Garden Pretties


This clematis was almost dead when we moved here, and now it’s been healthy and blooming for weeks. Delphinium came out today:


Coreopsis and magenta yarrow, next to chives, pineapple sage, chard and radicchio:


Sedum, snapdragons, pansies, red chard, purple kale, cinnamon basil, Romaine, and blooming sedum next to the hens and chicks ground cover:


Lavender, rosemary, wormwood and yellow zinnias:


Chamomile in the foreground, with (blue) lacinato kale, lettuce, zinnias, mosquito geranium, blooming cilantro, anise hyssop, yarrow and more:


And lovely yellow roses by the mailbox:


No one believes my front yard garden is edible until they stand right in front of it. From the road, the blue and purple kales, red lettuces, chard and herbs intermingled with flowers and perennials look like a cheerful flower garden. The faeries are happy, too, including the one David calls “The Biggest Faery.” 😉




Sharon Blackie ~ The Mythic Imagination: TEDx Stormont Salon

I love this TEDx talk by Dr. Sharon Blackie! I’m also deeply enjoying her year long Celtic Studies Course. From the YouTube description:

“How can myth and folk tales lead us to live more deeply and more authentically, and inspire us to fall in love with the world all over again? Dr. Sharon Blackie is an award-winning writer whose work sits at the interface of psychology, mythology and ecology. Her highly acclaimed books, articles, and workshops are focused on the development of the mythic imagination, and on the relevance of our native myths, fairy tales and folk traditions to the personal, social and environmental problems we face today. She is the author of the novel The Long Delirious Burning Blue, and two nonfiction books: If Women Rose Rooted, and The Enchanted Life. In 2017 she founded The Hedge School – both an online space and a physical location in Connemara, for teachings and explorations in building a new folk culture. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. ”


Cuteness Overload: Animal Encounters at Asylum Lake

Yesterday, my friend Heather and I took an enchanting walk at Asylum Lake Preserve in Kalamazoo. All photos are by Heather Horst, since I left my cell phone at home. As we entered the trail, a turtle greeted us:


We then said hi to David’s and my favorite tree there — the one we call Ganesha because it looks like an elephant on one side and a laughing old man on the other. Then we turned left and heard little squeaking and squealing noises, which we tried to identify. Moments later, it was me squealing at the cuteness overload:


These little ones not only posed for us, they made frequent eye contact and performed for us, chasing each other around the trunk of the tree, then pausing to make sure we continued to watch. They swirled around the trunk, climbed over each other and then poked their faces in hide and seek fashion for several minutes. They finally got so involved in their own play that they swirled their way up the tree, and we wandered on to find chipmunks, blue birds and red wing blackbirds.

We also came across these gorgeous mushrooms:


I always feel a strong Fae presence at Asylum Lake. David and I have hiked it many times in Fall and Winter, but this was my first time in late Spring. Everything felt lush and and delightful. So grateful for such ever evolving beauty only five minutes away!

All three encounters offered wisdom relevant to current situations in our neighborhood.



Radio Show on Friday, June 8

Tomorrow (Friday, June 8th) will be the last radio show for this round of five sponsored shows. This show is at 1:30 p.m. Eastern US time. You can listen live from anywhere by clicking here at that time. I never know exactly what we’ll cover, but I suspect we’ll touch more upon my upcoming book, “The Metaphysics of Lyme,” medical intuition, past lives, and soul journeys. We’ll see where things lead. 🙂

You can find archives of previous shows by clicking here.

Again, this last show is on Friday, June 8th at:

1:30 p.m. Eastern (same as NYC)

12:30 p.m. Central

11:30 a.m. Mountain time

10:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight or Arizona time

16:30 UK time

17:30 in Western Europe and South Africa

7:30 a.m. Hawaii time

1:30 a.m. in Taiwan

and 3:30 a.m. in Sydney, Australia.

If you’re not in those areas, you can still listen at that time, but those are the main regions I know I have blog readers and clients.



Are You Making Yourself Sick Trying to Be Perfect?

Yesterday I had a session with a young woman who has been suffering from eating disorders her whole life. She has gained the weight, lost the weight, gained the weight, lost the weight, gained the weight. If this sounds like you, please open your heart of compassion for yourself and read on. I’m not here […]


Summer Solstice Gratitude Giveaway

Just wanted to share this lovely challenge from Tania Marie. Indeed, gratitude is one of the most potent elixers of a magical life. If you’ve felt down and out, or high as a kite, gratitude increases positive flow no matter what. Blessings to all who take the challenge, whether officially or unofficially.

