THE GREEN WOMAN'S GARDEN 413-225-2144
Through the Year
Mother Nature can be capricious at times. The April 1st snowstorm here in the Northeast is an example of her volatile nature. After a long, cold, snowy winter, we were already anticipating the appearance of spring, eagerly awaiting those elements that mean spring in New England. Crocus, daffodils and other spring plants were emerging, and other perennial plants were shrugging off their winter torpor and showing signs of activity. Then, BAM! A heavy wintry mix of the dreaded white stuff, which had pretty much disappeared in spite of the almost record snowfall of the past season.
The crazy, stormy weather seems to have lessened. March decided to come in fairly quietly, and the snow has finally begun to melt. It's time to begin thinking of the upcoming season of planting, if you haven't already. Emerging plants, peeking out from under their warm blanket of snow, prove that spring is coming at last. Some perennials are already showing signs of growth, with tight little buds just barely in sight. One of these is horseradish, the IHA Herb of the Year for 2011.
As the light grows longer
The cold grows stronger
If Candlemas be fair and bright
Winter will have another flight
If Candlemas be cloud and rain
Winter will be gone and not come again
A farmer should on Candlemas day
have half his corn and half his hay
On Candlemas day if thorns hang a drop
You can be sure of a good pea crop.
An old Scottish poem
"The astrologers went into the child's inn, and found him with his mother. Then with prostrate bodies they worshipped Christ, and opened their treasure chests and offered him threefold gifts: gold, incense and myrrh. . . . The gold signified that he is a true king, the frankincense that he is the true God, the myrrh that he was then mortal; but now he remains mortal in eternity".
from Sermon on the Epiphany of the Lord, by tenth century monk Aelfric
"Every year at just this time,
In cold and dark December,
Families around the world
All gather to remember,
With presents and with parties,
With feasting and with fun,
Customs and traditions
for people old and young"
"A beautiful and happy girl,
With step as light as summer air,
Eyes glad with smiles, and brow of pearl,
Shadowed by many a careless curl
Of unconfined and flowing hair;
A seeming child in everything,
Save thoughtful brow and ripening charms,
As Nature wears the smile of Spring
When sinking into Summer's arms.
"Come, said Fiacre Colman
Walk gently in my garden,
Meditate under the linden tree,
And listen to the bumble bee.
In my garden you will find
Plants for all of human kind,
Herbs for flavor and for fragrance,
And sometimes for a physic;
Feel the whisper of the air caress
Each fragrant flower in happiness.
"When the goldenrod is yellow,
And the leaves are turning brown -
Reluctantly the summer goes
In a cloud of thistledown.
When squirrels are harvesting
And birds in flight appear -
By these autumn signs we know
September days are here"
Beverly Ashour, September
"Fairest of the months!
Ripe summer's queen
This hey-day of the year
With robes that gleam with sunny sheen
Sweet August doth appear."
R. Combe Miller