Saturday, 25 April 2015

27. Ash flowers

Fluffy ash flowers
Ash is one of the last trees to wake out of its winter slumber. This week the bare branches of the many ash trees around the Gardens have sprouted masses of dark, fluffy structures. They are the flowers of the ash, which, like blackthorn blossoms, come before the leaves.

Tall and elegant, with pale grey bark and curved twigs, ash is known as the Lady of the Woods. In summer its distinctive pinnate leaves create a delicate tracery against the sky, giving it a distinctly feminine appearance. But these trees are tough ladies - they are vigorous growers and prolific seeders.

Celtic Buddha under the ash tree
Many sacred trees near holy wells are ash. The tree has a rich mythology, with its roots in the lower world and its branches reaching up to heaven.

In the glade behind the Celtic Gardens the beautiful 'Celtic Buddha' sculpture by Linda Brunker sits under a magnificent ash tree with twin trunks. Buddha is supposed to have found enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, so perhaps ash is the Celtic equivalent.

In the midst of a busy day I imagine the kneeling figure, quiet and still under the spreading ash, and feel a sense of peace.

1 comment:

  1. i love thinking of the ash tree as the irish tree of enlightenment! x.