

1. Bells of Ireland

The "Luck of the Irish" is said to live in these pretty flowers!

The "Luck of the Irish" is said to live in these pretty flowers!

Bells of Ireland flowers don’t actually grow in Ireland. This flower gets its name from the luscious green color of its leaves. The lovely white-veined green bells are not flowers at all. Rather they are calyxes, which clothe the small sweet white flowers found within.

Bells of Ireland symbolize good luck in all areas of life. The flowers are said to contain the “luck of the Irish” because of their green color and whimsical shape.

Give Bells of Ireland to bestow great Luck to your loved ones!

Tips on giving seeds as a gift:

There are endless creative ways to present your gift of seeds, here are a few suggestions:

  • Fill a peat pot with seeds, decorate with bay leaves and attach a small note describing the seed and its meaning.

    A cute and creative way to present a gift of seeds

    A cute and creative way to present a gift of seeds

  • Place seed packets between the pages of a new gardening book:
    Beginner’s Guide to Gardening by Reader Digest
    The Gardening Book (for kids) by Jane Bull
  • Place packets of seeds inside a bouquet of flowers. This is romantic way to say…my love for you will continue to grow…
  • Wrap the seeds with an article or section of the paper that pertains to their meaning or significance. Tie up with a pretty, bright piece of ribbon, string or raffia. Be sure to include an explanation of the seed and the articles significance!
  • A can or jar can be used as a very creative gift wrap. Start with a clean jar or can. Paint the lids, add a “belly band”of printed paper, wrapping paper, bandana or piece of fabric around the midsection. Cover the lid with a piece of fabric or lace and tie on with ribbon or string. Fill the jar with your seed packets and add a decorative tag with a note!

    Even a very simply decorated jar makes a great way to turn seeds into a gift!

    Even a very simply decorated jar makes a great way to turn seeds into a gift!

Happy giving and happy gardening!

Santa-and-Earth

Posted on November 16th, 2011 by Ms. Sunshine  |  3 Comments »

What is Damiana? (and How to Grow it)

What is damiana?

Damiana grows wild in the subtropical regions of the Americas and Africa and is widely used in traditional medicine

What is Damiana?

Damiana is a historically well known herb in North America.  This amazing plant is native to Texas, parts of Southern California and throughout the entire country of Mexico.  Its roots can be traced back to the ancient civilization of the Mayan’s who used it for many of the same reasons it is used today, including use as an aphrodisiac and to stimulate the intestinal tract. There are a few important things to know about damiana, such as the two species of plant, its common forms and uses and the risks associated with it’s use.

Types of Damiana

There are two species of the plant both referred to as Damiana.  The first, Turnera aphrodisiaca, has long been used as an aphrodisiac as the name implies and can be traced back to use in the ancient Mexican culture of the Mayans.  The second species of the plant, Turnera diffusa, is also commonly used in herbal healing to treat symptoms such as anxiety, nervousness, and mild depression.  Because many of these symptoms may be tied to sexual inadequacies both are employed as an aphrodisiac for both men and women.  The small shrub-like plant blooms in late summer and produces small but brilliant yellow flowers that are quite fragrant.  Once the plant blooms, small fruits, which have been compared to figs in flavor, appear on the plant.   The shrub itself has a very aromatic spicy odor that is comparable to chamomile.

Damiana’s Herbal Uses

Although many parts of damiana have been used in herbal remedy throughout history, today’s most common forms come through the use of its leaves.  Damiana leaves are commonly found in pill form and as a tea for consumption.  There are many different effects for damiana so it is important to consult an herbalist in order to best understand what each form is used for, the proper dosage and not to mention possible side effects.  It is also important to note that while the FDA has not approved damiana, there have been many recent studies that have confirmed the medical uses of damiana.

A large number of studies have concluded that there are clear increased sexual drives in both male and female rats (“Stimulating property of Turnera diffusa and Pfaffia paniculata extracts on the sexual behavior of male rats” Arletti, R., Benelli, A., Cavazzuti, E., Scarpetta, G., & Bertolini, A. September 1998).  Pills for use as an aphrodisiac are commonly found today and are said to stimulate the intestinal tract, bringing oxygen to the genital area, which serves to increase the users energy levels thus increasing libido and desire for a partner.  Most pills are made from the leaves of the plant.  The recommended dosage is 2-200mg tablets 3 times daily but it is highly recommended to consult an expert prior to consumption.  It is not recommended to take damiana if you take medicine to treat diabetes or to control blood sugar levels such as insulin, glipizide (Glucotrol), and many others.

