A dressing made on Lammas/Lughnasadh Eve. First fruits & the grain harvest. Hazel, spirea, Euphorbia oblongata, ash keys, Amaranth, poppy heads, dahlias, calendula, cosmos, plums from our orchard.
The ridiculously exuberant dahlias in this Well dressing are “Penhill Watermelon”, a “dinner plate” variety as they are known in floristry. They have certainly lived up to that description this year, partly due to the weather and partly due to the preparation. Looking at them, I think back to late winter, to the cold and the wet, to working on the soil in the cutting garden. This patch is dug out of the hillside, in places it is pure clay. Helped by our tireless groundskeeper, Mike, each year I dig a little more, adding in spent compost to help with the structure while Ark generously shares our garden compost to improve the fertility.
And each year I see the change. The soil slowly loosens its tight clay structure and starts crumbling in my fingers. More and more worms make it their home. The sweet peas that struggled the first year now bloom profusely as they reach down and find more nutrients at their roots. I fill the patch with far too many flower varieties which tumble over one another. The bees and other pollinators find every possible nectar source, including surprisingly, thankfully, the giant ruffled dahlia heads. In the winter, when my fingers freeze and my muscles ache, it can be hard to feel the summer. But here it is in all its joy and abundance …
I know it can still be difficult right now; the loss, the ongoing uncertainty, fear for the future. We can get through it ~ with persistence and commitment, hard work and deep kindness for ourselves and others. Be that in our work, our families, our communities and/or our spiritual practice.
It is very good to have you back in the garden, to share its summer beauty with you and to feel the love you bring to it. Thank you.
With blessings, love & gratitude,