Tania Marie's Blog


It’s been a while since I’ve done a giveaway and this is another challenge close to heart that will benefit you greatly if you commit to it and continue it forward. It will begin on June 11th and conclude at the end of June 21st – Summer Solstice. That’s 11 days and there will be 11 gifts to giveaway. But first, let’s touch briefly on gratitude and giving and then I’ll share how these apply to this month’s giveaway.

First let me very briefly explain a concept you already know, but as we know, knowledge doesn’t mean much unless you’re putting into action the practice of your knowledge applied.

This one is focused on gratitude and giving.

We all know that the more gratitude you have and express, the more abundance in all areas of your life you will experience. Not to mention, the more enriched, vibrant, joyful, peaceful, and…

View original post 2,367 more words


Medical Intuitive and Personal Thoughts on Healthy Skin and High Vibe Living

Becky Symes at Holistica-Skin originally contacted me about my 2009 article “Healthy Skin: A Medical Intuitive Perspective.” She asked me to do a follow-up interview for her own blog and just published that here. The interview includes additional insights into skin, as well as my current and evolving skin and lifestyle practices.

One note: if you click the Website button after my interview, it brings you back to my blog. If you click Instagram or Facebook it takes you to some other pages that are not mine, since I don’t use social media. Just letting you know that I’m not secretly running or endorsing a skincare company. In any case, you can find the 2018 interview by clicking here.


What Your Chakra Cord Connections Reveal About Your Relationships

You live in a relational universe. How you show up with one person may be totally different than how you experience others. In my work as a medical intuitive healer, I sometimes read the chakra cord connections between two people. Husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, friends and lovers, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, […]


June 2018 Specials, Class, and Radio Show Link

Today is the last day to sign up for May 2018 specials, which you can find here.

I have another radio show this Friday, June 1, at 1:30 p.m. Eastern US time (6:30 p.m. UK, 12:30 Central US, 11:30 a.m. Mountain, 10:30). You can listen from anywhere by clicking here at 1:30 p.m. Eastern. This is the fourth of a set of five sponsored shows. I’m not sure exactly what we’ll cover, but this past week has been so intense for so many clients, friends and family that I’m sure we’ll address some of the current energies and ways to deal with them.


$44 Tarot Special

Half-hour tarot reading at 20% off the usual rate. Tarot readings offer an energetic check-in, the chance to ask questions about pending decisions or intentions, and represent a fun, yet powerful way to gain perspective on relationships and challenges.

Tarot readings are particularly good for people who don’t know what kinds of questions to ask me; they just want some kind of guidance because they feel unsure of what’s coming or what to focus upon. Tarot also seems to benefit those people who have exceptionally good things coming their way, yet wonder if I might be “padding the reading” or “just saying what they want to hear.” The cards don’t lie. (Neither do I – but the cards seem an even more objective medium for delivering good news.)

Please contact me if you’d like to sign up for this special. Offer valid if prepaid on or before June 30, 2018.

40-Minute Soul Reading Special

$133 instead of the usual $177, this 40-Minute Soul Reading Special can address “why you’re here,” deep soul longings, how to bring more soul into the workplace or your relationship, and/or an astrology check-in. Offer valid if prepaid on or before June 30, 2018.

Reminder: Summer Solstice (June 21) Early Pre-Pay Discount for the Fall Equinox Class

The “Living a More Magical Life” workshop I’m co-teaching with my sweet and amazingly creative and talented faery sister Tania Marie is already 1/3 full. You can find class details, as well as registration links here. Class date and time is Saturday, September 22, 2018, from noon to 5 p.m. at Lake Tahoe (Stateline, Nevada, hosted at Tania’s home bordering the Tahoe National Forest). This is a first and last co-teaching event for Tania and me, as Tania will not be teaching anymore classes after this one.

We will tailor this intimate workshop to the day’s participants, sharing varied ways and channels that can assist you in experiencing and creating a more consistently magickal life, as you experience things in greater wholeness of possibilities. In turn, this reveals a more authentic and creative way of living in alignment and manifesting more, as a result. Topics may include the Faerie Realm, crystals, connecting with animals, nature and beyond, and more, which will be revealed as the day unfolds. We’ll conclude with sacred nature immersion, a special joint energy blessing by both Tania and me, and an Equinox ceremony. $222 if prepaid by June 21, 2018; $299 after June 21st. Final registration deadline is September 15th. Only 9 more spots available.


Edible Landscaping Secrets

I get so many questions from people about permaculture, edible landscaping, Robinhood roses, and “permaculture in pots” that I thought I’d list some of the top things I’ve discovered here. This is by no means a comprehensive post — just sharing some of the beauty and a handful of general tips. (If you would like personal assistance with your own situation, this month’s Property Reading Special can include that.)