Damiana Tea

Damiana is possibly better known in the form of tea brewed from the various parts of the plant.  The tea itself is quite easy to make yourself if you decide to go forward with cultivation of your own plant.  However, one must be responsible and diligent to follow your local laws, as it is illegal to cultivate damiana in the state of Louisiana (Legislature of Louisiana: Regular Session, Act No. 565; House Bill No. 173, 2010). One key to the benefits of damiana tea may come from the variety of different essential oils and minerals, including phosphorus, tannins, and flavonoids.  The combination of these oils and minerals and their effects on the central nervous system is still not completely understood.  What nutritionists and herbalists understand is that damiana tea produces calming effects for those of us who are stressed out or over worked. Drinking damiana tea has been shown to help increase general energy levels, control irritable bowel syndrome, and even improve asthma symptoms. Some of the other benefits include relief from depression and anxiety.  The recommended dosage for the tea or tonic is a 1:5 mixture of 5 mL, 3 times daily.  It is rare but some users have reported allergic reactions to damiana. If you think that damiana is something you would like to try and you enjoy tryingsomething new and exciting in your garden you can cultivate your own damiana plant!

Growing Damiana

Growing your own damiana plant is an easy and enjoyable way to add a little something special to your garden.  The basics for excellent cultivation lay in your ability to provide the plant with a well-drained environment in which to thrive.  Because the plant is indigenous to southern parts of America, Mexico and South America it does require a fair amount of sunlight.  If the temperature of the environment is consistently cooler such as coastal southern California, place your plant in direct sunlight for the majority of the time.  However, the further in-land you go, the hotter and hotter the environment becomes and therefore you will need to base your plants location around a well-balanced mixture of shade and sunshine.

Growing Damiana from a Seedling

There is a very small and simple list of ingredients needed to get you started.

  • Damiana plant
  • Large planting buckets
  • Soil and Gravel mixture

Once you have gathered all your planting materials, mix the soil and gravel into the bottom of the bucket so that the root system will have ample drainage.  Place your damiana plant in the planter and cover it with the remainder of soil and gravel mixed together.  Make sure to cover the plants root system all the way up to the stem and water.  This shrub thrives in regions with high drainage, so the mixture you have made should do the job.  All you need to do now is sit back, make sure you water daily and let the damiana plant bring all its mystery and excitement to you!

Growing Damiana from Seed

Damiana can also be started from seed. The best method for starting damiana from seed is to use a “cold stratifying” technique. Damiana seeds will germinate at about a 60-80% rate and take a lot of attention and extra TLC.

Once you have a well established seedling you can transplant and care for it as explained above.

Damiana is a popular plant for both its medicinal and landscaping qualities – enjoy!

What is damiana?

Posted on November 11th, 2011 by Ms. Sunshine  |  4 Comments »

Tulipomania and the History of the Tulip Bulb

Tulipomania- The Story

Tulipomania (n.) A violent passion for the acquisition or cultivation of tulips

The History of Tulips

The Tulip has a long, exciting and unique history that has led to the great variety of myths, folklore and symbolism that have come to be associated with this beautiful flower.

History

Today, we associate Tulips (and most bulb flowers) with Holland however, Holland is, in fact, no bulb’s ancestral home! Tulips are from Central Asia, Daffodils are from Spain and Portugal, Dahlias come from Mexico, Amaryllis is native to South America, Freesias and Callas come from South Africa, and most of the species of “wild” lilies are from China, Japan, and North America. The wild forms of these bulb flowers have been developed by Dutch flower hybridizers to produce the amazing variety of flowers we are now familiar with and seek for our home gardens. Most of the true “wild” forms of these bulbs are still available, but with all the glamor of the hybrids, the wild ones are more difficult to find.

There are about 150 species of “wild tulips” that originate from the Pamir Alai and Tien-Shan Mountain Ranges (near modern day Russian/Chinese border), and  east into China and West into France and Spain, with the majority coming from Central Asia.

Three famous wild forms of Tulips:

“Lilac Wonder”, Tulipa bakeri

The “Lilac Wonder”, Tulipa bakeri is a 6-8” tall wild tulip, native to the Greek Island of Crete.

