Monday, November 7, 2011

Prepping for Winter

Sounds a bit silly, saying we're preparing the yard for winter what with this still being just a smidge of our back garden:

Don't mind the crazy colors, it's just me and my old point and shoot for a bit. My DSLR continues to be too expensive to fix.

But it's true. This month, my only days off from work will be Sundays and Thanksgiving and since I get home at dark-o-clock each night, I plan to spend those days off outside. We began yesterday by pulling all the weeds that had crept up and nestled along the foundation of the house and trimming back the hedges closest to the walls to make some space. We checked for any mouse holes (found one!), cracks in the mortar, soft spots, etc.

While I was deep into the plants and shrubs, I kept an eye out for ripe rose hips. I found, literally a hand full. The majority of them are either still in bloom or green, despite us having a few frosts. This is the first time I've ever harvested them fresh and I could use some advice on drying them and using them for tea. *wink wink*

Then we wanted to take care of our trees. We went around to all of the trees, checking their roots for any damage and pulling any suckers that had landed and begun to sprout from their bases. We pruned any extraneous growth and dead branches to help our trees focus their energy on strong healthy branches. There are several trees in our yard that are a hot mess, and I feel terribly for them. Our largest bradford pear has big beautiful branches that end in harsh square stumps and oddly shaped offshoots where the previous owners cut branches up. I can only assume the tree had gotten too wide and rather than take the branch at the base, they chopped it off in the middle. Luckily, it's a forgiving tree and didn't drop any large branches on my head while I attempted to prune back the dead stuff.

I wish I could say the same for our huge birch tree. It seemed to take great pride in letting large branches that were trapped in its canopy fall on us. Normally, it's a pleasant tree it just didn't seem to take to well to sharp objects.

The fruit trees gifted me with some sturdy branches for me to turn into things, the apple gave two and the pear gave one. Our pear trees are also a bit mangled from poor attention, having grown two or three large vertical leaders, which fused with each other and several horizontal branches in such a manner that I'd actually be terrified to try to remove any of them. I can just hope that with someone keeping up with their pruning from here on out, that they will grow healthier and reward me with juicy pears.

We called it a day after that, as our backs were hurting and it was getting dark fast. I went to bed and woke up sore, but it's the sort of sore I'm happy to bear; the sort that comes from a good day's work. We've got a few more things to do around the yard before winter comes and I plan to enjoy every single bit of it. Tending my patch of earth, getting down in the dirt and taking care of its inhabitants is not only something that ties into my spiritual beliefs, but brings me great joy. To bond with our trees, to leave offerings by their roots for the spirits, fae and local squirrels, to cultivate our own patch of green space to produce food; these things are simple magic to me.

Speaking of simple magic, after work on Saturday the dude took me to a salvage lot where a man and his family take all manner of lovely old things from homes that are going to be destroyed and keeps them on his farm to sell to folks who can use and love them. Joe was there a few weeks ago and wanted to go back to get some old 2"x10" boards to use for our bar counter tops. He also just wanted me to see it, because I love old stuff. He got his boards but I won the old stuff lottery. Not only did he gift me with all the old iron nails from the boards (who but a witch gets excited about these things?) but I found two old antique six pane windows with no glass that I plan to hang on the walls, for $4 each! I'm not sure if I will put photos into either one, but I know for sure one of them is going to get draped in ivy and touched by moss and mushrooms and hung in our bedroom. As if that wasn't enough, I also found these:

Two small iron keyhole covers. I'll be using one on my grimoire in the future and the other? I'm not sure yet. But I just had to have them.

How was your weekend, lovelies?

P.S. New things are coming to the shop this week! So, feel free to stop in periodically and take a peek. :)


  1. Those keyholes are gorgeous! Totally jealous :)

    Our Black Locusts are the absolute worst for sprouting up all over the place. They grow at an amazing rate too. When we first moved here I felt awful about yanking up the baby trees but we'd be over grown if we didn't lol

  2. What an awesome way to spend a Fall weekend. I prepared my gardens for the Winter last Thursday as well. I also took in all my glowy lights and garden decorations. Everything is bare and ready for Winter.

    As an aside....I have insane Fall allergies and as a result of spending hours with my face in leaves and the gardens I now have a fantabulous sinus infection.

    I've been told I should wear a mask. But then I look like Michael Jackson.


  3. You got a big yard! so is a lot of fun!! I got a big hill , so no fun! the season"s are changing so fast! winter is tapping on our head! Too fast for me. Hope all your trees be winter prof . you can make yule decorations with all the Forrest around you!

  4. Working in your own yard, gardens and with your trees is an amazing thing; as you say, magickal. I feel bad for your birch tree; hopefully it will be fine, though. Love, love love your great finds at the salvage place. How lucky for you to have this place as a resource. Great post, Danni. Enjoy your Saturdays off!

  5. I do love the old key holes. Very nice find. Reminds me of why I like to visit the flea markets and thrift stores.
    I see three wands in those branches. Just saying.


  6. What wonderful finds! I need to get out in my yard and clean up too!

  7. Ooooo... you totally scored! =D Those key holes are awesome!!! And no, nobody but us witchy folk get excited over old iron nails... =3

    Reading your descriptions of your yard & caring for it make me all warm & fuzzy, and make me long for when I'll have a yard of my own... ^-^ Someday!

    Holy buckets, those are the biggest rose hips I've EVER seen! @_@

    Hope all your days off are a good as this one was. ^-^ Hang in there with your job. Hopefully they'll hire someone soon.


  8. Love the keyhole covers!

    I can't think of anything better than spending the entire day amongst trees! Sorry for your sore muscles though.

    Enjoy your Winter prep!

    And if you have too many iron nails...perhaps some will find their way into your Etsy shop... ;)

  9. The technical term for those keyhole covers is "escutcheons", in case you ever need to know. It's great to find iron ones - they're almost always brass or bronze. And I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who can't resist old window frames! They make great mirrors, too.

    I never pick rose hips until they've had a bit of frost on them, but I guess you don't get many frosty nights down there, so there's no reason to wait! I'd guess the best way to dry behemoths like that would be to cut them in half, scrape out the seeds, and force-dry them in a warm oven or a dehydrator. That way there's no risk of them spoiling if they take too long to dry thoroughly.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.