Wattle fences and retaining walls can easily be built from the leftovers of pruning, or from coppiced wood. This technique is the most basic form of fence construction, having been in use since Neolithic times.

I continually harvest apple, dogwood, willow, and hazelnut wood from designated coppicing trees in my yard, because these local species happen to grow both quickly and straightly. There are a number of “fences in progress” that are built higher every time I go around and maintain trees. Preparing materials is easy: I trim the bases of prunings down to sturdy fence posts of a uniform height and circumference; the rest I trim into flexible pieces for weaving the rest of the fence. The leftovers from all of this are piled up in #hugelkultur mounds. I hammer the posts down 1/3 of their height, and the rest is just simple weaving back and forth, between posts.

I have used this method for #raised beds, #straw bale gardens, and purely for aesthetic purposes with great success, but then again, I am not one to complain when it’s 100% free!



Plants of the Day

Sunday 16 April 2017

The British native Carpinus betulus (hornbeam) here is part of a coppiced woodland. This potentially large deciduous tree is being cut back to near the ground on a rotation to produce thinner timber rather than one major trunk. The new spring leaves were like green stained glass in the sunshine and in the undergrowth patches Anemone nemorosa (wood anemone,wood windflower) were growing in moist, humus-rich woodland soil while in the summer, when dormant, the Anemone will tolerate drier conditions.

Jill Raggett

Arwen falls in love when she is just ten years old, with the gardens of her father’s home. She likes the smells and the flowers and brushing her hand against the petals’ silk-soft flesh.

But autumn comes to Rivendell and with it, the gardens wilt, and the flowers fall dead at her feet until she cries under the withering trees.

Galad,” her mother says, wiping the tears from Arwen’s cheeks like they pain her. “Why are you sad?”

“I do not want them to die,” Arwen says, cradling what is left of her first love; half-hearted blooms crumbling in her hands.

“Ah,” Celebrian hums, a melodic sympathy. “What a tragedy it is, to love what does not last. How fortunate that you and I will live forever.”

But what good is living, Arwen thinks, if it causes this much pain? 

Her brothers bring her yellow flowers from Lothlórien, which do not die even as they rest on her window sill for many years, but it is not the same. She knows now, what loss tastes like, and so she is not the same, either.

Arwen falls in love again when she is two hundred, in the midst of adolescence, heart overflowing with a song she cannot name. She is in Lórien with her mother and her mother’s mother, and her grandmother’s guard Eregwen.

Eregwen is silver-haired with stern eyes that feel like frost on Arwen’s skin whenever they catch her. She is tall and strong and can shoot three arrows one through the other in the time it takes to blink. 

“She is also old enough to be your mother,” Elladan laughs, plucking a golden apple from the tree above their heads.

“Or grandmother,” Elrohir adds, always quick to join in teasing her.

Arwen glares at them both. “What do you two know about love, anyway?” Her brothers have had no great loves of their own, more interested in things like war and glory, fingers inching towards their swords even in their sleep.

When she confesses her love to Eregwen and gives her the bracelet she’s made from a lock of her hair, a token of her affection, the guard accepts it, as graceful and stoic as always, and her refusal is not unkind. 

And when Eregwen dies later that same decade in a skirmish with some orcs, Arwen weeps bitterly into her bed sheets though she hasn’t thought of the guard in some years.

Even immortal things are unsafe, she’s learning. There is no soft place to rest her love so that it may not break.

Arwen falls in and out of love enough times in her life to lose track. For she has such a very long life, and time is a difficult thing for immortals to keep track of. It moves differently for them, sometimes stretching languidly in a century that feels like one honey-sweet summer, and sometimes falling over itself in a jumbled up rush. 

She is closer to three thousand years old than not by the time she meets the boy called Hope, the false son her father brought home to Rivendell for safe-keeping, as if he was some rich trinket rather than a child. 