Wild "Lilac Wonder", Tulipa bakeri

One of the more difficult to find "wild" forms of tulips

“Peppermint Stick, Tulipa clusiana

The “Peppermint Stick, Tulipa clusiana is a 13” tall wild tulip native to the mountains of Afghanistan and Iran

"Peppermint Sick" Tulipa clusiana

Fun red and white botanical Tulips

“Tarda”, Tulipa tarda

The “Tarda”, Tulipa tarda is a small 5-6” tall wild tulip from Central Asia. This valuable native tulip used extensively in hybridizing

Tulipa Tarda

A valuable native tulip used extensively in hybridizing

Tulips in Turkey

The glorification of the Tulip probably started in Ottoman Empire of Turkey as early as 1,000 AD.  During this time, the Sultans celebrated the Tulip flower and came to believe it could help bring wealth and power.  Today the tulip is still the national flower of Turkey.

Famous Turkish Tulip Legend

One famous Turkish lore tells of a very handsome prince named Farhad who fell deeply in love with a fair maiden named Shirin. One day, news spread to the prince that Shirin had been killed. In his grief, the prince mounted his horse and rode it over a cliff to his death. According to the legend, each droplet of his blood caused a scarlet colored tulip to spring up, making the tulip a historic symbol of “perfect” love.

Red Emperor Tulips

The deep red color of the "Red Emperor" reminds us of the price's blood

Europe is introduced to the Tulip

During the 1500’s European botanists began recording their findings in beautiful drawings. Many of these early tulip renderings began appearing in Europe. The flowers depicted were so beautiful and unique that they gained wide notice. One of the most famous of these early botanic drawings, called “Tulipa bononiesnsis”, become very famous and helped spark a great interest in these flowers.  Paintings depicting these “new flowers” were very exotic to Europeans and helped fuel the fire for what was soon to become the great tulip craze!

Tulipa bononiesnsis

The famous Tulipa bononiensis which looks a lot like our “Red Emperor” tulips today

In the late 16th century a botonist named Carolus Clusius was the head botanist (called the “Hortulanus”) at the University of Leiden. During Clusius’ earlier work in Vienna, he had met a man named DeBusbecq. DeBusbecq was the ambassador to the court of the Sultan in Constantinople, the seat of the Ottoman Empire. As a gift, DeBusbecq gave Clusius some tulip bulbs from Central Asia. Clusias brought these bulbs with him to Holland and began studying the unique flowers, probably in hopes of finding medicinal uses for the bulbs. Since the people of Holland had seen the beautiful botanical drawing circulating throughout Europe, many investors became interested in the flowers as “money-makers” in the developing floral trade market.

Clusias contributed the desirability of the tulip bulbs by being very secretive and protective of the bulbs. The public became so fascinated with the mysterious flowers that some were even stolen from his gardens. This was the beginning of what has come to be known as the famous “Tulipomania”.

Tulipomania

During the 17th century, when the tulip bulbs got beyond the protective grasp of Clusias, the great rise and fall of the “great tulip craze” began. The bulbs were considered very precious rarities and their price quickly began to rise. Through the early 1600’s the prices skyrocketed as an actual trading market for Tulip Bulbs developed. As the hybrids became more and more glamorous, the limited supply of certain bulbs became highly prized by the rich who, ultimately, were willing to pay almost any price. By 1624, one tulip type, with only 12 bulbs available, was selling for 3000 guilders per bulb, the equivalent of about $1500 today! This bulb was similar to today’s “Rembrandt Tulips” which sell for about $0.50 a bulb! During the peak of the tulip craze, one famous sale is recorded for a single bulb going for the equivalent of $2250 plus a horse and carriage!

During the 1630s, the frenzy continued as notarized bills of sale were being issued for bulbs, fraud and speculation were rampant, and the incredible tulip bubble was about to burst. The crash came in 1637. Many rich traders became paupers overnight, and the prices finally settled at a much more practical level.

The settling of “Tulipomania” did not reduce the real demand and the love of the sheer beauty of the tulip flowers.  The tulip market has been maintained and the Dutch have built one of the best organized production and export businesses in the world. Today, over nine billion flower bulbs are produced each year in Holland, and about 7 billion of them are exported, for an export value of three quarters of a billion dollars. The USA is the biggest importer of Dutch bulbs importing around $130,000,000 worth of Dutch bulbs (at wholesale) every year!

Tulip Bulbs in Holland

Over nine billion flower bulbs are produced each year in Holland, and about 7 billion of them are exported

 

Posted on September 8th, 2011 by Ms. Sunshine  |  2 Comments »

Tulip Symbolism by Color

Tulip Flowers and their Symbolism

The Color of Specific Tulips Hold Intimate and Historic Meaning

“The tulip and the butterfly
Appear in gayer coats than I:
Let me be dressed fine as I will,
Flies, worms, and flowers
exceed me still.

