Today I cut into the lawn to plant a tree in my garden. The grass peeled back to reveal layers of shale, lumps of rock and parched soil.
Digging a hole was an effort. I needed a pickaxe. Have you used one of those lately? You discover muscles you’d forgotten you had. Best to take painkillers before wielding the pickaxe and have a good soak in a hot bath afterwards (my muscles are buzzing after the unexpected workout as I write!).
Finally, after mixing topsoil, manure and compost together, I planted my first tree, a Jonagold apple.
It only takes five fruit or nut trees to create an orchard and that’s what I intend to do: Plant an orchard and nourish the poor soil.
I mention in my bio that I am a Celebrant, that means I compose and conduct weddings, funerals, and all or any of life’s celebrations and rituals.
One of the joys of putting a wedding ceremony together is making sure I capture what the couple want from their special day – what they intend to promise each other in carefully crafted bespoke vows, how I can best reflect who they are and what they want from their life together.
One of the aspects we explore during our meetings is the gentle and patient work it takes to get the best from each other and forge deep and lasting roots.
After the struggle it took to plant the tree today, I decided I should offer each couple a fruit tree as a wedding gift. The couple will need to read instructions about how to care for the tree, to water it, nourish it, protect it from prevailing winds, keep it in or out of direct sunlight, to not leave it exposed on a North facing wall, alone, to repot it by gently teasing out its roots when it outgrows its pot and finally, when the time is right, to plant it into the earth to allow its roots to burrow deeper.
The tree will be symbolic of their marriage, their love needing nurture and care and with the additional bonus of their tree giving them their own harvest in the autumn.
I’m planting tree number two tomorrow, Cox’s Orange Pippin.
If you want to know more about my work as a Celebrant or you have a celebration in mind, please get in touch.