Urban Gardening: The Garden In September

This post is a compilation of all the garden pictures that haven’t been posted already, all of them taken through the month of September. I like to keep a good archive of photographs for gardening documentation and for future articles, but a lot of them never get published because other posts and images take priority. As the month ends, I am gathering them together with a few magical tips, so all readers can enjoy the beauty – and may it inspire you to create your own urban garden!

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Even though we thought it would not make it after the summer, the Red Sage (Salvia Splendens) is reblooming like crazy! This camera really hates red, that’s why the  photo looks a bit weird, but I can tell you that it really is that supernatural colour. Bees and wasps keep making love to it :).

As all Sages, this one is filled with the energy of blessing and cleansing, a perfect addition to any magical garden, and really easy to keep for beginners. Since it’s almost odorless, they could make a great choice for when you want protections go unnoticed.

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Another plant that struggled with the summer, but that as you can see is bursting with blooms now, is the Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum Genus). We keep it in our garden to honour our Ancestors, since in our tradition it is a plant deeply related to the Dead. Hopefully soon it will give us many flowers for our rituals!

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Not the most appealing pic (the sun was really strong and I couldn’t see anything in the camera screen), but I am so happy to see my little Linden trees flowering! Linden (Tilia Genus) not only makes the best sedative tea (mostly the flowers, but also the leaves), it has tremendous energy of protection and nurturing. I am completely in love with these trees, and so glad I took the chance to grow them here, because they need a softer climate than ours, and only grow on the most humid areas of the islands. But Mommy’s love and attention convinced them to stay :).

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The Statice (Statice Limonium) keep slowly flowering – and we keep cutting and hanging the flowers to dry, as these don’t lose colour or beauty when dry. In the islands, they are called Siemprevivas (Lives Forever), and since they don’t fade, they are a magical symbol for eternity, both in Love Magic and in Ancestor Magic. To preserve them, just hang them upside down so the stalks dry straight, and once they are dry, you can put them in a vase.

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The tiny flowers of the Mastic Tree keep growing beautifully. No more wildharvesting seeds, hopefully :). These trees were grown from seeds I collected from one of my favourite places in the world, three years ago. Even when they are container-grown, they are just my height now, and for the first time, they are flowering.

The Mastic Tree (Pistacia Lentiscus) is an extremely holy and powerful tree, full of properties – specially the resin, which can be used in many ways, from toothpaste to varnish, from incense to food flavouring, from perfume to medicine. This is actually one of the several plants that could be the main ingredient in the Bible’s Balm Of Gilead.

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Time for the mints to flower – above, Pennyroyal (Mentha Pulegium); below, Peppermint (Mentha Piperita). Both plants are widely used in our Curanderismo tradition; as medicines, for upset digestion, colds, headaches, and menstrual problems; as magical herbs, for protection, cleansing and renewing energy.

Please notice – Pennyroyal is an emmenagogue, which means that induces menstruation. If you are accustomed to it as we are, you can take a cup here and there without risk, but if you are not, or if you think you are pregnant, stay away from it. Also, people with liver problems should not take it, as there are evidences of it being hepatotoxic.

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The Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis, below) plants got their summer pruning two weeks ago, and as usual, they show their happiness by flowering .  Another plant that bees and wasps absolutely love – if you haven’t tried rosemary honey*, you haven’t tried heaven :). A strong, powerful herb for banishing, cleansing and healing, Rosemary is holiness incarnated in a plant.

*Rosemary honey is not honey infused with the herb, but honey that comes from bees that feed mostly on rosemary plants. It has a woodsy, deep taste that is completely unique, and is considered one of the most medicinal honeys here.

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And, even though we are at the slowest season, the garden is still giving and giving – this pic below is just the work of one morning, pruning and refreshing the herbs from dead stalks and overgrowth. Pennyroyal, Peppermint, Lavender, Thyme, Linden, Lemon Balm and Marjoram.

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