~ Isaac Watts

Tulip Symbolism

The name of the “Tulip” flower comes from the headdress, known as the turban or taliban, worn by many people in the Middle East. The Latin translation of the turban is “tulipa”.

The great history of the Tulip, which reaches to the far corners of the world, has given it many strong symbolic associations.  As a group, Tulips represent fame, wealth and perfect love.

Perhaps because they bloom in the spring, following the darkness of the winter months, the Tulip has come to symbolize eternal life.

Tulip Symbolism by Color

The symbolic meaning of the tulip flower changes with the color of the flower.

Red:

Red tulips are a declaration of love and mean, “believe me”.

Red Oscar Tulip Bulbs

Red Oscar Tulips

Yellow:

Yellow tulips mean, “there’s sunshine in your smile”.

"Strong Gold" Yellow Tulip Bulbs

"Strong Gold" Yellow Tulips

Cream:

Cream colored tulips mean , “I will love you forever”.

Maureen Tulip Bulbs

Creamy "Maureen" Tulips

White:

White tulips symbolize heaven, newness and purity.

Inzell Tulip Bulbs

Pure white, "Inzell" Tulips

Purple:

Purple tulips symbolize royalty and wealth.

Purple Prince Tulip Bulbs

Deep purple, "Purple Prince" Tulips

Pink:

Pink tulips symbolize affection and caring

Upstar Tulip Bulbs

Pink, "Upstar" Tulips

Orange:

Orange tulips symbolize energy, enthusiasm, desire and passion

Princess Irene Tulip Bulbs

Ornage colored "Princess Irene" Tulips

Variegated:

Variegated tulips mean, “you have beautiful eyes”

Mickey Mouse Tulip Bulbs

Multi-colored, or variegated, "Mickey Mouse" tulips

Tulips are a long time favorite of the spring garden and the meaning of a garden can be encoded in the color choice of the flowers. For example, a white tulip garden would symbolize “heaven on earth”, while a cream and red tulip garden would be symbolic of a deep and everlasting love. Planting tulips can be a very rewarding way to add symbolic meaning and beauty to your spring gardens.

Tulip Flowers

 

Posted on August 31st, 2011 by Ms. Sunshine  |  5 Comments »

Gardening by the Moon

A moon garden brings magic to your garden!

A moon garden brings magic to your garden!

“The moon was but a chin of gold, a night or two ago, and now she turns her perfect face, upon the world below.”

(Emily Dickenson)

“When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator.”

(Mahatma Gandhi)

When we think of gardening, most of us think of the warm sun overhead, we have forgotten the power and mystery of our gardens at night!

Planting a Moon Garden is a great way to make the most of your garden. Your Moon Garden will allow you the pleasure of enjoying the enchantment provided by the moonlight and the flowers that love it!

What is a Moon Garden?
A Moon Garden is a garden that is planted with the intention of being most beautiful at night…by the light of the moon. The selected plants are frequently white and many, like the Flowering Tobacco, bloom at dusk and after sunset. The plants in a Moon Garden have unique scents that will attract night pollinators like moths and bats. The white color of the flowers and the green foliage will often make a moon garden appear to float in the night air. Some Moon Garden flowers, like the Star Flowers,  are selected for their unique shapes that reflect the stars of the night sky.

When planning a spot for your Moon Garden, be sure to note where the moonlight peaks in your yard. It is also important to make sure you have a nice spot to sit, to allow your eyes to adjust to the night so you can fully enjoy the splendor of the colors and shapes of the post-sun enchanted garden!

What are the Effects of the Moon on Gardening?
It has long been thought that the moon , its phases and the signs of the zodiac all have a strong influence on when certain crops should  be planted or harvested. In general, the lore says that above ground crops should be planted during the waxing moon (between new and full) and below ground crops should be planted during the waning moon (between full and new).

Folklore uses the moon phases as a crop planting guide

Folklore uses the moon phases as a crop planting guide

In addition to the moon’s phases, some believe it is also important to be aware of which zodiac sign the moon is occupying. Certain signs are thought to be better for specific tasks than other. For example,when the moon is in Gemini, its a good day for weeding or mowing and when the moon is in Libra, it’s a great day to plant flowers!

A summary of the signs of the zodiac and their effect on your work in your garden

A summary of the signs of the zodiac and their effect on your work in your garden

Even when the moon is in the right phase for planting, check the moon sign, (zodiac) to make sure the sign for that day is fruitful. For example, if you plant when the moon is in the right phase but the moon sign is in the Bowels, you will get garden plants that grow and bloom vigorously, but will produce little fruit. For a complete day to day guide to the moon and the zodiac, visit a Farmer’s Almanac Guide.

