• Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Clover     Clover is also called trefoil, literally “three-leaves”, and grows in most places around the world. Although many clover plants look similar, there are around 300 species of Trifolium and they’re in the same plant family as peas. Both the round, joyful flowers and the iconic triplet of small, round leaves have a ton of folklore around them – and some surprising modern research, too.   The Kitchen Garden Red and white clover are the most common where I live, and often pop up in lawns without any encouragement from gardeners. As well as being a fantastic food source for bees and other insects,…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Lilac     Lilac is a flowering shrub in the olive family, Oleaceae, cultivated in many parts of the world including all across Europe and North America. Robust spikes of delicate yet strongly scented flowers come in colours ranging from purples and pinks through to blues and whites. I’ve been writing Notes from the Apothecary for over 6 years now, and some months I struggle to think of a plant that’s magical, seasonal, and of interest to our readers worldwide. I had no such struggle this month, thanks to the wonderful fragrance that stopped me in my tracks as I was out playing with my 3-year-old…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Spring Flowers Special As the world warms at a variety of different speeds in the Northern Hemisphere, different areas see a range of different flowers popping into bloom. That’s especially true now we’re past the Spring Equinox, and moving quickly towards Bealtaine. This month, we’re looking at some of the common spring flowers you might see in gardens, woodlands, or hedgerows around your local area. If you see one of your favourites, or want to share a flower with us that we’ve not included, come tell us on Facebook or Twitter!   Tulip     Tulips are such a recognisable spring flower and available in so…

  • Monthly Columns,  Spells & Rituals

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Bluebell     Tiny bluebells are, for me, a sign that spring is truly on the way. In the woods near where I live, they spring up, completely unannounced, sometime between the snowdrops and the wild garlic. It’s a “blink and you miss it” kind of phenomenon; Come to early, and the ground is just green and dormant. Come too late, and the flowers have already wilted, the plants getting ready to store their energy until next year. The most spectacular showing of bluebells is at a patch of woodland a little further afield, by the banks of one of our waterways. These bluebells arise and…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Jasmine     Jasmine, or Jasminum, is a sweet-smelling flowering plant related to the olive tree. Some jasmine plants grow as shrubs but the most famous are probably the climbing varieties. Some can grow as tall as nine metres! Jasmine flowers are white or yellow, with some holding delicate tones of pink or even red.   The Kitchen Garden Generally jasmine like partial shade and a warm setting, but there are some hardy varieties that grow happily in cooler climates – hence jasmine making it into our January issue! Winter jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum, tends to have solitary, yellow flowers and may bloom from November to March…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Primrose     Primroses are a hardy, perennial plant which means they’re tough and come back year after year. They’re also absolutely gorgeous and often around in winter, lending some welcome colour to gardens, windowsills, or containers. Originally a woodland plant, primroses or Primula vulgaris will grow just about anywhere as long as there’s drainage so the roots don’t get waterlogged. Finding primroses in the wild can be a sign that you’re on ancient woodland. However, some “wild” blooms can be escapees from folks’ gardens! Either way, even in November and December, their blooms make a gorgeous, colourful addition to the winter landscape.   The Kitchen…

  • Monthly Columns

    Secrets of a Daffodil

      I place my ear gently to the golden trumpet What secrets do you hold? I heard you whispering Just as you called to Persephone Am I distracted by your beauty Waiting for Hades to snatch me away Or am I the kidnapper Of my own destiny? Narcissus whispers sweetly ‘Don’t be so hard on yourself’ And bobs his yellow head In the soft, spring breeze.   *** About the Author: Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist. She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors & Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

  • Monthly Columns

    Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

    Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times for February 2020 Bright Blessings! I write this on January 10. We’ve not had a real winter yet in my hometown, but my garden is sad. We have decided to gear up to list this place for sale, and that means I had to start dismantling my garden. My patio garden I worked years on. All of it has to go. Friends wanted my soil, and came with tubs to fill with the black, rich loam, and then toted away all my pots, stakes, tomato cages, and even my roses. Another friend came to take the box away today. I have another box…