Tuesday, 13 December 2011


I love the tradition of bringing greenery into the house during the darkest part of the year.. a reminder that the earth is only sleeping and will burst into life once more once she has shed her old layers, rested and renewed herself.

I made this little wreath for the front door from the evergreens in the herb garden, its just bay and rosemary. They both smelled divine while I worked with them. Had intended (indeed, still intend!) weaving a scarlet ribbon and adding pine cones, berries and other decorative bits later this week.. but it just looked so simple and fresh and green that I couldn't bring myself to do it yet.

This year we finally have an eco christmas tree which is actually growing in its pot and will live beyond the Christmas festivities. Yes, before you ask, it drops needles.. but I don't see that as a problem. I hoover them up. I like the ritual of watering it a little every day. Its nice to have something to nurture at a time when we are no longer out working daily in the garden.

Yesterday, driving through the winter countryside I saw mistletoe growing high up in trees for the first time.. a magical sight and it made me determined to look up some of the folklore surrounding this and other plants associated with this time of the year. I filled the hanging baskets by the front door with lovely variegated ivy which, like mistletoe, had its use banned by the church for its strong pagan (ie pre-Christian) associations.. yet they are still widely used, along with holly, though I am sure not many folks would now know why.

Share with me anything that you know .. and I'll add links or a new post if I find anything interesting?

UPDATE (Dec 30th 2011):

Found this wonderful Susun Weed article about Rosemary which includes the following:

"Old herbals hint that rosemary exerts its influence magically as well as physically. Burned as an incense, twined into a wreath, or grown in a pot, rosemary protects the house and those who live in it, especially the women..

Rosemary is a traditional Christmas decoration – partly because it smells good, and partly because pruning rosemary back mid-winter makes it stronger and healthier. So don’t hesitate to cut bunches of it for beauty."


madhat said...

Hedgewitch! I haven't seen you for so long!
Thanks for visiting my blog.
I hope you are well.
A lat has happened in the last two years for you, I gather. :)

Hedgewitch said...

hello nutty! so good to see you, welcome back :-)

yes, I had two years of fairly major life-changes.. for me becoming a mother meant feeling the need to turn inwards and focus on my new family pretty much exclusively until one day it started to feel right to reach out to the rest of the world again, as my little one and I were ready.

But also the pregnancy cured my ME, a debilitating illness which I had lived with for 8 years. It just goes to show that miracles can and do happen in this life, and one must keep faith (I know you will understand this) We called our little boy Jason, which is Greek for 'healer'. For the first 18 months or so I assumed I was just in remission while my body got back to usual, but J will be 3 in February and I'm still fine.. so recently I'm coming to terms with the fact that I've been given my life back.

Making the most of my good health, we moved from London when J was 10months old (I never want to go househunting or deal with estate agents ever again!) to the Essex coast to be near to my mum-in-law and to have a garden and just get us away from the noise and pollution to live a quieter life. Since then I've been gradually making friends, finding my feet and getting immersed in this new life.

I'm probably going to do some retrospective posts with photos of how I made the new herb garden here and things, now that I
feel like I've finally 'landed' and found something approaching a normal settled existence :-)

madhat said...

Nice to get in touch again! :)
Would love to see some piccies.

Cheryl said...

Hi Hedgewitch,

Love the traditional greenery at your front door.
May your garden blossom in the coming year, also you and yours.....

Love and light.....

Hedgewitch said...

Thank you, Cheryl! So good to see you again :-)

madhat said...

I posted up a picture of our evergreen wreath. Come and look! :)

Rowan said...

Your evergreen wreath is lovely, Iwas interested to read that you can cut rosemary hard in winter. I have a large,old rosemary growing near my back door and I think I shall cut some of it and make a New Year wreath for the door.

Hedgewitch said...

Hello Rowan, how nice to see you at Earth and Tree! Yes, I was just reading yesterday that several hardy herbs appreciate a haircut about now (mid Jan). It also seems that rosemary is most potent/useful when in flower, unlike other herbs, and the big bush in my garden is flowering now, then my littler rosemarys tend to flower in Feb, so time to be looking up some recipes! Thanks for stopping by :-)