Maypoles are often seen as a quintessentially English tradition, yet in Bavaria the raising of the Maibaum (or May Tree) is also an important event, and it is not the only time a tree is hefted aloft in celebration.
Derwen Ceubren yr Ellyll, which means “The Hollow Oak, Haunt of Demons” or “The Blasted Oak of Spirits” was a real tree. Its story is dark and terrifying.
The superstition of ‘touch wood’, or ‘knock on wood’ is still common today, but what was its original source? Madeleine D’Este explores some possibilities.
No plants feature so often in folklore, in so many places, as fig trees. There’s a biological basis to many of these stories.
The birch has a particularly graceful, flowing habit that always reminds me of a stream of water, extending right to the tips of its delicate black twigs in a shower of leafy droplets that tremble, suspended, in their fall.