Happy Easter! We had some much needed holiday last week and had a fantastic time in the sunshine.
With the joy of Easter in full flow, this week I wanted to share some things to celebrate – little wins, everyday blessings, places where we’ve found joy.
Firstly, looking back to just before the Easter week, we went along as a family to join in with some tree planting. I spotted the opportunity on Facebook – a group called ‘Plant a Tree Today’, in conjunction with ERYC and Humber Forest, sent out an invitation to help plant 1746 saplings. The plan was to add to some previous planting in a space just down the road from us, which we walk through pretty much every day. Brilliant!
We wandered down and got stuck in – especially Joanne (who planted a hedge pretty much on her own!). It was so exciting to take such practical action, and to connect with others who want to invest in our environment too. There was some really fancy kit for doing it, but the most exciting part was gently pressing down the earth around the tiny saplings – gentle fingers settling fragile young shoots into the good earth. This was soul work and it was wonderful.
Back in our own garden we’ve had some very exciting moments too. Firstly, while doing a bit of gentle work in our ‘wild corner’ – where we put a pond in last year – I spotted that we have a new neighbour. A frog has moved in to our pond! We’ve called him Jeremy, obviously. (We are assuming it is a he, I’ve no idea how you would tell). No frog spawn this year – don’t know if that is because Jeremy has been unlucky in love or if our pond isn’t quite right… I know it is quite dirty (largely because I didn’t spot how many leaves had been falling in until they had all sunk and gone really slimy and yuck at the bottom), and it needs a couple more plants to help clean up and oxygenate the water – I don’t mind a trip to the garden centre though 😉
The gentle tidying I was doing when I found Jeremy was all about nettles. Essentially, the ‘wild corner’ had gone wild with nettles – my fault for spreading home made compost that was full of nettle seeds. But don’t despair! We are learning to love nettles.
Did you know:
- Nettles are a really important habitat for some butterflies, other insects and wildlife (for laying their eggs, as well as food and protection)
- Nettles are very nutritious, and pretty tasty – we’ve been eating some and drinking nettle tea (super easy and full of good stuff)
- You can even make thread and cloth out of nettles (bit more complicated, but amazing right?!)
From one ‘weed’ to another – let’s talk about dandelions. What a wonderful flower. Don’t believe me? Let me give you some highlights from my sermon on Easter Sunday morning, in which I proposed the Dandelion as the perfect Easter flower (definitely better than Daffodils).
SO. Daffodils pop up, the golden child of spring time – but who is up and shining yellow first? Yep, dandelions. Daffodils stick their heads up tall and proud, but just one fat flower – and for how long? A week, maybe two, and then they droop and go all sad until next spring. Dandelions though – bam, bam, BAM – non-stop flowers for almost the whole year! Daffodils are lazy plants that just sit waiting to be tended to. But dandelions are incredible pioneer plants – throwing up not just their fantastic yellow flowers (great for pollinators), but when the flower is done up goes the fluffy dandelion clock. What child doesn’t love finding these beautiful globes of joy and blowing the seeds everywhere?! And what wonderful seeds – off they go! Plant pioneers, taking root in the hardest ground, breaking it up and fertilising the soil around them to make it ready for other growth – how wonderful!
I didn’t realise until I started reading up, but it is only quite recently that we seem to have taken against Dandelions – they have been actively cultivated for centuries all around the world, treasured especially for their medicinal properties. As one friend recently said – Dandelions are nature’s multi-vitamin! (Not like Daffodils, which are poisonous). How incredible that something so beautiful and so good is so relentless in growing and spreading!
And my final reason why the Dandelion is the perfect Easter flower. Have you ever tried to kill a Dandelion? The tiniest bit of root left in (and they go incredibly deep!) and before too long you will see resurrection at work – a bright yellow Easter Sunday!
So much to celebrate, and more to come. Happy Easter and God bless 🙂