I feel great joy at this time of year, the Spring Equinox, the awakening of the great Mother Earth... her goddess energies are engulfing my gardens straight into my heart in the most authentically pure way. The air is so perfumed with rosemary, pollen, blossom and chamomile that I find a wonderful sensation of comfort lay over me from the moment I open my eyes until I re-enter the astral realms later that evening.
No matter what is happening in the world or around you, a garden, particularly in Spring gives a comfort like no other; a real connectedness to the Earth. It is the most fertile time of year, and this sacredness of all my trees and plants being spread far and wide—is a wonderful experience...physically and energetically.
At this time, the days are getting longer, and the weather is mild, I am finding I do not have to work in layers of clothing anymore, and my poor dreaded ugg boots, that saved me from the bone chilling cold (hot blooded, desert woman talking here) have been replaced by some new boots my father gave me, that didn’t fit him—lol…they’re actually very comfortable…even more comfortable than my steel caps. Not very lady like, but practicality trumps everything out here.
I have been out in my paddock at El Noor, cleaning up all my little date palms grown from seed, and have spotted all these beautiful wild poppies popping up all over the place. I was so excited when I first spotted them. I have only mowed about a month ago, and they have come up so quick that I will not mow again until they have gone to seed.
I love nothing more than to see poppies coming up on their own. I have spent a small fortune buying poppy seeds without any luck growing them, so this is a delight to see for me. Actually according to the poppy farmers in Afghanistan, they say that the less care taken with poppies, the more the poppies will grow!
My date palms are looking good. I have been topping them up with sawdust, ready for the Summer ahead. I have let them go on their own all Winter long, and some have accumulated some weeds at their bases. In many ways, as much as people find that weeds are a pest, they have actually helped protect my date palms as they grow up through the milk containers, shielding the frost away, and giving the date palms a humid environment to grow in. But once the weeds get too big, they smother my poor date palms and so I have to clean them up. Here's an example:
Doesn't look like there is a date palm in there, but there is! With some careful cutting and clearing, here is how it looks after the chop:
It looks much cleaner now and you can see those wonderful waxy fronds. I can't wait to see how this grows over the Summer. They love that hellish type of heat! Lastly, I cover the base with more sawdust, to stop the growth of the weeds.
I know you might be thinking, "Andulairah, why don't you just pull those weeds out?!?" Trust me, I have learnt the hard way with doing this. The issue with pulling the weeds out is, when I have tried to do this, I have also pulled out the date palm. It’s too risky when they are so small. Some of those grass roots and weed roots are so tough and deep, it’s just not worth it. So the best thing to do in the meantime, is to cut them back and smother them with sawdust. And besides, there is an entire microbial network happening underneath the soil, so I respect that, and want to leave it alone and let nature get on with what its already doing.
I have been out picking baskets and baskets of pine pollen--from my beloved old pine tree, that is bursting with fertility as I write these words. This pine--she has blessed me with shade, protection, homes for all the animals of El Noor and most of all given me her most sacred self—and right on the cusp of the Spring Equinox--her pollen blossoms.
Her fertility is spread throughout my home, my clothes, the winds and the air, and it is a beautiful feeling seeing her pollen everywhere...she continually reminds me that life is beautiful, sacred and nothing will ever hold the power of Creation back--not man, not anything!
Lure of Intana is an incense that I have made, a type of homage to the fertility that I have been blessed with here at El Noor. It has taken a full year to make, a full seasonal cycle, because the main ingredients for it, have all come from these gardens!
The roses in Lure of Intana were picked and dried all throughout the Summer of 2019, as was the lavender and rosemary, and the pollen blossoms has been a patient dance of waiting for this exact time of year, when the tree has her buds bursting with yellow powder—pollen, the most sacred language of Creation.
I have been spending a lot of time in my hot house because I had some very special plants arrive earlier this week. Everyone knows how much I love the Durian fruit, and when I ate it last year, I literally had tears in my eyes (yes, madness I know). I love this fruit like no other. I can tell you today that my dreams have really come true, a Durian tree arrived in the mail, along with mangosteen, black sapote, mango and dragonfruit.
And even though I am bursting with excitement, I have it contained, because I have to learn how to keep these delicate trees alive. As you can see, I have put another cover over the Durian for added protection at night. And right now my hot house is so hot, I don’t want to shock it…being that its already had the shock of its life—coming to South Australia, to the cold, and coming to a completely foreign environment!
These trees apparently grow only 18 degrees of either side of the equator. Let’s hope the Gods are good to me... I am doing my best to mimic a tropical environment. Its a constant learning curve for me. Winter is going to be especially interesting... I have some ideas in place, I am hoping they work!
My dormant roses are awakened and are growing ever bountiful. They have new shoots and new growth and it won’t be long until I start seeing some lovely new buds. The chooks have done a great job at keeping down the weeds…
Baby 1 & 2 crow are keeping me very amused. I love seeing the playfulness and innocence of baby birds and animals, and even though they are squawking for food 50 hundred times a day (have you heard them squawk on my Instagram?!!) I am endeared to them. The closest I’ve got to a baby is about a meter, when one came on a branch I was plucking pollen blossoms from. And funnily at night around sunset, mum and dad leave the 2 babies with me, and they just hang out at the water bowl.
They are very great friends, they have helped me deal with Mrs Fox. This morning, in fact, Mrs Fox was at the gate again, and I chased her out the paddock. Mum and dad crow were right behind me, and when I ran out of the paddock, they kept going, shooing away poor Mrs Fox across the road. I know Mrs Fox is hungry, but she can’t eat my chickens! Don’t worry, I am very diligent with protecting my chickens and if I leave my house for a few hours, much to their own dismay, they are locked up in the workshop with the ABC radio on the wireless.
I have harvested the most delicious blue sprouting broccoli this year. I eat the leaves and the florets and even the stalk. I have planted another tray of broccoli seeds and have put them in the hot house. They have already shown signs of life—even after a week in there.
I harvested broccoli seeds at night...
And daytime too! I now have almost a full jar of seed for coming months.
Those lovely little grape vine cuttings I’ve had growing have now been planted out in the David Austin rose bed. I hope they thrive out there, the soil is so good.
I still have mushrooms growing out in this bed, despite the weather warming. In fact, a few months ago I spotted some odd looking mushrooms down at the base of my roses.
I suspect it is from the sawdust, which is pine from a nearby forest. I have tried to look up these mushrooms and I think they may be ghost mushrooms- mushrooms that glow in the dark! I wish I took a picture of them at night. They are highly toxic however…so no eating!
All the stone fruit trees are well in bloom at El Noor. My 70 year old Peach tree doesn’t yet have many blossoms on her this year, so I’m hoping I didn’t prune her too hard in the Winter, still, I will wait and see…
Today I have the job of digging up all her cuttings in my sawdust pile to see what cuttings I can plant out in the paddock. The ones I have already planted are looking to do well. In the next week or so I will be laying down new irrigation for them before the summer hits.
On top of all this, I have been studying like a madwoman for mid semester exams for UNI. I am now deeply into the worlds of Microbial pathogenesis and parasitic infections…and I am finding it very interesting and stimulating.
You will also notice the cords everywhere (topped with a dusting of pollen for good measure) as I am also in the works of editing a mini documentary I have been working months on. More on that to come later.
So all creatures, great and small seem to be busy in the Spring Equinox. It’s a wonderful time here, and I hope wherever you are, you are too, enjoying the Spring, or Fall—if you are in the North of the Planet.
Hearty hugs and wishes to you all for now,
Blessings & Radiance,