I love the way this image bursts open on the page – its so starry and clearly a “five” from – a pentagon/pentangle – I wonder if this is accidental or if it invites us into the growth pattern of gorse… must find out….


I have been surprised by the popping of gorse and seduced by its heavenly scent. Because it is so long flowering it offers nectar the whole year round and its prickles ensure protection for nesting birds. Gorse loves sunshine and acid soils. Europeans brought Gorse to New Zealand and Australia where it has taken root and is considered invasive. Bec what are your thoughts on Gorse?

Gorse (aka Furze in Ireland)

The Gorse is still blossoming in mid Winter in The Glen River Park – facing North

I love the gorse for the sense of the wild and rugged, that pale green and golden yellow prickling, still with us in the built environment. Gorse has repopulated the footprint that once held Gouldings Fertilizer plant, the business is still operational elsewhere. The Glen is known as Goulding’s Glen after that family that gifted the site to the City. In the distance rises the red edged tower of the fire station; the oily gorse is often set alight by park users, and sometimes the fire brigade will come across the road to douse the flames to quell the spread. The gorse grows back after the spring and summer burnings, which peak on St John’s Eve or “Bonna Night” as it is known locally 23rd June, just after the summer solstice (the burnings still a rite held somehow in the urban human dna). Just now, in November, once more the trodden paths have reaching prickle-stems of gorse, crisscrossing the foot-trodden paths, reminders of their hold over the place, showing their finger to any concern for their charred and blackened spring selves.

This is a fairy gateway that all but disappears in Winter as growth dies back – facing East


I am dipping into Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer and, curious to see how it looks, I did a search for “sweetgrass” the first link to show was https://www.gouldings.ie/our-products/fertiliser/sweetgrass-fertiliser/ probably the bots in action.

The Latin name for Kimmerer’s American Sweetgrass is Hierochloe odorata, meaning Sacred fragrant grass https://blackstemplants.co.uk/hierochloe-odorata.html this one is rare in Ireland, and known here as Holy Grass, here’s a post about Holy Grass http://www.habitas.org.uk/priority/species.asp?item=2666 and on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hierochloe_odorata

We have a type of Sweetgrass in Ireland, known as Floating Sweet-grass
Glyceria fluitans, or Milseán uisce (water sweet) in Irish. Here’s what the plant looks like http://www.irishwildflowers.ie/pages-grasses/g-21.html

Grasses are in the Family, Poaceae

There are lots of grasses in the Glen, I must look out for Sweetgrass when it flowers in the spring, to find it there now would be satisfying. I have been making cordage – a kind of spinning with fingers – from some grasses I gathered there in August, it would be some kind of synchronicity to find out it’s Sweetgrass//Milseán uisce or the other type of Sacred Sweetgrass.

Catch Up Zooms

Zooming today we had some time interference as the clocks went back to “real time” in Ireland, so we had an hour to navigate around. We talked about words for river – both creek and burn cut narrow courses, a glen is a valley often gorged from the ice and may or may not host a river today. We talked about looping and cording with plant fibre, stuff that takes time, and about dealing with thistles as big as small people, Bec was catching the heads before they blew and I had been firing them into the designated thistle patch at my mother’s garden. We talked about connections, story telling in sand, Sheelas, visualising with objects (how would you represent a 10cm dilation?) and we decided to set up this site to share our stories.