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| Iwaoi | oneshot | au | read on ao3

And it’s for my heart that I’ll live

Down the hall the vending machine hums, mixing with the muffled voices of the nurses and their shuffled steps on dull linoleum. Sparse fluorescent lights illuminate the corridor in a dim gloom. Everything seems distant and lost in reverie.
An odd atmosphere in contrast to Tooru, running on thin nerves and cheap hospital coffee for two days now. The empty coffee cup in his hands is long useless. Turned and switched between restless fingers until the thin plastic budged and snapped.

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One other chimera directly from my home is the “Dilldapp”.

They’re described as a crossbreed of polecat or hamster, rabbit and deer.

A widely accepted version how they look is this

They’re said to live in the Hauberg ( oak-birch coppiced woodland) in the Siegerland (region in the federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany). They’re retiring and eat potatoes, which they steal from the fields of farmers.

A local comic artists expanded the lore A LOT, and publishes every year a calendar with adventures of his Dilldappen characters.

The Runaway


Slung over The Joker’s shoulder, Iris was carried across the foyer and down the hall. He had a strong hold on the back of her legs, making it impossible to move. Iris looked up through her hair and saw his men doing their best to act like they couldn’t see what was happening.

He shifted her weight on his shoulder, throwing her forward, Iris squeaked and pushed at his back trying her hardest to keep from falling. Her legs swung in front of his face as he stalked his way through the mansion. Only able to look at the ground, she tried to focus on that rather than the fact that The Joker’s butt was inches away from her face. She heard the sound of a lock popping then he opened a door, stepping inside he threw Iris onto the bed in the middle of a small dark room. 

Iris bounced up and down on the mattress, when she stopped she stared up at The Joker. He stood in the doorway looking down at her, his eyes traveling up and down her body.

“Sit tight, Kitten.” With a small bow he walked out of the room and shut the door. Iris could hear men talking on the other side of the door, then it all stopped. Iris jumped off of the bed and tiptoed over to the door, when she reached it she pressed her ear against the wood. For a while she couldn’t hear a thing, then someone began speaking again.

“Why do we have to stand here, man?”

“Boss said to babysit, so we babysit.” They were right outside the door.


Her hand floated up to the doorknob and she turned it. The door opened slightly and light seeped into the room. Through the crack she could see one of their legs, standing right next to the door. 

‘Where is the other one?’ 

“Get your ass back in there!” The door slammed shut in her face and Iris jumped back against the bed. 

‘He posted guards?’ 

Iris turned and looked around the room. Using the bed as leverage she spotted a vent high up on the wall. She ran to the other side of the bed and tried to push it to the wall.

‘Ugh, of course its too heavy.’

Iris looked around the room again, this time she saw a window and her hope began to soar. Spinning around in a small circle, she searched but there wasn’t anything to use, not a lamp or a chair not even a pen.

‘There has to be something that’ll break the window.’

Dropping to the floor, she ran her hands underneath the bed still hoping to find something to launch through the window . Just as she was about to give up her hand brushed against something cold and hard. She pulled it from under the bed, it was a gun made of heavy black metal. Looking down at the gun she had a thought and turned her attention to the door.

‘What’re you going to do, shoot through the door and just hope you hit the guards?’

Sighing she looked back down at the gun.

‘Everyone in the house would hear.’

“I could break the glass…but they’d get to me before I could get out.” Suddenly she had an idea.

Iris ran over to the window and tried the latch, it opened with ease and she decided to open up the window. She looked back at the door to see if the men heard anything; when the door didn’t open she stuck her head out and looked around for anyone posted outside.

Glancing back at the door, she swung her legs out of the window and jumped down behind the bushes. She glanced around once more, upon seeing no one, she made a break for it. Iris burst from the bushes and ran, at full speed, down the hill. When she reached the bottom she heard a man’s voice.

“Hey, where do you think you’re going?” Iris turned around and saw a man racing down the hill towards her. On instinct, Iris lifted the gun and pulled the trigger. The man fell to the ground with a yell and rolled the rest of the way down the hill. 

‘What have I done?’

The man finally reached the bottom of there hill and Iris stared at him until her moved. With a sigh of relief she continued down along the road. The gravel from the road bit into her feet making each step agonizingly painful.

