A Haven Of Peace After The Storm


This morning we wandered around the garden investigating signs of Spring regrowth. We have snowdrops, hellebores and crocuses coming into bloom.

Daphne odora

The still small daphne odorata is keeping its powder dry until the temperature is warm enough for its burgeoning buds to burst open.

From these signs of burgeoning life we visited the Woodland Burial Ground at Walkford so that, on what would have been her mother’s birthday, she could add to the planting around her burial plot. Pleased to see her earlier snowdrops coming through, she added more and a further primula.

The idea of this scheme is that human remains be allowed to rest in communion with natural woodland. There are no gravestones. Some bodies are buried; others’ ashes are interred. Each has a little marker. The soil around the plots settles naturally back into the earth. Only native woodland flowers are permitted to be planted on the sites, although it is clear that many people do stretch a point.


Wreaths, such as that which we set in place in December, must be removed by the end of this month. Jackie took it away today.


Two gardeners were busy tidying up after yesterday’s gales. In speaking to one, I observed that there was much to do after the storm. He agreed, adding that what was worst was the rain, bringing a great deal of mud and heavy soil that was difficult to work, especially in the digging of graves. I described his workplace as a haven of peace.

A diversion on our return home took us past Shelly and Ron’s home. Naturally we called for a pleasant chat, coffee, and, in my case, a slice of delicious Christmas cake.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s savoury rice served with Thai style prawn fishcakes, peas, and green beans.




  1. Signs of spring already? It is my favourite season – but oh dear, that means our summer must be winding down – though in reality it feels like it is on such a roll it may never come to an end! I love the spot where Jackie’s mum is buried – it must be so special to be able to visit there and continue caring for her memory.

  2. ‘ello ‘ello ‘ello, wots goin on ‘ere:

    ” This evening we dined on Jackie’s savoury rice served with Thai style prawn fishcakes, peas, and green beans.”

    This wasn’t Jackie’s DELICIOUS/SUPERB savoury rice served with Thai style prawn fishcakes, peas, and green beans.” ????

    Are you two fighting???

  3. “A haven of peace.” I agree, Derrick. When I first moved to a new state, I worked at a local cemetery…not digging graves, of course, but I sold burial plots. It was quite peaceful. Thanks for sharing this lovely space.

  4. Wonderful post – the approach to burial is quite interesting. 🙂

    BTW Signs Spring in January ? Truly this English countryside is a magical place or those climate change discreditors must be wrong. 🙂

  5. That Burial Ground is beautiful Derrick, what a wonderful idea, so peaceful without the prominent headstones, a serene atmosphere for those who mourn their loved ones.

  6. I enjoy seeing how much your seasons seem like ours in the Pacific NW. I find daphne’s strong fragrance often heralds spring but I see many more signs lately, too. Such a joy. Sorry about the storm damages; good thing the deceased do not find it a fuss…. I am working my way backward in posts so will catch up!

  7. That is a tranquil corner of the planet. The dirt path lined with bare trees and leading into bright light is kind of symbolic. The snowdrops around Jackie’s Mum’s plot look graceful. I couldn’t read the name on the green marker set against the tulips. Anna Kirkpatrick has been bestowed a rather colourful flora. Great work with the camera, as usual.

  8. It seems early to see signs of spring, but I see a few here too. I like the natural woodland look of the burial ground.

  9. I was hoping to see a garden post from you soon; thank you.

    I like the idea of a woodland cemetery, similar idea to our bushland cemetery where I would like to rest.

  10. What a nice approach to the burial plots. They look really nice and it seems like it is the one place where humans and nature don’t need to fight for space. Muslims have an almost similar approach to burial. One is not supposed to erect fancy tombstones and there is no coffin as the body has to be laid into the earth directly and return to dust wrapped only in a white cloth. In some muslim regions people even go to the extent of not leaving a marker on the tomb because one is not supposed to mourn the dead in a specific place but just remember them as part of the all.

  11. That burial ground is quite different from the other places I’ve seen, love the flowers though. You’ll have plenty of flowers once spring comes.

  12. Now there is a place I’d like to rest my remains. I know of such a place in the states. It was wonderful to see. Thanks Derrick.

  13. Lovely pictures of early spring flowers. People always do stretch points, don’t they. Our churchyard specifically says no plastic flowers and no toys, ornaments etc. but there are still plastic flowers, toys, ornaments etc. left at the graves. It is impossible to nag at grieving relatives!

  14. What a wonderful. peaceful cemetery! I would love for my body to be able to go back to the earth (about 30 to 40 years from now) in such a natural, peaceful setting. Not having anything like this around here now, I’ll likely stick with the cremation plan and tell my family take my remains somewhere earthy.

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