The Malevolent Elm greetings card

The Malevolent Elm

I likes to be left alone. The axe I hate and not easy split am I. If kings and realms need defense, a longbow I will spare you ; though more reluctantly than that old lapdog Yew. On the hearth, I burns like churchyard mould – even my very flames are cold. I doesn’t mind the wet so’s they use me for ships’ keels and the gates of locks. But most likely, you will know…

The Treacherous Elder greetings card

The Treacherous Elder

I will grow anywhere, even on sea cliffs. You cannot hide from me. Of old I was found close by your door, though always slighted, never invited in; a shaving elder by the door will keep the devil away, but dare to burn me – just you dare, and I’ll invite him in. I am the scourge of flies, and will also keep these from your threshold. My hollow branches are a child’s delight – to…

The Pioneer Birch greetings card

The Pioneer Birch

I am always the first tree to colonise any open sward. If there is a way to live and grow, be sure that I will find it. Take my twigs for toothbrushes, or tie them to make besom brooms; I cannot say if they are ever used for transport!I drive out evil spirits. Perhaps that is why I am the cane of choice for headmasters, butgentler souls more prone to warm diplomacy will use my…

The Blushing Beech greetings card

The Blushing Beech

I stand tall, with a stately crown, changing my cloak with the seasons; from spring’s first verdant blush to autumn’s russet fire.Seek me out in a storm – I am immune and shun the lightning. Seek me also in your kitchen – my heart is antiseptic, cleansing the steel of knives on chopping boards and butchers’ blocks.I am the tree of wishes. If I drop a branch to you, it is an invitation; write on…

The Warrior Ash greetings card

The Warrior Ash

The ancient Britons named me ‘Ash’, meaning spear. In battle I served them sturdily and well – a seven foot shaft topped with an iron point. When arrows and small bows are needed, still I am found first inthe warrior-ranks. But warriors adapt, and so have I. Now you will find me everywhere – in planes, sports cars, and the handle for every gardentool in your shed; if I cannot fight, I will turn ploughshare.  When coppiced, I will…

The Striding Alder greetings card

The Striding Alder

Wherever you walk, I’m there with you. I am the clogs that form the sole of your shoe, the preferred wood for building the bridges that take you over streams. That’s because I don’t mind getting my own feet wet; they say I hold up most of Venice. I often hug riverbanks as I love the running water that helps disperse my seeds. If you’re going on a long journey take a tip from me.…

A greetings card with wood veneer image

Bolton’s Bench ~ A wood veneer card for Lyndhurst

The local tradition is that a dragon had his den at Burley Beacon, about 3 miles east of Bisterne, at Burley. He “flew” every morning to Bisterne, where he would be supplied with milk. In order to kill the dragon, a valiant knight named Berkeley built a hide, and with two dogs lay in wait. The creature came as usual one morning for its milk, when the hide door was opened the dogs attacked it,…