I am taken by the woodbine’s beautiful yellow and white flowers, in a mass of green leaves clinging to a wooden trellis. As I sniff it a life-giving fragrance travels through my body and my senses reveal themselves to me.

When I first came to this garden ten years ago the woodbine was flourishing on the south facing wall of the house. But in that very hard winter in 2010 it became brown and bare and died right back.

I tore at the woody stems which came away easily. I left a sprig at the base of the plant and it remained like that for quite a while. Then one spring, to my great joy, I saw the tiniest green shoot. After some time one shoot became two shoots and then a third one grew. It began to flourish and now three years later, helped by the very hot summer this year, it is fully in bloom.

We can get knocked back through illness, bereavement, job loss, something didn’t go the way we hoped it would. We are cut to the quick and are all but done in with worry when some tiny fragment of our spirit springs into life. Given light and nourishment we begin to thrive again just like the woodbine.

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