‘You have to keep going!’ 

A car engine revved back towards The Joker’s mansion. Iris looked back and saw headlights appear over the hill. The car rolled over the hill and bearing down on her. She looked around and saw a more than convenient coppice. Leaving the road she ran towards the tree line, hoping to reach it before the car got to her. More lights flashed out of the corner of her eye, another car was heading straight for her from the other direction.

‘Oh shit!’

Iris ran faster, trying her hardest to get away; before she was able to dive into the cover of the trees, the car coming from the house cut her off. Someone on top of the car turned the floodlights on her, effectively blinding her. 

Squinting through the bright lights, she tried to turn and run the other way but was met by more floodlights, she was trapped. Iris watched as The Joker’s men filed out of the cars one by one, closing the empty spaces and completely trapping her. She looked around franticly for an opening but there wasn’t one.

“Fuck…” She froze when she saw him step between his men. His teeth glinted through his open mouth in the obtrusive lights. The weight of his stare was too much, it made her feel small and insignificant. As a last ditch effort, Iris raised the gun at The Joker hoping that it would stop him, but he kept walking.

Iris shut her eyes and pulled the trigger, instead of the loud bang she was expecting there was only a click. She opened her eyes and saw The Joker standing in front of her pressing his forehead against the barrel of the gun. Her eyes flicked between him and the gun; a devious smile spread across his face and disappeared just as quickly as it came.

With one hand he snatched the gun from her and slapped her with the other. Iris fell to the ground with a scream; holding onto her cheek, she had no time to react, he was on top of her in seconds, his hands secure around her throat.
Iris gasped for breath under his grasp. Somehow she was able to roll him over, once he was on his back she tried to get up and run but he grabbed her leg and threw her back on the ground. She landed hard scraping her arm and leg.

He was on her again but before he had the chance to wrap his hands around her throat again, she balled up her fist and took a swing, hitting him in the jaw. The Joker land on the ground holding his jaw in his hand. Smiling he motioned for his men to take her; two of them stepped out of line and went to pick her up, the one who made it to her first grabbed her by the bodice of the dress that Bruce bought her, ripping it.

“Take her back to the room.” The Joker said, picking himself off of the ground.

“Boss, are you sure, she already escaped once.” One of the men holding her said. Dramatically, Joker rolled his eyes and pulled out his gun, he shot the man who had questioned his judgement. The man dropped to the ground almost taking her with him, the other one holding her was the only thing keeping her on her feet.

Another stepped in and took his place. Then he aimed the gun directly at Iris’ head. She did something that surprised both her and The Joker, Iris stood her ground and stared at Joker, ignoring the gun. He laughed as he put the gun back in its holster.

“Go.” with that simple word the men holding her dragged her to one of the cars. Iris looked back, she saw The Joker smoothing back his hair with both hands and gesturing to the dead man on the ground. They forced her into the back seat and sped off back to the mansion, ripping up the grass around them.

She was yanked out of the car and dragged indoors. Iris jerked her body hard enough to free herself from both of the men, back handing on to give herself a chance to get away but the other caught her before she could run any further.

“He just murdered one of your friends and you’ll just do whatever he says!?” Iris screamed as she was carried back to the room, he opened the door and threw her on the floor.

“Ugh, you bastard!” iris jumped up and lunged at him. The man slapped her, not as hard as The Joker had, and threw her back on the floor.

“He wasn’t a friend and this is just business.” His partner walked into the room, He bent down and grabbed Iris’ chin roughly turning her head into the light.

“The boss isn’t going to be happy about what you did to his little toy.” She pulled her head away from him, he chuckled while walking to guard the window. The one who’d hit her looked away but not before Iris saw fear flash across his face. 

“There in no way out of this…’

Iris sat up and pulled her knees to her chest, staring at a small patch of light on the floor in front of her. She sat there, with her guards, and they waited together for what was to come next. 


