Hamadryad and honeysuckle: Six on Saturday

Where to start with discovering the garden? I’ve been doing seemingly epic quantities of pruning, and have barely scraped the surface.

Would anyone like any bay leaves? I have a gazillion to hand after pruning the bay tree. There’s also a fine quantity of twisted hazel stems, which make a marvellous weaving material…


There’s more than six things to share in the garden this Saturday, but I’ll try focus on a few favourites…

  1. Oak.

    The little sapling from an acorn collected in the local park a couple of years ago has had a day in the sun .  Today, June 1st, is the day Celts traditionally honour the hamadryads, the tree spirits, particularly oak… In British folklore oakmen are akin to the HAMADRYADS of Greek folklore, a type of nature spirit living within oak trees, protecting the forest and wildlife.”  To honor these spirits, I put the little oak tree into a sunnier spot, and I’ll treat it to a new pot later.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about trees lately – I’ve started a part time job as marketing manager for a timber firm, and I’m getting more involved with the Tree Group in Frome, who are planning to plant more fruit trees and native species trees in our area. While fundraising to plant trees in my free time, and marketing sawn timber for a living may seem contradictory, it’s working for me so far.  I’m hoping to plant this oak out into a community space once its grown up a bit.


2. Leycesteria formosa, the Himalayan honeysuckle,  a huge plant coming into flower in our garden, is also known as the flowering nutmeg, Himalaya nutmeg or pheasant berry. The flowers do resemble a pheasant. I hope my plant ID app is correct, and I wonder if trying Fergus the Forager’s recipe for pheasant berry fig rolls (warning: may cause loose stools) is as unwise as sounds?


3. More honeysuckle. There’s about four or five cubic metres of the stuff, which is about to bloom. We’ll do a bit of pruning when it’s finished flowering…


4. Bearded iris. We bought these from the walled garden at Mells, where they have a lovely little cafe and plant nursery. It’s planted in a spot where I recently tamed a giant spiky plant, and it looks much better than the mass of spiky leaves…


5. Roses by the summerhouse. They’re a lovely colour, although this plant isn’t in a spot I would have chosen for it.


6. My final selection for Saturday is this little posy of garden flowers – with roses, snapdragons and lady’s mantle.


Each Saturday, gardeners share six things in their garden with the Propagator, who began this lovely tradition. Head over to his blog to see many more ‘Six on Saturday’ collections from garden bloggers around the world.







5 thoughts on “Hamadryad and honeysuckle: Six on Saturday

  1. Do you happen to know what species of oak that is? It looks like some sort of white oak, sort of like our native valley oak, but with bigger leaves. Most white oaks have bigger leaves than ours.


  2. I love the idea of taming a large spiky thing! I wonder what it was. I think taking gardens is wonderful as you discover so much. I’ve done that but this garden was just grass and a conifer when we moved in, a little disappointing


  3. Much as I love my current garden, I do like the idea of taking on a new one. Yours is coming along nicely. It will be fun to see it through the first year, get to know it.


    1. Thanks very much! I’ve moved around quite a lot over the years, and I think this is my 11th address, and the third garden of our very own. It’s really fun to take somewhere on and put your own stamp on it. And I do enjoy pruning, which is a prerequisite for the task!


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