Combine Flowers with Veggies:

One of the easiest ways to sneak edibles into a “regular” landscape is to intermingle them with flowers. Passersby will notice the blooms but not the edible. This purple iris and columbine camouflage purple and green radicchio. The taller, vibrant plants distract critters from the radicchio, while the lower radicchio covers the soil and keeps it from drying out so fast. The radicchio is so well hidden that I forgot it was even there, until I found it un-nibbled and happy in the slight shade provided by the purple maple and taller flowers:


Even trickier, you can plant edible flowers like nasturtiums, violets, hibiscus, borage, and roses. Many herbs like sage and lavender flower as part of their life cycle, and squash blossoms are not only beautiful but delicious!

Consider Color:

Many vegetables come in unusual colors beyond what you find in the grocery store. Sources like Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds specialize in rare and colorful varieties of garden classics. Even standards like red chard can play nicely with coordinated snapdragons and pansies like we have approaching our front door:


Consider the Critters:

Regular readers of this blog know that we have a groundhog. Our neighbor tells me that in 25 years of living here, his shed and our shed have never not had a groundhog, so learning to coexist seems not only compassionate but wise. I’ve learned our groundhog’s patterns — and they do tend to be creatures of habit. While “ours” darts across the front yard like a jackrabbit, I’ve only once caught it munching on some non-hidden radicchio. A good scare and some spray like “Expel” has worked well to discourage this one from exploring the front beds again.

In addition to groundhogs, we’ve got raccoons, skunks, squirrels, possum, voles, cats, and occasional deer, but our most regular visitor is the groundhog who suns itself in our fully fenced backyard. At first glance, you’d expect a garden to be more secure within the fencing; however, our backyard is — and according to our neighbor long has been — groundhog territory. Knowing this, I plant only groundhog resistant plants back there. That sounds limiting, but we’ve got lots of variety, including edibles and pollinator treats.

The yellow irises and purple clematis came with the house, but I planted catmint, sedum, lavender, beebalm, dianthus, lilies, cosmos, liatris, peppermint and magenta yarrow (in pots), garden sage (now blooming), blue delphinium, another clematis, stinging nettles (in a large plastic pot, on top of concrete slabs) and sweet William in and around this existing bed:



Behind our shed, I’ve got another large sized Big Bag Bed filled with garlic, which nobody but people eat! I also researched other edibles that critters tend to leave alone, but I’ll discuss those in the next tip.

Smart Pot Permaculture:

Some people claim that “permaculture in pots” is an oxymoron, since the “perma” part of the word stands for “permanent.” How can pots be permanent? It depends how long you consider “permanent.” I contained some thriving chocolate mint in a Big Bag Bed in Goshen, and my own experiments show that blueberry bushes grow 5x faster in Smart Pots than in the ground. I like the fabric pots, because they aerate the roots, make blueberry bark less convenient for winter bunny feasts, and because I can easily control the soil acidity and moisture. I’ve found that a very low growing thyme (sorry, I forget the variety) companion planted at the base of the blueberry bushes slows evaporation and further deters any nibblers:


To the left, above, you can also see rhubarb in a 20-gallon fabric pot. I wasn’t sure how the rhubarb would do, but after the first year, the two potted rhubarbs look stronger and bushier than the one I planted in the ground. These fabric pots have allowed me to begin an edible hedge in front of our existing hedge, saving me the massive toil of tearing out privet, honeysuckle, hydrangea and more. Now, we have one black and one wild elderberry shrub, two rhubarbs, two blueberry bushes, and two aronia berry bushes with strawberries as groundcover. Knock on wood(chuck), so far the groundhog and everything else have left these alone.

Up front, 10- and 20-gallon Smart Pots and Big Bag Beds have allowed me to plant around existing trees and behind (and uphill from) our existing mailbox flower bed without damaging roots or risking road contamination of soil. The ruby red chard, bee balm and catmint in those beds add color and structure to the inedible roadside garden begun by someone 30 years ago.

We’ve got heavy, clay soil here, and as mentioned in a previous post, some upcoming large scale yard changes due to mandatory sewer conversion and possible sidewalks. Using fabric pots has allowed me to get started without needing to wait for all the answers on what will go where. At some point, I might plant fruit trees or shrubs in the ground. On the other hand, I’ve had very good success with Smart Pots. I might continue to use them even in a more permanent landscape, knowing that future owners of this house might not want all the edibles.

