Sunday, July 2, 2017

Green Witch's Report: Reflections on a Summer's Day

I was headed out to deadhead my flowers and cut back the fast-growing herbs...and my mind began to meander down a country gravel road deep in the woods of the Appalachian Foothills of Kentucky. The initial purpose of the trip was to pick up a late 1700s Kentucky great wheel, which I had purchased (after much study and deliberation) from a woman in Lexington who had bought it decades earlier at an historic estate sale.  She believed it had been painted with buttermilk paint, but after consulting furniture restorers who specialize in furniture from the 1700s and 1800s, I was told that it was painted with an earth based pigment of that time period.  I fell in love with it, the spindles on its large wheel being hand carved branches. Anyway, it was a challenge to fit "Buttermilk" into my Versa (lol!); of course we had to dismantle it...the bench and the legs alone weighed a LOT. And then we drove everywhere, antique great wheel in the back seat.  One of the places we travelled to was Tater Knob Pottery and Farm, waaaaaaayyyyy back in those Kentucky hills, a place in which you can easily get lost.  But spotting a small humble sign indicating "pottery" with an arrow leading to another road, away we drove, following that arrow.  It was a delightful pottery to visit, as we were greeted with ice-cold homemade tea (was it?) served in their own pottery mugs, perfect for refreshment.  It is here the proprietors and their son make one-of-a- kind pieces.  This was what I purchased...

They told me that these kinds of pieces were once placed in graveyards to keep away evil spirits.  Looking at his face, I can understand that.  :)  He sits under the pottery bird bath in my gardens now, keeping guard.  And it must be working because I've not been bothered by any dark spirits!

Anyway, if you have a chance to visit them in person or online, I encourage you to do it...

Back to my gardens, the herbs are really growing now and are quite ready for their first the kitchen basil is ready, as are the French tarragon and oregano.

The lemon verbena on the left below is looking good but is still a bit too small to harvest.  I planted it last year...and am surprised it returned.  The other basil in flower now is a Thai basil...a very pungent fragrance.  Almost perfumy...and quite pretty.

Nearby is this little pepper plant (see below on the left), which I only purchased for the birds' delight...can't remember its name for all the world...but those little pepper-berries stay on the plant even through winter, as its branches are bare, giving my little garden a pop of red on a cold winter's day.  The chrysanthemums were purchased some autumn ago.  I always buy chrysanthemums to accompany the pumpkins on my porch in the fall and then plant them in my garden, allowing them to bloom several times before the next fall.  And what's this??  My hummingbird bush is already getting spikes of bright red, an invitation to the seasonal hummingbird visitors.  I don't like to use hummingbird "food" made of sugar water.  I prefer they drink what they are intended to drink.

The dark red autumn sage (salvia) is blooming...I'm afraid I've let it get a bit "spindly," but it's in competition with the blue mist, not yet really blooming.  Yes, those echinacea in the background need deadheading!  And the black pin cushion flower on the right below I adore...the fish you see in the Indian feather grass and driftwood once held a rain gauge.  Now he just swims in an imaginary pond world.  The tiny fragrant blooms behind the pottery carp look like stars...

We've had so much rain (at least for us) that the roses are blooming again...this is my Marie Pavier antique rose, circa 1888 below left)...and...we have mushrooms!!!  I think they are just so darn cute.  I would like to study mushrooms and lichen one day... cute is this, growing betwixt and between....

Finally, there's sedum, which, as far as I know, has no purpose for a green witch other than to provide beauty...and that's enough, too.  ETA:  Seems sedum does indeed have medicinal properties...just further bolsters my belief that every living thing on this earth has a purpose.  Here I've place my stone "bear's paw" among the growing sedum.  Well, enough dreaming of summers-gone-past.  Time to focus on the "now," and that, my friends, mean deadheading!!

© 2017 Nancy Duncan


  1. We recently sold our home of 40 years and moved 10 miles away. In the back garden I had planted a poison garden. Before leaving I tore the garden out. They family that bought our home has young children and I didn't want to take the chance that one of my left behind plants would injure one of them. I haven't decided if I will plant a new one here. I'm nurturing lots of baby trees since there aren't any and we are craving our shady dells with this summer heat.

  2. a "poison garden" I assume you mean plants such as nightshade, etc.? They are quite beautiful, but deadly if ingested. Well, heck, even Morning Glories are poisonous!

  3. I just recently visited your blog and I was so happy to visit your gardens and read your divine writing. I will return again soon. Thank you for such a delightful place to visit.

    1. Welcome, Constance (I love your name!)! And thank you. The first part of Goody Prymm was written from last summer to some time in the winter when I had to shut down for a while due to security issues. All is well now, but that will explain why you don't see the beginnings of Goody Prymm.