Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Friday, 2 January 2009

YAWA - Your Gardening Year Ahead

Most magazines and newspapers at this time of year have many an article stuffed with predictions for the year ahead, so the staff here at You Ask, We Answer have lost no time in consulting our resident psychic, Madame Zelda for this month's YAWA special feature. As you can see she's gazed long and hard into her trusty blue ball to see what lies ahead for all of our gardening fraternity in 2009. Southern hemisphere gardeners please note: do start your consultation at the summer section and you too (or should that be two? Ed.) will be amazed at the uncanny accuracy of her predictions. If you don't, you'll believe she's as prescient as Harry Potter's Professor Trelawny.

Shortly after our YAWA staff photographer departed with the above shot, the murky mists of the blue ball parted to reveal all. Luckily I remained to translate Madame Zelda's mutterings and wailings into something resembling modern English:

Mid to late Winter

The Moon in sixpence warns you must be careful when catching up with all your garden clearing tasks left over from late autumn/early winter. For example, you never know when that hoe or rake accidentally left out may be found in a most unexpected (and painful) fashion.

In March the sap rises and Earth's conjunction with Venus means romance is once again in the air. It's irresistible - you will simply fall in love. Probably with your garden. Again. But who knows, maybe Romeo also lurks in there waiting for you?

Mars in opposition in May means you need to take heed. A warning from a mysterious stranger (probably the allotment committee in my case - Ed.) shows you need to focus on the task in hand, else all will be lost.


Travel is starred for the summer months and you may seek inspiration from foreign lands. However, you must beware: this also signals the time for weeds and beasties from exotic places to muster their strength and invade your garden. Get ready for battle, or alternatively simply take advantage of Jupiter's rising to bring you joy. Just shrug your shoulders, go with the flow and relax. Now is the time to really enjoy your garden, especially at the time of the full moon when parties are particularly favoured.


What was lost in the Spring will reappear in the Autumn. Probably in your compost heap.

Early Winter

As the dark days return and the year turns on its axis, it's all too easy to fall prey to melancholia and the slough of despond. Take heart dear gardener! Mercury's silvery wings will free your imagination. You dare to hope of projects and pastures new and consult many a shiny brochure and book to make your dreams come true. Be warned: Uranus is in your house of finances at this time, so prune your more expensive tastes and follow the more realistic proposition. This is likely to reap double rewards in 2010 as the mists are giving an early warning of time constraints, meaning any complicated gardening projects started in 2009 may remain incomplete well into the future.

At this point, the mists once again drew their veil over Madame Zelda's blue ball and she became incoherent. I've returned her to her caravan for plenty of rest and recuperation in time for next year's predictions. After a schooner of sweet sherry she did rally slightly before relapsing into complete gibberish. Her final (hoarse) words were:

Heed the wisdom of the blue mists and all will be well in your garden this year. Ignore my warnings at your peril.

Happy gardening for 2009 everyone ;)


  1. When I looked into the blue ball the mists parted and showed me a fabulous new cedar greenhouse in my garden!

    I had better go and tell the Bedsock to get his wallet out...

  2. Please pass on my felicitations to Madame Zelda for such a comprehensive and sage predicition. I will be particularly looking out for warnings from mysterious strangers and will be very wary indeed should I get one. I hope Madam Z has had a good nap and is getting over the effects of too much sherry. I know the feeling !

    PS I love the expression ' The Moon in sixpence' and have wondered about it origins. Can YAWE help ?

  3. HA, Veep, this was a good one, nay, a great one! We shall take heed of the planetary alignments and shrug our shoulders with glee! I hope the Madame returns before next year for some updates!

    Bedsock is the funniest name yet. The Financier may need to put a lock on his purse as well! :-)

  4. That Madame Zelda is a sage one, all right. ;-)

    What's a bedsock?

  5. Bananas! I'm going to have to give my gazing ball a second look, for sure. I had no idea it held prophesies!
    ~ Monica

  6. Dear Veep, Upon getting closer(click) to the magic orb I was able to spot through the mists...Madame Z herself...she says that a full moon is rising in mid January and to expect changes in the land of bush honeysuckle;-) ....but drifted away before I could ask for details.


  7. fab advise. Went to the allotment yesterday and tried to imagine what I can do with all of that space. I am still overwhelmed by the size, I think we will put 3/4's to veg and fruit. Lots of raspberries...

    and 1/4 to parsnips and flowers, coz parsnips take forever dont they!??!

  8. Good thing you were there to translate for sure! Great info and very cutely posted!

  9. I am going outside to consult with my gazing globe right now. I'm thrilled to be among the first few lucky gardeners to learn that these glass balls hold such valuable information!
    ~ Jan ~

  10. I'm not sure about the accuracy of all of Mme Z's prophecies, you know, VP - I don't think I'm going to find Romeo lurking in the garden, even in the spring - he's more usually to be found sitting in front of the computer, or, at this time of day, snoring in the bedroom.

  11. This is great VP - I shall look forward to romance in Spring,and joy in summer, what more could a gardener want .... well, apart from finding my secuteurs which I put somewhere "safe" in November

  12. Madame Zelda is quite the oracle! I will have to print this off to remind me during the coming year. I especially like her Autumn prediction: the compost heap provided lots of healthy, albeit late, tomato plants in the fall:)

  13. Arabella - wow, I didn't know Madame Z's blue ball was so good! Can't wait to see your new greenhouse ;)

    Anna and Susan - see tomorrow's post :)

    Frances - I think she'll return, once she's recovered and recuperated ;)

    Monica - bananas, they're so versatile!

    Gail - well spotted, so you're awarded a mention tomorrow ;)

    SOL - happy new year and congrats on your allotmenteering. You're so right about parsnips - see Tueday's post for more...

    Tina - thank you!

    Jan - it's a secret that's worth passing on ;)

    Juliet - I was thinking of you when I wrote the post. Perhaps Madame Z will inspire hime to surprise you? ;)

    Karen - how about trying the compost heap? Perhaps I misheard Madame Z and got the months the wrong way round?

    Rose - my compost heap's usually a great source of spoons. Aunt Debbi has found all sorts in hers!

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