Passages: ‘The Pines’

Evergreen, the woodland of my thoughts, 

a forest of redolent firs, copious coppice verdigris, 

by the calloused hands of callous men left yet unmarred, 

their industrious futility, futile industry untainted, untouched



The Darkling Thrush

I leant upon a coppice gate
     When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
     The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
     Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
     Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
     The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
     The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
     Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
     Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
     The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
     Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
     In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
     Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
     Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
     Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
     His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
     And I was unaware.

— Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928)

Rhythm After Summer

Originally posted by yixingofficial

Summary: The last summer you shared with your best friend, and perhaps when you foolishly fell in love with him.

Genre: Angst, Fluff

Pairing: Baekhyun x Reader

Word Count: 2k

a/n: my first scenario; a small portion from one of the stories i’m currently working on! 

Summer ‘12

‘The scent of the wind has changed; the cooling sunshine is a bit lonely.’

The last summer you shared with your best friend, and perhaps when you foolishly fell in love with him.

Summer days were spent in the comfort of your air-conditioned home. Nothing spectacular happened during the hours of sunlight. You looked forward to the sunsets every evening, and you would stand on the balcony, Baekhyun sitting with you since your grandfather had not yet made it home. The orange and pink hues reflecting off of the sky and onto Baekhyun– the sunset, graciously painting a hazy pink tint onto his flesh, a glow emitting from the boy standing by your side, and for that brief moment each time he was standing there with you for this daily occurrence, you would be completely enthralled by him. He was a painting that you simply couldn’t tear your gaze from, sketched by only the most skilled of hands. He would look back to you, and you would quickly avert your gaze, hoping he wouldn’t tease you for staring, although he always did, anyway.

You would send him off right as your grandfather pulled into his usual parking spot in front of your house.

Every sunset after that, you could only see him.

‘When the music changes, you’ll be dyed in the sunset.’

Summer nights were spent deep out in the fields behind the homes you and Baekhyun had grown up in. Your grandfather and his parents since then long had fallen asleep, just as the both of you were to be. Baekhyun would come around late at night when the moon was at its peak and when the stars shone their brightest. Small pebbles were thrown at your window every night for 2 months, a signal Baekhyun had that asked ‘are you still awake? I’m outside!’ without having to speak, pebbles assuring him you’d hear them, but no one else in the house could. Every night you’d unlock your window to let the mischievous boy into your room, to which he’d propose, “let’s go on an adventure!” and you would mindlessly agree with no hesitation at all, despite knowing the consequences if you were caught sneaking out.

Baekhyun’s grip on your hand was tight; half being a sense of stubbornness to assure you were coming with him, even if you objected, and half being to assure himself that he wouldn’t lose you. He drug you through the fields behind your homes and deep into the meadows, far enough away to be as loud as you wanted, but not far enough to lose your way.

Each and every night Baekhyun had come to see you, to drag you through the grassy fields and into the tree and shrub infested coppice, until finally arriving at the large, open plains where nothing in this world could block the sky from your view. As usual, he had brought a blanket for the both of you to share so grass wouldn’t stick to your clothes, bottles of your favorite flavors of tea; peach and pomegranate, and a small lantern to guide you through the night. Unknown to you, admiration and infatuation filled the warm atmosphere. The source, you hadn’t been quite sure before, but now you knew it had been Baekhyun– the way his eyes reflected the stars when he looked at you, his genuine smile, everything that screamed ‘I’m so in love with you’ and you could smack yourself for not realizing it before. These nights were the best nights of your life, feeling like something you would see in a movie and think ‘why couldn’t I have something like this’. You were lucky you hadn’t ever needed to wonder what it felt like.

Baekhyun’s gaze lingered on you the entire time yours remained on the stars scattered above you. Laughter filled the dewy, summer air, longing sighs and lasting conversations about what the future would be like, and quiet music that played on the radio disguising the sound of crickets chirping throughout the night. You had promised to be by Baekhyun’s side for the rest of your life, and all of your lives after, to which he laughed, although it seemed a bit forced now that you look back on it. You hadn’t thought much about it then.

