Monday, August 29, 2011


"GARDEN GODDESS", painting by Sandra Bos

I have my very own Garden Goddess! She could be the one above, or she could be this one:


She could be the statue above, or the one below.

But she is none of those. My Garden Goddess is a real, living, breathing woman!

Let me back up a bit. The main reason I haven't been blogging much this summer is that I returned to gardening after a long absence. That meant that my flower beds and yard were very overgrown. I have been feverishly planting, weeding, deadheading, fertilizing, cutting back grapevine. In addition, I have had a couple of guys assisting me with the heavy stuff. The first one I hired, back in May, was my niece's boyfriend. He was really fast and a whiz with the chain saw.  But then the flooding started and since he works in the moving business he became too busy to help me any more.

So then I hired a guy who did quite a bit of the heavy work, including cutting down more saplings, moving large paving blocks, removing some railroad ties and rototilling and amending three small garden beds. However, he turned out to be a less-than-desirable employee.

Just last weekend I finally caught up on planting after getting 15 hostas in the ground and moving some annuals to better spots. The front yard actually looked pretty good, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

That relief was short lived, however, as I did some baaad, baaad things. I bought some Black-eyed Susans, a Russian Sage and Carpathian Bellflowers on impulse at a home improvement store. I also answered online ads from a couple of local ladies who were dividing their perennials. I visited both homes and came away with armloads of daylilies, irises, a peony, some Asiatic lilies, liatris, phlox and a couple of bergenia (which I've never grown).

When I got home and unpacked my plants, I panicked. Here it is the end of August and I'm planning on leaving for vacation in a week. Every muscle in my lower back and legs hurts. I have worked through this pain for months hoping it was just "getting in shape" stiffness and soreness, but it never went away. I thought,  "I just can't do this anymore!" I was finally at the end of my rope, with a whole bunch more plants to get in the ground, and no more garden beds ready.

Fortunately, I was rescued by the same site that got me into trouble in the first place. The ad placed at bismanonline by "Garden Goddess", aka Vicki, was a god(des)send to me. Vicki came over Friday afternoon, took the tour, listened to my plans/dreams and added some ideas of her own. Saturday afternoon she came over ready to work, and within a couple of hours she had moved a bunch of rocks, re-located the paving blocks, dug up and amended a small garden bed and planted a lot of those plants. She'll be over on Tuesday to dig up another bed and plant the daylilies. (To give me just a little credit, I did get the irises and bergenias planted Saturday evening.)

Thank the heavens above and whatever gods or goddesses may have been involved in helping me find my very own Garden Goddess!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


"WILLOW" Oracle Card by Mickie Mueller

Those of you who read my blog regularly know how much I love Celtic fantasy art, and one of my favorite Celtic fantasy artists is Mickie Mueller. I have used her artwork several times in my posts and have ordered from her Etsy shop.

I'm writing this post to say that if you love her work as much as I do, she is giving away $160.00 worth of products from her Etsy shop! This giveaway is in celebration of attaining 100 followers on her blog and the recent publication of the beautiful "Voice of the Trees", her Celtic divination oracle deck and book. "Voice of the Trees" is based on the Ogham, the ancient Celtic writing system.

 Here's what you win if your name is chosen:

Voice of the Trees deck, signed and personalised to you
Voice of the Trees satin storage bag featuring the Oak card
2012 Llewellyn Magical Almanac featuring 2 articles and illustrations by Mickie, signed
Wooden "piano hinge" treasure box, velvet lined, featuring Rowan Fairy art, signed on the bottom
Triple Goddess full color tote bag
2 mini pocket mirrors
1 stainless steel Triple Goddess two sided compact mirror
5x7 Lugh of the Long Arm print, signed
Autumn Blessings garden flag
Priestess of Bast oval tile signed on the back
Rhiannon bookmark, signed
Thin Veil incense, this was a prototype package

I don't know when I've ever seen a giveaway packed with as many, and valuable, goodies as this one. Entering is easy. Just go to Mickie's blog


and follow the directions. You can enter up to three times if you wish.

"The Ogham Shield"

Because it features a strong Celtic warrior woman, The Ogham Shield, which I have reproduced on my sidebar, is my favorite image from the Oracle Deck. Mickie has done a fantastic amount of research not only on Celtic tree lore but also how the Celts lived and dressed.

Here's how Mickie's website describes "Voice of the Trees": "A wonderfully re-imagined presentation of Celtic Ogham divination and lore that is more accessible and easier to learn than ever before. Drawing upon the ancient legends of the Celts and tree lore, magical artist Mickie Mueller set forth to bring the Ogham teachings into a format for modern practitioners to use in intuitive card readings, meditation and ritual. Listen to the Voice of the Trees, they have much to teach you."

"Ivy" is another of my favorite of Mickie's artworks. To see them all, go to her Etsy shop at: