Whatever age you are, magic and imagination has played a part in your life at some time.  Our garden is not just a garden.  It is a place of possibility, creativity and intrigue.  Behind every rock there live plants and creatures whose lives are intricately intermingled with one another in ways that I can only begin to imagine or understand.  Observation is undoubtedly the best way to learn more and begin to get to know your garden better and all those that live within it.  But a truly magical garden is about more than just the living plants and creatures.  It is about those special corners that draw you in and peak your curiosity.  The feelings that arise when you sit on a particular rock at a certain time of day.  The shadows and reflected rays of light, the whistling of the wind or rustling of leaves.  It is easy to forget that everything is essentially moving, hustling, teeming, from the birds and shrews, down to the worms and beetles and beyond to the micro-organisms and atoms, the building blocks of life.  Is it this subtle awareness of movement at every level, that feeds the imagination, gives energy to the possibilities of what might live amongst the rushes or the gaps in the stone wall. Herein lies the magic.

On 24-25 January, Laya Point Permaculture present a weekend of Mythological Willow Sculpture, taught by master willow weaver, Phil Bradley.  We will be bringing to existence, some of the most frightening creatures ever imagined, right here in the Duddon Valley, Ulpha!  To take part in this special event and be a part of magic that ensues, sign up now.  No-one knows for sure which creatures will turn up, but one thing is for sure…it is going to be Chimerical!


Guarding the front door might be a Griffin, with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle, stood next to a Sphinx, with the haunches of a lion, the wings of an eagle and the face of a woman.  Look out the window and you might see Unicorns and Centaurs cantering up the fell, while Mermaids wave from the river – but be wary, for they have a tendency to lure those with a sense of adventure to a watery end.  Beware too the manticore, who may look human from the neck up, but beneath is the body of a lion with a tail that shoots spikes!  If you hear clucking, don’t be fooled, for it could be a Hippalectryon, a creature with the fore-parts of a rooster and the body of a horse.  Likewise, deep mooing could emanate from either the Ophiotaurus, part bull, part serpent or the Minotaur, with the head of a bull, but the body of a man!


download (1)Men should be particularly wary of the Echidna, a giant monstrous women with upper body of a beautiful nymph, while the lower is a giant serpent.  Sailing above the building there could be Hippogrifs, with the head, wings and front body of eagles and the back of a horse doing somersaults with Harpies, with the torso, head and arms of a woman, but the talons, tail and wings of a bird.  With so many fleeces to guard on the surrounding fells, I’d bank on there being a few Colchian Dragons on hand, with smoke whisping into their unsleeping eyes!  But the creature I fear the most, is the Chimera – a three-headed monster with one head of a lion, one of a snake and another of a goat, with lions claws to the front, goats legs to the rear and a long snakes tail.  If you meet one of these, let’s hope you are a Phoenix, so you can burst into flames and rise from the ashes…

One thing is for sure…it is going to be an extremely exciting day!!

Join us, if you are brave enough!

Magic descends on the Duddon Valley!

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