The Bean Tighe (pronounced ban tig) is a helpful spirit that is likely one of the inspirations for the "fairy godmother" type donor/patron from faerie and folk tales. She is the one who makes it possible for others to achieve their potential ... whether it be helping with the maintenance of one's home, one's finances, or the ability to make one's dreams come true.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

PBP: Week 13 - Garden

I have wanted a garden so very badly since the first summer after I moved to Calgary. Sadly, neither the climate of southern Alberta nor any of the locations I found lodging in made it possible. To be very honest, the place I am residing at now doesn't really make it possible either but, there IS a small space of unused gravel between the concrete pad that is my "porch" and the steep drop-off leading to the truck yard below us. And, in that unused space, I have decided to create a container garden.

Being that I am now working my way through Book 2 of my 3 book Chartered Herbalist course material and am experimenting more and more, under the guidance of the energy signature I have come to recognize as M'Lady Airmid, I will be putting a small group of those plants I use most in my herbal practices.

I already have successfully picked up one Elder shrub (Sambucus nigra var Black Beauty) and will be looking to secure at least one more so that I will have one plant as a source of flowers and another as a source for the berries. The only location in this little gravel plot where I can place my beloved medicinal Elder is the very back corner to ensure that it receives sufficient light to grow well.

This presents a known challenge as, on the other side of the retaining wall is an infestation of Japanese Knotweed (an invasive plant species that propagates via rhizome or root pieces). I remember this dratted thing having grown up the height of the wall and beyond in an attempt to claim the backyard. It is unlikely that I will be able to eradicate the Knotweed (you MUST remove every last bit of root or it WILL return) but I am hoping I can knock it back sufficiently by bushwhacking my way down there with a pair of pruning shears to prevent it from taking over the gravel plot like it had last year when I moved here in June.

At the same time that I picked up the Elder, I managed to secure some of last years herbs that had managed to survive the winter at the nursery. I picked up 2 Lemon Balm, 1 Oregano, 1 Sage, 1 Rosemary and 1 Lavender for 30% off last year's sale price and a "herb garden" planter box which has chives, oregano, curry, and goodness knows what else might have survived. As for those which didn't, it's a small matter of swapping out the dead herbs for some live ones.

I also have managed to gather some seed packets for planting: calendula, basil, thyme, purple coneflower, and lobelia thus far.

Being that our last frost should have been past by the time this piece finally is posted on Friday, I will move from Garden to Gardening for the following week ... as I put, or begin to put, my little container garden together. Whee! I'll get to post pictures


Also of note will be my crafting blog on Saturday, as the first of my tinctures will be ready for decanting and bottling. Anyone interested in how it's done, may want to "tune in"



  1. Oh, the joys of keeping the knotweed at bay... I've just noticed the first red sprouts of the one in our tiny garden and will go on my first destructive mission against the knotweed this weekend.
    ~ Cat

    1. I know, eh? The stuff is a scourge and as much of the land next to the place I'm renting in is still undeveloped, getting rid of the stuff is impossible. You have my empathies and wishes of good luck with it.

      It does have some useful properties and valid usage in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) as an anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, and anti-mutagen (being investigated as a cancer treatment due to this). In herbalism, the leaves have a mild laxative effect if dried and infused as a tea (but only in small quantities). The roots can be decocted or tinctured to gain access to the anti-microbial and anti-oxidant properties and added to skin lotions, creams and salves.

      Still, it is a nuisance invader and likely to create far more hassle in managing it than the average person will ever gain from trying to make use of it.

  2. Good luck with your garden my friend, I love gardening and it's only in the past few years that my passion for it has grown.

    Rachel x

    1. Thank you muchly ^_^

      I haven't had the opportunity to garden in almost seven years now. I'm almost frothing at the mouth to get at it ^_^

  3. Lovely post! I wish that I was able to have even the smallest garden, but, my apartment is too small, and there is no place for me to plant even an herb garden. I did just pick up a basil plant for my kitchen in the hopes that I will be able to have a Caprese Salad whenever I want to. Good luck with your garden!