Baekhyun’s more than conscious form contrasting your slightly fatigued one. For once that night, his gaze was fixed on the stars and yours was fixed on him. You hadn’t known where the sudden feeling of adoration and admiration had come from, but the persistent fluttering in your stomach had you questioning your own true intentions. He emitted a glow that shone brighter than any of the stars above you, and you didn’t know how you were just realizing that. He was blinding.

‘You light up my nights. We want each other, baby, what else do we need?’

Slow love songs played on the radio, and you had never felt more happiness than you did that night. “Baek! Let’s dance! I love this song!” To which he’d laugh and get up to dance with you, as you mindlessly sang along to the song.

‘Let me hear your melody, so I can feel my heart pound again, so I can fall in love with you all over again when this season comes back around.’

Baekhyun seemed to be the only thing you could see. The trees didn’t matter to you, the stars didn’t either. Baekhyun was all you cared about that night, the giddiness in your stomach was enough to prove that you had felt something, and at the time, you were scared, yet thankful it was for him.

Maybe it was that you were beginning to become tired that you were feeling these feelings, or maybe you were just clueless to what love really was. Baekhyun had always been sure about his feelings, although they remained unknown to you all that time.

You weren’t sure what it was that suddenly had you wondering how his lips would feel on yours. Your gaze didn’t shift to anywhere else but him, and not even him speaking up “Y/N! look! A shooting star!” could distract you. He closed his eyes for a brief 30 seconds before his eyes fluttered open and he sat up, looking over to you for the umpteenth time that night with a smile playing on his lips. “What did you wish for?”

“I didn’t wish for anything, you saw it first,” you began. “The wish is for you.”

Giddiness dancing in the pit of his stomach, his cheeks beginning to ache from all the smiling he had done that night. You laughed, playfully shoving his shoulder before asking, “What did you wish for?”

His smile suddenly dropped, before his cheeks began to redden, and you had been so sure he had prayed to every god in this universe that it had been too dark for you to see it, it was reflected in his eyes for a brief moment. “Nothing! I can’t tell you or it won’t come true!”

You laughed, not believing the stubbornness in the boy you had knowingly admired for almost an hour that night, but unknowingly had also been admiring for 10 years prior. “Okay.”

He smiled, a hand tangling itself in your hair and brushing through ever so lightly, the fatigue you had felt earlier suddenly vanished. You had hoped he couldn’t tell your heart had suddenly began to start beating loud enough to almost consider deafening, or your breath quickening enough for you to notice, but you weren’t aware if he did. He just smiled genuinely.

‘Oh, you know I can’t control myself.’

“I think I like you, Byun Baekhyun.” Your arms were thrown around his neck, not caring about the consequences of what would happen after that moment that seemed to last for years. You kissed him, and it was nothing but innocence that led you, it was pure, and you did it before he could react to your words. He pulled away, laughing himself, contradictory to what you had expected before returning;

“I think I like you, too.”

'When the music changes, you’ll be dyed in the sunset. The rhythm after the summer.’

This night stood out in particular to you as the happiest memory you had and you were sure it always would, but as the famous saying goes; all good things must come to an end. Fate was now a cruel nemesis to you.

It wasn’t a day later when you had lost all contact with your best friend, and now the source of your undefinable, confusing feelings.

He had changed his number, deleted any and all of his social media, moved out of the house that you had built so many memories in front of with him.

He was gone.

The only attestation that he truly existed was the note that read “I’m so sorry” in his rushed scribble handwriting and the baby’s breath left on your desk that you knew he had been responsible for. He was the only one who knew your favorite flower, and you knew he somehow thought leaving your favorite flower and a note behind would make up for his sudden and abrupt departure from your life, like it had made up for anything else you would get upset over.

This was no longer the case.

You were devastated, and nothing could fix that. Not your favorite flower, not your favorite soup or tea, not going out to stargaze, not even Baekhyun himself. All of the weeks you spent in seclusion because you couldn’t bring yourself to leave the comfort of your bedroom, and your grandfather soon becoming fed up with your behavior and forcing you to get out and interact with someone, because interaction with someone was better than the self-inflicted misery you were stuck living with all because you fell for the wrong boy.

