Glorious midsummer 2014

The summer solstice parade in Telegraph Hill, 2014 was a great success. It was a smaller gathering than it has been in the past, as there were about a million other competing fairs, gigs, protests and parties. But the sun shone perfectly and everyone dressed beautifully. We held a costume-making workshop in the pub in the afternoon. Garlick Man this year came in fully bulbous garb, and the Old Nag of New Cross decided to go for a white dress, even though she’d been married before (last year, and the year before that…). One nice little thing we found out is that garlic has a long link with solstice – tradition holds that you should plant it on the winter solstice and harvest it on the summer solstice. All the more fitting that Plowed Garlick Hill has remembered its forgotten tradition. More photos here


Solstice mantle 2014

IMGP1796UPDATE: We now have an organiser, Gill Roth, and it is happening. For more details go to

It is approaching June 21st, the Summer solstice, and time for the Garlick Man to arise from his bed on Plowed Garlick Hill (SE14), dress up and marry the Green Woman of New Cross on the top of the hill.

For three years, we’ve organised three summer and three winter solstice parades, and they have been great. It’s been wonderful to have the involvement of Grow Wild to run food workshops and serve locally grown and foraged food. We’ve also been grateful to New Cross Learning, the Hill Station and the Telegraph pub for their support. However, now need to hand over the organising. We have loved it but we’re not great local organisers, having a lot of obligations and other projects on. It’s best if someone really enthusiastic takes it on.

It’s a fairly simple job and we can tell you everything you need to know, or just do it your way. However it goes it would be nice to keep the core revived tradition of the marriage.

Contact bridgetmcknz at gmail dot com if you’d like to do it. There’s not much time…

Open Studios 2014

FLIERWe have lots of new work to show as part of the Telegraph Hill Festival Open Studios 5-6 April 2014. We didn’t take part last year so there is a build up of two years of work by all three of us. There is painting, printmaking, sculpture, installation and photography – all loosely exploring themes about nature, wildness and human-animal identity. An installation in the tree house is a memorial to lost trees and forests. Brian has been using new monoprinting techniques, as seen in the flyer image. Megan is showing some of the work that was in her portfolio, which won her place at the BRIT school for September 2014.

There are lots of other studios and houses showing work, including the notorious Nunhead & District Municipal Museum and Art Gallery in Gellatly Road, and on Sunday afternoon, a Skate/Art/Music party in Telegraph Hill Park.

Summer Solstice celebrations


Our Unextinction Machine activity has morphed into a project called Beuysterous…

Originally posted on Beuys terous:

Garlick Man

We rather exhausted ourselves with January Wassailing, February Tree Love Week and March Tree Play Month. I ended up spending more time than ever online and not enough time out in nature. So, instead of monthly events, we’re just going to do big things for the Summer Solstice in June, something to do with tree fungus in August, and then a project during National Tree Week in November/December. (More about that soon.)

This post is about what you could do to celebrate trees around the Summer Solstice. Midsummer is a time for celebrations of fertility and green growth all over the world especially in Europe.

We live in an area of South East London that used to be covered in fruit trees and which grew fruit and veg for the inner city. Telegraph Hill was then named Plowed Garlick Hill. Robert Browning, the poet, lived there for a time and…

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Originally posted on The Learning Planet:


With Persephone Pearl, I’ve set up Tree Love Week, as part of Beuysterous.

It’s on February 11th to 18th around Valentine’s Day. We’re calling you to express your appreciation of a tree (or several).

Saint Valentine was a rebel against conformity – he believed in love, so he performed weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. We have to be rebellious to protect trees these days, as they’re being threatened by climate change (excessive diseases, drought, fires, storms etc) and unsustainable business (diseases spread by international trade, destruction of woodlands for roads and trains, and illegal logging or landgrabbing for biofuels and other crops).

Show your love of trees, as they provide habitats for so many creatures…and so many other things. Chaucer popularised Valentine’s day with the Parlement of Foules, the love between mating birds. A lot of that love takes place in trees, of course.

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Beuysterous begins

2011-07-23 21.58.32It’s the first day of 2013 and we have created a little platform for Beuysterous – creative actions for trees. Here’s a website that will promote a new opportunity for creative actions around trees every month. There’s also a Facebook fan page, and a Pinterest board 


The first month – January – is a time for mulching and wassailing to trees. The second month – February – is Tree Love Week.

Please take part and share your inspirations.