"Follow Nature" advised Paracelsus so today I begin my garden. There is much to learn from Mother Nature. She is the mistress of cycles: life and death, seasons, weather. Ultimately she is the mistress of change.
All things are in a constant flux. As an alchemist it is my goal, my life's work, to understand celestial and natural secrets so I may nudge matters in the right direction.
I have various seeds and starter plants which I brought from my mother's farm. I do miss the place but I'd be lonely living in the country without her. I miss her and don't want to taint her memory with words of woe. To keep me busy I will explore this bustling city, St. Louis.
The backyard here is so tiny in comparison to the farm I sold. Upon first inspection I fell instantly in love. It had a smell of fresh rich damp earth. Obviously the plants were thriving, just the wrong ones. It was an overrun patch surrounded by black iron fence. The alder tree, stone benches, and fountain were overrun by gigantic thorny bare rose bushes, ivy, grasses, and dandelions several feet tall. Those behemoths took forever to dig up.
The plot is small but it took all day to hack, clear, and turn the soil. Luckily the earth, as I suspected, has several inches of black soil covering a deep layer of creamy red clay.
More frost is expected so I've planted the seeds in old pots, bowls, and assorted planting pots and placed them in the attic under the windows.
The ginger, mandrake, and potatoes I planted in the garden and covered with a thick layer of straw.
The aloe and hot peppers were already potted. I'll keep them in the kitchen.
The blackberry clippings were planted along the fence.
So many boxes to unpack and this huge place is a mess! I must hire a housekeeper. I'll collect all of the cobwebs first and get a good strong lock for the kitchen and cellar before I hire anyone.
My mother's plants were in near perfect form. Practically unblemished with each plant able to provide potent extracts and results. Such perfumes and potions! The vegetables and fruits were splendid in taste, texture, and color. How I hated to see them wither and fade during the transplant.
Maybe I need a gardener. How else will I have time for my experiments?