He ruined everything you had enjoyed. The happiness you felt before was now replaced with a feeling of dread and anguish.

Everything reminded you of him. Everything was tainted with his cologne he often wore these days and the stagnant memories shared with him, and it took you months and months until you could finally look at his now vacant home that sat next to your now suffocating one without breaking down into tears and sobbing to your heart’s content for hours on end.

It had always been said that time was the best medicine, that with time, your heart would heal and overcome the most unpleasant of experiences, which was right to some degree. With time, it had become more bearable to look at his house, to look for the outfit you would wear each day and come across shirts that had belonged to him that you had forgotten to return, to go through all of your old picture albums just to find that he had been in the vast majority. It became more bearable to live in a world tainted by him.

 Although the pain was more manageable, you found your heart still stung at the mention of his name, feeling as if someone had rubbed your heart raw with a piece of sandpaper. You had never and would never completely heal.

And while you had blamed Baekhyun for leaving, cursed him for being so selfish as to make you believe he reciprocated your feelings, for stomping your heart into the ground just as you had started to become more aware of your feelings, you could never bring yourself to hate him.

At the end of each day for four years, you had prayed that you would run into him again, that you would rebuild the friendship you had built with him for ten years, and each day, your faith would falter just a bit more, until there was nearly nothing left to have hope.

You hadn’t realized that Baekhyun would be so close to you all of this time, and for some reason, finding that out settled your heart even more than it had prior to realizing that, you could never bring yourself to be mad.

Four dreadful years of the absence of your companion, and fate had unexpectedly decided to bring you back together.

belitaross  asked:

Hello, I was wondering if you have any advice for getting started with a pemaculture garden. I have look for videos on youtube(don't have any money to buy books) and can't find anything that helps a really, really green beginner. Any help would be very appreciated

Permaculture“ is a portmanteau of "permanent agriculture,” or “permanent culture.” It can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. It is much more than a style of garden: it’s a holistic philosophy about land management and sustainability.

Personally, I have never taken a course or a certification in it, and I have also never belonged to any permaculture groups or organisations, but I would still call myself a “permaculturist,” even though I am self-taught.

All of the best free educational tools I have found are archived in the #resources, #videos, #DIY and #garden hacks archives.

I have been writing a series called #Edible Forest Gardening 101, which starts off rather simple, but gets more complex. If you are looking to try the forest garden model, that might be a good place to start. I have additional resources in the general #forest gardening archives. My practices also overlap quite a bit with the ideas of #edible landscaping, and #agroforestry, so you might also find useful information there.

If you are just getting started, I would recommend you learn about some basic topics. I try to archive everything I write and reblog so it’s like an accessible in-site library:

The first thing you need to really think about before you start your garden is your local biome. Living in accordance with your local ecology limits the amount of work you will have to do, and resources you will have to use in maintaining your space. this is called bioregionalism.

You should figure out:

  • Your USDA hardiness zone and AHS heat zone. When you are shopping for plants, this information will let you know what you can grow. Most greenhouses will mark their plants with a minimum temperature they can tolerate: if not, you can find this on the internet. Other things to consider are soil pH, light exposure, and water.
  • Your local natural biome type: is it Shortgrass Prairie? Riparian? Deciduous Forest? Tropical? Alpine? Arid? This information should also inform the kinds of plants you try to grow.
  • Your local laws and zoning ordinances; those bastards in municipal government can be real dicks about things like keeping chickens or planting trees. On a practical note, you should map out where your utilities are buried (call before you dig!)

For your first garden, I would recommend a permaculture classic that is very useful and fulfilling: this the the herb spiral. It can be easily built with salvaged materials, and provides you with all of the culinary herbs you need. It’s a good way to get your hands dirty, and to start learning about the different needs different plants have. Have a look through the archive and see if you find a design that is inspiring!

The point of permaculture is to derive the most abundance possible, with the least amount of work and disturbance of the environment. You will have a much easier time if you learn to work with nature than against her. Embrace things like birds and bugs snacking on your plants, and embrace the fact that plants die — everything has a place.

