Primula elatior OXLIP.jpg

A mid-summer purge can come on unexpectedly. You've had winter, bedded down in reflection, plan making and restoration. Spring bought with it the vigours of new energy and life, those plans taking form in various actions that should then swing pleasantly into the long summer months. And then just before mid-summer you have several weeks of chaotic and unexpected events that cause you to go back to the drawing board, assess the unforeseen potholes in said plans, regroup (integrity in hand, dignity dwindling somewhere behind but following nonetheless) and arming yourself with a renewed sense of opportunity and openness. 



The City

For the first time in several years I’ve found myself back in an environment I thought I was done with, at least in terms of living there. I am in a city. A large one. And whilst there are trees the stars are invisible under these orange polluted skies. I am without a garden at the very moment I’ve started to feel confident and attached to one to attend. My shock and grief at finding myself in new found old surroundings is palpable. 

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IVY ii

It is by nature dimorphic, meaning that it has the unique ability to grow in two physically distinct ways. The ‘juvenile’ leaves are the familiar three-five lobed shape shields and the more mature, elliptically beefy shaped adult leaves. It was misguided to assume they are two separate species, as Theophrastus (314BC) and Pliny the Elder (23-79AD) both did - it wasn’t until the early 19th century that we woke up to the illusion. 

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I love the thought of this hardy and opportunistic evergreen being grown indoors. I’m not the only one. Our Pagan ancestors would bring ivy, along with holy, inside during the darker months and use it as decoration. I know one rather marvellous woman who uses ivy to decorate her house every Christmas. There is something about bringing the outside-IN that can illuminate and strengthen our connection to nature, showing us that all is not quiet and dead outside. Nature is always providing us with something to celebrate. 

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