Once you fall in love with the night, your fondest gardening will not only occur with the sun in your hair, but also with the moonbeams at your feet.

“I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.”

(Vincent Van Gogh)

get-moon-garden-seeds-at-eGardenSeed

Posted on November 23rd, 2009 by Ms. Sunshine  |  No Comments »

Folklore, Magic and Myths of Gardening

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Garden Magic, Myth and Folklore

The garden has long been seen as a mysterious place. Its the place where tiny plant seeds magically transform into the fruits, vegetables and herbs our bodies need.

The perceived mystery and magic of the garden has led to centuries of myth and folklore around the things we grow and how we grow them. Here is a list of some of the most entertaining, unique, wide spread or simply fascinating Magic, Myth and Native Folklore of Gardening.

wheat

  • Beans and Peas: When planting peas and beans, the rows should always run north and south, since the sun moves from east to west and gives the plants maximum sunshine.
  • Parsley: Parsley should never be transplanted,  growing from seed is thought to be critical. It takes seven weeks to germinate and one belief is that it grows down to the devil and then up again. Parsley should be picked, not cut; and never give it away as misfortune is sure to follow. Parsley is not only a sure sign of a strong woman, but it will only grow outside the home of an honest man.
  • Basil: Basil stands for “anibasilmosity,” and the planting method shows why… the  gardener should curse with great passion while planting basil seeds. As the basil is growing in the garden, you need to shout and scream at it to make it grow into a strong plant, otherwise they won’t grow! Basil is also a herb for purification, love and money. Put a piece of basil in each of the four corners of your house at the beginning of each season to bring wealth. . It is also reputed that any man will fall in love with a woman from whom he accepts some basil from as a gift.
  • Sage: Sage thrives in the garden of a woman who rules her household, and her husband firmly.
  • Flowers: Red and white flowers in the same vase were unlucky, and even today some nurses do not like to see these flowers in a vase together in their patient’s rooms.
  • Beans: Broad beans have been associated with forecasting the future. A European belief was that three beans should be prepared in different ways to produce an outcome and then hidden on Midsummer Eve for the inquirer to find. The untouched bean indicated wealth, the half-peeled bean indicated a comfortable life, whilst the third fully peeled bean indicated poverty. The future was revealed by which bean was found first.The ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras (of the theorem) founded a religion one of the basic tenets of which was the sinfulness of eating beans.
  • Caraway: Caraway is thought to be useful in combating burglaries. Place it among your valued possessions, if the thief manages to get into the house then the caraway will transfix the person until rescue arrives. For women worried about their husbands wandering off with other women, placing some caraway in the pocket will do the trick.
  • carrot2Carrot: Write the word “carrot” on a piece of paper and hide it. Ask some-one to quickly answer your questions, ask “what is 1 + 1?”, “what is 2 + 2″ etc. until the answer is 128, then ask them to name a vegetable, they will almost always answer with “carrot” – reveal your paper.
  • Garlic: In the Far East garlic is believed to have the power to bring back lost souls and it is  heavily used in religious ceremonies. Garlic is also thought to be a powerful aphrodisiac.
  • Leeks: Old Welsh tradition is to rub themselves with leeks before going into battle to bring extra strength and power while providing protection from injury.
  • Lettuce: The Romans believed that the lettuce plant was a powerful aphrodisiac and to prevent drunkenness. It was served in quantity at feasts and weddings for these reasons. In England, on the other hand, country people traditionally believed that planting lots of lettuce in the garden could prevent conception!
  • Mushrooms: Japanese believed that mushrooms and toadstools were made by thunder. Greeks and Aztecs believed they were made by lightning.
  • pea in the podPeas: Finding a single pea in a pod when shelling them is a sign of good fortune. Finding nine means that you can make a wish once you’ve thrown one of the nine over your shoulder.
  • Parsley: Parsley has traditionally been associated with death and disaster. Bad luck will come your way especially if you cut Parsley for your cooking, transplant it or give it away  and you are in love at the same time.

Whether you garden by myth and folklore or you by hard work, sun, rain and prayer- or maybe both- it’s fun and interesting to learn the stories around the garden.

If you have any fun gardening folklore, magic or myths to share…please do!

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Posted on October 5th, 2009 by Ms. Sunshine  |  3 Comments »

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