I run this blog to help people and get them excited about working with plants, so you can always write if you have a question!

Herb of the Week-Dog Rose

Common names

Dog Brier
Dog Rose
Hip Rose
Wild Brier

Rosa canina, also referred to as the dog rose, is a permanent scrambling or climbing species of rose that is indigenous to Europe, south-western Asia and northern Africa. Generally, the plant is found to be growing up to three meters or around 10 feet in length. Some plants may even grow longer and reach the apex of taller trees growing nearby. Rosa canina plants bear hooked thorns on the stem and these aid the plants in climbing. The plant has pinnate leaves, with each leaf having two to three pairs of jagged leaflets. Usually, the blooms of Rosa canina are pink, but they may also be found in white. The flowers are around 4 cm to 6 cm in diameter, each having five petals. The flowers develop into reddish-orange colored fruits, also known as hips.

It is interesting to note that in the Middle Ages, between the 5th and 15th century, the rose hips/ fruits were a preferred sweet luxury among the people. However, the Rosa canina variety plants were not held in the same esteem as the cultivated assortment of rose - Rosa gallica. Despite this, herbal medicinal practitioners regarded the plant of the dog rose as herb possessing elevated therapeutic properties and usually prescribed the plants or their preparations to treat various chest problems.

Flowers of Rosa canina are not only attractive, but also contain numerous therapeutic properties and, hence, are recommended for treating an assortment of medical conditions. As mentioned before in this article, Rosa canina or the dog rose is a permanent plant that is indigenous to Europe, northern Africa as well as the temperate regions of south-western Asia. Since the dog rose plant is a natural source of a number of vitamins, it is recommended to cure diarrhea, quench thirst, as a diuretic to increase urination and also to avert stomach inflammation.

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Cunning Celt's Ritual to Acknowledge the Land

Day 11 of shipping-the-gods’ Spell-a-day Challenge: write a spell based on your favourite poem.

“The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die -
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold -
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land -
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand -
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.”

Dorothea Mackellar

I live in what I think is the most beautiful part of the world, Australia, where in the space of a single day I can travel from crystal clear oceans and white sandy beaches, to lush rainforest, forested and misty mountains, golden grassed farmland, and into the red earth of the Outback. So much of the magic that we see and use is about taking power or using power for our own ends, but it is important to give back, to acknowledge where and what we come from. This is not a spell so much as a simple yet powerful ritual to acknowledge the land and to give back to it.

Ideally performed either at dawn, midday, sunset, or midnight, but can be performed at any time. Make sure you wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes made of natural fibres. This ritual may be performed solo, or by a group.

Sit upon the earth comfortably, and place your hands flat on the ground. Close your eyes and meditate for a while on the land, in what it has given you: your life, your home, your sustenance, your power.

Now, in a similar way you would to ground yourself, begin to raise and direct your energy into the earth. But this is no grounding; direct your energy to heal the land, to feed it, to thank it. You are not ridding yourself if excess energy or negative emotions, but are contributing to the well being of the land and honouring your connection to it. See the beauty and magnificence of the land in your mind’s eye, and feed your own power to it. Let your love of the land swell and flow through the energy you are directing, feel it flow through the earth beneath you like the roots of a giant tree.

Do not rush this, allow yourself a good amount of time to perform this ritual. Once you have completed it, return home and be sure to eat and drink something to ground yourself.


Plant of the Day

Sunday 31 January 2016

The colourful new growth of Salix alba var. vitellina (golden willow) has been tied into bundles to create these temporary sculptures at Hyde Hall Gardens, Essex, U.K. The new stems are encouraged by pruning off all the growth to a ‘leg’ (a single large stem, it may have even started life as a hardwood cutting planted in situ) in the early spring before the leaves burst. This is called 'stooling’ in horticulture or coppicing. The technique is used for a variety of species that produce bright stem colour on new growth - Acer, Cornus, Salix, and Tilia - for winter display. 

Jill Raggett