Good Luck Charms for the Garden

The ritual of placing good luck charms in the garden is a way to remind yourself to do the best you can as it’s caretaker. There is no voodoo or magic involved, other than the magic of self-motivation. I made up a little ceremony where David and I each chose a pebble from the collection of smooth river rocks sitting with my pony-tail palm. We then gave our pebble a peck and wrote the word ‘grow’ on it with a laundry marker. We then chose a plant to pop the pebble under and whispered ‘grow’ as we placed it. There is no witchery behind this, just a little ceremony to help us try hard while looking after our garden and to help us do our best. I believe it is a powerful thing indeed to convince the mind to have faith in something such as a little magical help in the garden.

This pair of lovey-dovey puppies started off the whole business of me placing lucky love charms. They were a gift from my late grandmother, and at the time I really wondered what I would do with such an impractical gift. I was in an unhappy relationship at the time and the significance of these puppies were lost on me. Now, I’m very grateful they take pride of place in our garden.

My granny also gave me a couple of windchimes, one year after the other, perhaps because my response to the first one must have seemed very positive. At the time, I really didn’t know what I was going to do with such things. But now one hangs from the pot plant hook with the newly planted peppermint, which looks as if its going to take off, and some lemon balm for herbal tea. Last spring I saw some crows pulling the coconut fibre from our hanging pots, presumably to line their nests. I hoped the sound of the chime as they tugged at the pot would scare them off, and so far it seems to have worked. But perhaps nesting season is over and the real telling will be if they come back next year. The other small and cute windchime hangs on the back sliding door that opens out to the courtyard. A soft pleasant ringing sound nicely reinforces a trip out into the garden before engaging in some pottering.

After some recent trips to the beach near David’s mum’s house, we couldn’t help ourselves but to pick up some rocks from the sand that we thought looked like love-hearts! Of course, in some cases you need a good deal of imagination to see it, not unlike being able to see things in clouds. But that is part of the fun! One person insists a rock is shaped like a heart, when for another the connection is dubious. We have a few little rocks placed around our garden, that with some stretch of the imagination resemble love hearts. Here are a couple I think look like hearts!

We almost never walk into what we call a ‘junk shop’, shops that sell poorly made bric-a-brac cheaply so those on a tight budget can get some retail therapy. But one day we were on the hunt for ‘lovey-dovey’ stuff to decorate our home, and we found this cute little piece to pop in our garden. I insisted a junk shop would have heaps of lovey-doveyness and I was right!

Here are two moreĀ  examples of lucky love charms in our garden. We got the love-heart bird house for $1.79 at Bunnings, it’s so cute! The dragonfly love charm was $2.95 from Turner’s Nursery and sits with our new Thai Chilli plant.

Homegrown Potted Chillies

We are really enjoying growing fresh herbs in our garden, so far we’ve had the most success growing chillies. We have not yet realised the full potential of our potted garden, and are still in the process of exploring what we can successfully grow here and how we can make practical use of the produce we grow.

The chilli pictured was grown from seed we bought from BigW last year so I think this plant must be a year old. We have already harvested it once or twice, this might be the 3rd batch.

Our first harvest was turned into what I called ‘Chilli Toffee’ as it was very sticky, although very nice to put on sandwiches. We removed the seeds to try and grow more plants. It was funny how David told me not to touch the seeds with bare skin but silly me, I didn’t think it could hurt so I removed seeds with my bare fingers while Dave carefully removed the seeds by just using the tip of a knife. Well I suffered for not taking his advice for the next couple of hours, as the skin on my fingers tingled with a hot burning sensation!

The second harvest made a very scrumptious tomato chilli relish, which was delicious on sandwiches and excellent when there were no fresh tomatoes left in the fridge. We want to make future batches with the tiny home grown tomatoes we occasionally get, probably supplimented with some more tomatoes from the shops. We need to relocate the recipe for this yummy relish so we can make more next time!

All of our chilli seeds have germinated very easily, a lot easier than any other types of plants we’ve tried to grow from seeds. A couple of batches of chilli fruit have yielded more seeds which we collected and planted, not thinking so many would take. Now we have many chilli plants after only about 12 months!

We have so many chilli plants, some should have festive-coloured fruit in time for next Christmas, which would make excellent gifts for those who like chillies and cooking. Even if they don’t, they make quite a handsome plant for the garden.

On a recent trip to check out a new nursery for us called Turner’s Nursery we saw an excellent Thai Chilli plant which looked very happy and was full of bright fruit, so we bought our own to bring home in a pretty ceramic pot! I put the dragonfly charm we bought there in the pot for goodluck!

Chillies enjoy a sunny position and don’t like to sit in water. The small square pot above comes with a tray which I detach and turn upside-down so it doesn’t hold water. We also give the chillies a light seaweed fertiliser when we do the tomatoes. For more details on growing chillies check out these websites
Tropical Permaculture – chillies
ABC Gardening Australia – chillies