Yesterday was the last of the 12 biodynamic stirrings we do for the garden. It was Bryngwyn’s first go at this – that how we call our new home, it means Gwyn’s Place or White Hill. The garden’s not as big as the one at Archenland but it’s still lovely, and will be even lovelier over the coming year. I’m in process of helping it become a beautiful wildlife garden that humans can enjoy as well, and it’s making that transit so easy for me I’m sure it wants it.
From 26th Dec to 6th Jan each year we stir Prep 500 (horn manure) and squiff it (shaking a large paint brush of liquid!) the garden every day, that’s 12 days, one for each month of the coming year. It makes one helluva difference, it really does. perhaps one of the most understandable changes it helps enable is re-establishing the mycorrhiza in the soil. Let’s face it, people dig gardens, they’ve been encouraged to do so for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years, but digging gardens disturbs and breaks the microscopic thread connections the mycorrhizal fungi make between each and every plant. Imagine what ploughing does! This is not a good thing; the fungi help the plants to take in water and nutrients from the soil that are otherwise far less available to them, and that means you don’t need to add much to the soil to help it grow plants.
Of course, compost is always a good thing to add; after all, it’s like what happens in autumn when the plants and trees shed their leaves and that goodness goes back to make new leaves, and new plants, come next spring. But if you can also encourage the fungi threads to grow strongly between the plants that’s even better.
Prep 500 (horn manure) does other things too but the mycorrhiza is a biggy. If you want to know more about it try Gardening with the Moon & Stars for a relatively easy read on what and how to.
We finish up on 12th Night with a final stirring and squiffing of what’s called 3 Kings Preparation – Gardening with the Moon & Stars tells you about this too – it’s special and magical, and really helps your land connect with the Spirit of Place it belongs to. But it’s not religious! It’s called that because you stir frankincense, gold and myrrh together and then apply this to the garden. Those 3 elements are far, far older than the 2000 years of christianity but came forward into that story. You can read my version of our old British story of how they were discovered in Battle of the Trees.
The frankincense, gold and myrrh are about reconnection as I said, not only to the Spirit of Place but also to the 3 Worlds – Upperworld/frankincense, Middleworld/gold, and Lowerworld/myrrh.
Gardens need all that. The whole Earth needs all that. We ought to be doing a lot – a lot – more of it to help our Mother Earth.