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Thoughts on the Spring Equinox well dressing

I worked on the foliage base for the dressing last night, using Hypericum perforatum (St John’s Wort). I used this partly because the shrub it came from needed pruning and partly because St John’s Wort offers gentle support for anxiety and depression.

When I came back early this morning, parts of it were starting to droop. My initial reaction was to replace these, effectively starting again. As I thought about it, I realised that today in particular it was more important to leave them just as they were. For me, they represent our collective fatigue right now – and that even when we feel tired, imperfect, less than we ‘ought’ to be, we remain valuable as part of a connecting and inspirational whole.

Instead I put in some additional foliage and then the flowers. I chose these with the aim of sharing as much of the feeling of spring and its sense of renewal within the garden as possible. There is a choice when you do this as to whether to pick for longevity or simply to capture the moment. For me, flowers from the garden are always for the latter. It celebrates their wilder, ephemeral nature. Also, even more importantly, it connects us to that age-old spiritual acceptance that all is impermanent. Whether we experience things as good or bad, we know they will all pass. The well dressing may only last for 24 hours but we will value it for what it brings, this wheel of the year that we share will turn and we will begin again.

Dressing the well for our companions and visitors is a privilege and a joy. At an uncertain time, it has helped ground and comfort me. Thank you for always reminding me that all that matters is that we take care of one another.


Penny is a member of the Chalice Well gardening team and creator and host of the Floral Bar at our Healing Weekend in August.

12 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Spring Equinox well dressing

  1. lovely to look at the flowers, missing coming to the well so much, it just helps to feel closer seeing the display.
    thank you all blessings Linda and Dougie.

    1. Thank you, Linda & Dougie. I’m so glad that the post offered a little comfort, Penny.

  2. Lovely to read at this interesting time in Life’s journey!
    Thank you for the blessing of the Chalice Gardens!

    1. Thank you.

  3. Thank you for sharing the thoughts, creative process, and image. I can smell the greenness of the flowers and sap!
    Chalice Well is always in my thoughts at the sentinel points in the year, like stewards along a route, they hand out refreshment and encouragement for what is ahead and confirm what has gone. Life is not a route march, though at a few times it can seem like it, but a shared adventure. With these postings you bring people together for a moment to catalyse the feelings Each may be experiencing, whatever their point on the journey.
    I appreciate the wisdom and honesty of the feelings as you dressed the well with love, hope, and celebration.

    1. Apologies for the late reply. Thank you for your kind comments & observations, Penny.

  4. Thank you all at the Chalice Well for all that you do in that precious place,
    The Well dessing is beautiful.
    I don’t know when my Husband and Myself can visit again but it is good to know the Gardens
    and all of you are there.
    Very best wishes and hoping you all stay well.
    Blessings, Love and Light.

    1. Apologies for this late reply, Judith. Thank you for your good wishes. I hope you stay well too, Penny.

  5. Hello dears
    happy to receive it then I love the Equinox Spring – beautiful time is coming inside us all
    then we all, as well,
    are on our heart in joy light love and peace – – –
    I wish you very nice days to feel and listen : the flowers and the trees ! They help us every moment…

    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful photograph of the well dressing. In these troubled times where we are unable to travel down to the well, it brings the beauty of the Well at Equinox into our homes for all of us.
      Love, Light & Blessings to all,

      1. Apologies for this late reply, Magdalene. I’m glad you enjoyed the well dressing, Penny.

    2. Apologies for this late reply, Elisa. Thank you for your kind comments, Penny.

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