As early as I can remember the woods were home. They were my safe place, they were where I played, and I knew every inch of my domain. I knew where certain plants grew and at what time of year. I knew where to find chinquapin trees and berry bushes when I was hungry, and I had hiding spaces all through the forest. When I was eight we moved away from the woods to a development. I remember buying a plant at the community yard sale there not long after we moved. Before long, I had a whole windowsill full of potted plants that various people had given to me. I was a child and didn’t realize it, but I know now I was homesick for the forest. When I was seven I got a set of children’s books for Christmas – “Alice in Wonderland”, “Little Women”, “Black Beauty”, “Treasure Island”, “Heidi”, and others. I understood Heidi. When they took her off her mountain to civilize her and she became ill from being away, I empathized. I was Heidi.
We moved again when I was fourteen and I was surrounded by woods once more. Woods and the river, so I had my soul back. When I began driving I could drive to the State Forest nearby and get lost in the woods. In my 20s I had an apartment in the upstairs portion of an old house. I had a porch, and soon had the porch filled with various plants. They were potted, but I could still dig in the dirt and grow things, and I could run to the forest whenever I needed. Then, finally, I bought a house. I wanted to turn my entire yard into a garden! I had visions of magazine spread gardens with gates, arbors, pathways, all filled with an abundance of flowers and fountains. Unfortunately, it was just me and I soon found that doing a single bed was a hell of a lot of work. Still, by the time I sold the house, I had multiple garden beds in different parts of the yard, a variety of trees and bushes, and a vegetable garden as well.
I was born and lived most of my life in rural Maryland, where nature is always nearby. Wildflowers, creeks and the Chesapeake Bay live alongside Maryland State Parks and Forests. When I got married, I moved to South Carolina, and quickly found that gardening here is quite a different matter. There are swamps here instead of deciduous forests and rivers, and the sun is brutal. It’s a different climate; it’s much hotter and the UV rays are much stronger. I can’t be out in the worst of it. Different plants grow here. Plants that behaved in Maryland get invasive in South Carolina. Other plants take one look at the sun, chuckle weakly, and wilt over to die.
This blog will cover a variety of gardening and plant related knowledge. It’s not just growing things, it’s also the medicinal properties, the magical properties, the folklore attached to plants and how we use them. I’ve had a lifelong love affair with plants and everything related to them, from companion planting to which plants attract the faery folk to your garden. If this were a couple hundred years ago, I would have been a hedgewitch living on the outskirts of the village, treating people’s illnesses of body and mind with plants and a little bit of magic. I hope this blog is interesting and helpful to whoever is reading. As for myself, I hope this blog will aid me in getting back on a writing schedule, and help connect with other gardeners. It’s a little rough right now, but it should be fun. I’m not abandoning this one, but I’d like to keep the gardening one separate. So here it is at Hedgewitch’s Garden