Author Archives: Gillian
We ceremoniously planted the first two trees at the beginning of August; not the right time of year to do so, but they were already growing in pots, and we couldn’t wait! These were an oak and a holly and went into the main ritual area. (The oak is thriving and looked very pretty in the autumn with it’s coloured leaves, but the holly has died…. I think that the very wet winter was too much for it.) It was to be January before the next trees went into the ground. Several hundred willows, some of which I planted as a willow coppice, and others which I planted as “fedging” along the back of the hard standing and leading off it onto the paths. Fedging is a composite word made from up “fence” and “hedge”. Willow whips are pushed into the ground every 12” at a 45 degree angle, and then a second row are similarly pushed into the ground leaning the other way. After that it is a case of weaving the whips together so that they form a wall of diamond shapes, which come the spring should sprout and thickly bush. I find forming the fedging tremendously satisfying, even the last lot that I put in while the rain lashed at my back, the wind buffeted me about and my mittened hands gradually froze! On New Year’s Eve, the four of us spent the afternoon on the land. Jenn and Dafydd wanted to plant the first two trees of Jenn’s Cauldron Grove before she had to return to the States for the start of the new semester. The trees represent themselves: the masculine energies of the alder and the femine qualities of the birch. It was a damp grey day, but later we relaxed around the stove where a blazing log fire toasted us all, and as the short afternoon daylight quickly faded into dusk, we lit the candles and enjoyed large mugs of hot steaming tea and delicious chocolaty fragrant spice cakes as big as saucers (a Christmas present sent to Holger from Germany). Of course there are thousands of trees yet to plant, and so many places to clear and things to build, but I am in no hurry. I want to make the most of the huge charm and pleasure of the initial creation; time for watching how it will develop later. I mean to make the very most of every day and every job; it is the journey that is the important thing, not the eventual destination reached.