The sun gods smiled on us today as we sat by the big holly hedge, with its glittering prickles. We read poems by Charles Causley, Tom Pow, Robert Southey, Judith Taylor, Aonghas Macneacail and others, and shared what we know and feel about holly trees.
The hedge on one side of the path contrasts with a tree on the other. The hedge, regularly cut, is very prickly, whereas the tree’s leaves are mostly n smooth-edged, demonstrating that prickles are Holly’s response to browsing by deer or shears. Perhaps people are similar, becoming prickly if their growth is checked.
The holly is traditionally the tree of protection, looking after us through the dark months of the year, when the tide of sunshine ebbs. In the garden it plays this role too, providing shelter and microclimates for the tender plants.
Nothing gleams green like a holly tree.