It’s time for Six on Saturday, as another week flies by. The longest day is rapidly approaching and it is the month of the oak moon. The oak month is known as the ‘hinge’ of the year, a time for retrospectives and forward planning.
The Oak Moon is the seventh Moon, also known as The Moon of Strength and is associated with the Summer Solstice. This Moon is dedicated to Janus, the two-faced god, for in his maturity the Oak King looks in both directions of the year at once, as does the Sun. The word for Oak also means “door” in many languages and this Moon is known as the hinge of the year.https://www.kathycrabbe.com/blog/2009/06/the-celtic-year-oak-moon
This little oak is the only survivor from a handful of acorns I planted about three years ago. If it manages to make it to old age, it could last for a couple of thousand years, which is pretty mind-boggling. There are two ancient oaks in Somerset, known as Gog and Magog, and they formed part of an ancient druidic ceremonial avenue, leading to Glastonbury Tor, that Jesus almost certainly walked along while he popped over to Somerset to drop off the holy grail. The avenue was cleared for farming in 1903, and the trees had over 2000 growth rings, according to local history / folklore.
Unfortunately, Gog, the ancient oak tree went up in flames a few years ago when a candle was left at its base.
Moving on to happier stories, the roses in our garden are fully in bloom now that we’re in June.
The rose bush has been left to its own devices, and it’s blooming marvellous. I will get around to weeding and feeding to try to keep it at it’s best, but it’s just happy and established where it is, I suppose, and so it chucks out dozens of beautiful blooms without any great gardening efforts required.
The wildflower meadow has been about as successful as the roses. Perpetually buzzing with bees and hoverflies and all sorts of insects, the ox-eye daises are open now and they’re such a cheery sight.
The more formal part of the garden is looking good and the planting in and around the pond is coming together. The pond has been full for a few weeks, and we’ve got a lot of insect larva, attracting a lot of damselflies. There were two pairs of red damselflies in the pond yesterday. They make a strange shape called a ‘heart’ or ‘wheel,’ as they mate.
Things in the garden are generally coming together, but of course there’s a still a very long list of projects on the wishlist. Although I know it’s unsustainable, I could not resist the lure of a few big cheap plastic pots and some imported alstroemeria from our local Lidl discount supermarket. The pop of colour is cheap and cheerful and flipping marvellous, and although I’m trying to be a more eco-conscious gardener, but I don’t always succeed with ‘doing the plan’.
Finally I have a failure to report. The bonsai oak that I got my husband for a birthday a few years ago has not made it through the winter. It is dead, bereft of life, and has gone to meet its maker. So this beautiful rectangular ceramic planter needs something new. We’re off to Wells today and I’m hoping that the succulent stall will be at the market, so we can get a few specimens to replant this pot.
That’s my six from the garden this week. See more collections of gardeners delights at the propagators blog. In other news, if you are interested in freelance forest school work in Frome Somerset, or know anyone who might be, please check out the Shared Earth Learning blog for more info.
Next week, I’m off to Knepp, the rewilding project in Sussex, to film part 10 of our series ‘Wood For The Trees’ on the future of British forests. I’m looking forward to seeing the landscape of a ‘rewilded’ farmland, and the trees and biodiversity of the space. It’ll be an interesting day.
Whatever your plans this week, I hope all goes well.