Snowy pine trees and snowy pond with bridge
View from our back yard of the winter snow - snow covered bridge and pines.

Winter, especially as we approach Imbloc, is an excellent time to begin garden planning.  One of my concerns is that I will plan too much and won’t be able to get it in the ground!

Take my sheet mulching, for example.  That was *so* much work for so few little beds! I worked for months solid and have only a few small beds for next year.  I only made about 1/2 the amount of progress I had hoped, but progress was made. I need the lesson from the great snapping turtle of wisdom here :).

But that’s ok!  Everything done in moderation.  Here’s the list of what I’ve accomplished so far.  I thought I didn’t get much done, but really, this list seems pretty good now that I look at it!

Summer 2010:

  • Initial planning
  • initial observation of site (using the “observe” principle in permaculture)
  • Soil testing
  • Energy work and healing work with the land (critical before moving forward)
  • Began composting (rudimentary pile, turned often, had many animals interested…lol)
  • Researched organic gardening, discovered permaculture(!more about this soon!), researched tree species for fall planting
  • Had a sustainable permaculture specialist give a 1 hour consultation on the property
  • Volunteered at a local organic garden to learn 1sthand

Fall 2010

  • 1st set of tree plantings: 3x PawPaw Trees (fruit); 2x Chestnuts; 2x Beach Plums (dwarf fruit); 2x persimmons (fruit/wildlife fruit); 1x Yew (for druid circle); 1x serviceberry (wildlife)
  • Sheet mulched small set of garden beds — two beds, 20×4′ each
  • Sheet mulchedherbal garden / kitchen garden bed – one bed, 25×4′ next to house
  • Sheet mulched strawberry patch bed and ground cherry bed 4×4′
  • Attempted 4 different methods of leaf composting (sheet mulch, leaf compost wire cage, regular ‘ol pile, and garbage bag composting)

My next post will detail the plans for this year! There are many.  Thanks for reading!

Snowy Forest Trees
Trees from the forest covered in snow.

Dana O'Driscoll

Dana O’Driscoll has been an animist druid for almost 20 years, and currently serves as Grand Archdruid in the Ancient Order of Druids in America. She is a druid-grade member of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids and is the OBOD’s 2018 Mount Haemus Scholar. She is the author of Sacred Actions: Living the Wheel of the Year through Earth-Centered Spiritual Practice (REDFeather, 2021), the Sacred Actions Journal (REDFeather, 2022), and Land Healing: Physical, Metaphysical, and Ritual Approaches for Healing the Earth (REDFeather, 2024). She is also the author/illustrator of the Tarot of Trees, Plant Spirit Oracle, and Treelore Oracle. Dana is an herbalist, certified permaculture designer, and permaculture teacher who teaches about reconnection, regeneration, and land healing through herbalism, wild food foraging, and sustainable living. Dana lives at a 5-acre homestead in rural western Pennsylvania with her partner and a host of feathered and furred friends. She writes at the Druids Garden blog and is on Instagram as @druidsgardenart. She also regularly writes for Plant Healer Quarterly and Spirituality and Health magazine.

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