I spent an hour last Saturday pruning our butterfly bush and conversing with it. It seeded itself in our garden last year, and I was pleased as I want a garden that attracts birds and bees, which a butterfly bush does. I see this as a good sign that our land is pleased with our care of it, especially as the books say that butterfly bushes need lots of light and ours seeded itself next to a fence full of ivy, so the light was completely blocked on one side.

Butterfly bushes are not native to Britain. They were brought over from China in the 1930s and have naturalised themselves, which means that they grow wild without any help. To me, this means that the land itself has accepted them and they are now part of Britain.

During the conversation the bush gave me part of itself as a wand. I would have liked to take more, but it only allowed me one piece. I know you should give plants and trees an offering before taking, but I feel it’s unnecessary when the plant or tree itself offers the wood.

The elder tree in our garden has been asking me to prune it, probably because there are several branches crossing one another. According to the books, this can promote disease in a plant. I would not touch it otherwise, as folklore has many stories of people chopping elder trees and dying hours later.


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