If there's any literature on this, I'm unaware of it and would welcome links. I feel as if I am in terra incognito, although I shouldn't be. How do Pagans landscape?
I bought this small plot of land (as if one could "own" land) almost five years ago, in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of the nation's capital. In fact, before Virginia got mad, took it's clay, and went home, the place where I live would have been inside Washington, D.C. Due to Virginia's pique, however, I have Senators and a Congressperson, live near enough to the Capitol to do serious political magic, and live in the state named, as my history prof once said, for the alleged state of Good Queen Bess' hymen. The lot has ancient oaks, a pretty old maple, and a ton of other stuff just stuck in willy-nilly. My first year here, I took out a dying tulip poplar and a v. poorly-placed holly tree. I've taken out rose bushes, tomato plants and their attendant wire tee-pees, azaleas. Ivy. Vegetables. I've edited madly and I've tried desperately and badly to grow herbs in shade and rich, acid soil.
This year, in late March, I figured that I'd lived with the land enough, edited enough, gotten an idea of what I wanted. After a long search, I hired a landscape designer: a local boy, someone who's, above all, a good listener. And, now, we've begun.
We've torn up land, buried drainage pipes, turned an ugly alley into a walk through a lovely, cool woodland. In the coming days, we're going to turn an ugly, orange, mini-barn-style garden shed into a charming hobbit home, build walls that will give me the privacy to continue to do ritual in my tiny suburban yard, re-build my front entrance into a welcoming walk into an Arts & Crafts home, and, thank the Goddess, build a raised herb bed out of bricks and river stones in the sunny Northwest part of my yard, sacrificing the spot for the "second" car that I neither have nor need in my driveway and getting sandy soil and sun to grow -- oh, everything. Basil and rosemary and sage and thyme and dill and all kinds of mint and wormwood and woad and angelica and thistle and damiana and feverfew and mugwort and . . . . OK, I may have a bit of editing to do.
Later this year, we'll build a patio of river rocks, ferns, fire pits, fountains, and large, living stones in the back yard and next year we'll tear up the concrete walk from the street to my house, lay down giant flat stones, and plant a bunch more trees, including evergreens and a Japanese Maple in the back around the patio. The final step will be a huge collection of arisaema in the back Southeastern garden.
Anyone ever done a ritual for this, an invocation of the genius locii, a sacrifice to the land? Of course, the land demands it and, of course, I'm not quite sure what, beyond the gentle talks that we've already had -- the land and the oak trees and the fox and the squirrels and the cardinals and the raccoons and the mourning doves and I -- to do, or, more appropriately, how to do this.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."