If we move somewhere else (hopefully not anytime soon!), I could take this garden with me and just reseed the grass. In that sense, the fabric pots make a garden more permanent to me than the in ground plants and trees I left behind in Goshen. Permaculture stands for “permanent agriculture” and “permanent culture.” For renters or homeowners who want freedom to experiment sooner rather than later, as well as keeping more permanent plant and tree companions, “permaculture in pots” opens doorways kept closed by only planting in the ground.

Use Plant Nannies for Smart Pots:

My trick for establishing perennial veggies or shrubs in Smart Pots or other fabric pots is to use a Plant Nanny for the first year. Fill up a leftover wine or San Pelligrino bottle with regular water and stick that plant nanny into wet soil as far as it will go. This keeps the soil moist below surface level, and you can refill as needed. The fabric pots are great once roots establish, but you want those roots to grow large ASAP. I consider the Plant Nannies an essential component of my Smart Pot success.

Treat Yourself:

My husband loves orange daylilies — the ones that spread across highway ditches and lawns. Containers make good sense for something that takes more work to dig out than to establish. I always plant orange daylilies wherever he first returns home. In this case, you can see their greens peeking out behind dianthus and in front of chamomile:


You might also notice I’ve clustered three similar light brown pots together. The eye loves groupings of three, five or seven in the garden. Here, I’ve got two fifteen gallon pots full of (totally edible) daylilies, companion planted with various herbs and summer blooming flowers. The larger pot behind holds a determinate tomato with a green cage that blends nicely with the forsythia (out of frame, to the right). That potted tomato already has tomatoes growing, along with many blooms. I could not normally plant in that area for a variety of reasons, but the pots will give David a happy welcome home after work, plus herbs and food.

Find Good Resources:

People always ask where they can purchase Robinhood Roses, since I remain in love with our Goshen hedge. I bought mine from Direct Gardening, but I can only recommend that company with HUGE caveats. Yes, they are cheap. They have that going for them, but in most cases, you get what you pay for. If you order from them, realize that you’ll have no idea when they ship anything to you, and at least half your order will probably arrive moldy or dead. Robinhood Roses are tough as nails, though, so I (and others) have had great success with these, despite their poor beginning.

I’ve also had reasonable success with Direct Gardening’s cold hardy gladiolus — often difficult to find anywhere besides a company that also turns out to be Direct Gardening even if it looks otherwise. The five-way dwarf apple tree I ordered in Goshen did live and produce fruit, but for that one tree, I lost at least six other shrubs and trees from them.

Their return or refund policy is very sketchy. If you order from them retain EVERYTHING, including the original envelope and list included when you received your plants. You need to follow their directions to a T in order to get anything refunded or replaced, and even then, they make it so inconvenient that most of the time I just let things go. Although a few other things have lived over the years, after last year’s experience with them, I vowed that the only living things I’ll ever order from them again are Robinhood Roses and cold hardy gladiolus … which, if anything, should tell you just how much I love those plants!

The good online sources I’ve found include Raintree Nursery and Stark Bro’s, both of which ship very high quality, bareroot in Spring and Fall. Raintree specializes in permaculture friendly plants and trees, so if you want unusual edibles, they’re a great resource. Stark Bro’s have been around since 1816, so buying from them puts you in touch with American history, as well as a caring group of people. I love both of those companies and have had nothing but excellent experiences with them.

If, however, you’re an impatient CPL (Crazy Plant Lady) like I most certainly am … sometimes you want a fruit tree and you want it now! If that sounds like you, then I recommend Fast-Growing-Trees, because they ship in pots. This allowed me to receive and plant a dwarf cherry tree, two blueberry bushes, a Meyer lemon and an avocado tree — all in the scorching heat of summer. You’ll pay more for this convenience, but you’ll also receive fruit a couple years sooner with an established root system. My avocado and Meyer lemon didn’t love our indoor conditions, but our cherry tree produced the very next year.

For perennials, I’ve had wonderful success with Bluestone Perennials and Breck’s. I usually (but not always) have good success with American Meadows. We’ll see how their customer service is; I just put in a claim. If you can find a local nursery, you can assess the health of your plants before purchase, as well as save them from the vicissitudes of shipping. I love supporting local nurseries, natural food co-ops, and the farmers market, and don’t forget local gardeners as a resource! Many perennials need regular division. If you admire someone’s garden, tell them. They’ll probably offer you some starts or root cuttings, and if they don’t, just ask. Gardeners LOVE to talk about their gardens. In the world of gardening, flattery gets you very far.

There’s something about the joy of plants that brings people together. Whether edible, beautiful or edible-beauty, flower power and plant wisdom offer ways forward in a dreary world. Instead of bemoaning the state of our nation or the state of our environment, consider starting very local, like your yard or your neighborhood. You’ll be so very glad you did.