How Glastonbury Festival inspired me to create Wild Rose Holistics

I love Glastonbury Festival. I know people think it’s a big commercial giant. It is. But it’s so much more than that.

Back in May 2015, my then partner, myself, and our 5-month-old baby girl embarked on our 9-week stay on the Glastonbury festival site. Our mission: to tend the permaculture garden in The Green Fields, protect it from vandals, and generally keep things ticking over in the run up to the festival.

Excited at the prospect of immersing myself deeply in nature, on a site which is so familiar to me and holds so many happy memories (I have been going to the festival for 20 years!), and at having guardianship of such a jewel as the permaculture garden, I quickly settled in to the new rhythm of my life under starry skies.

Every evening at dusk, I would take my baby for her bedtime feed sitting underneath a huge old oak tree. This tree became a firm friend, my place of solace and peace. There we would sit and watch it grow dark, listening to the owls hooting, sometimes watching the crows fighting high up in the masts of the Greenpeace pirate ship.

It was during this stay that I found creative inspiration from the hedgerow. It was so magical and mysterious, with all its secrets and hiding places. So many little beings were living in there, going about their lives unseen by the world.

As Midsummer came into bloom, so did my inspiration for Wild Rose Holistics.

New recipe ideas for natural skincare products came to me, all using the abundant medicinal plants available all around me: rose, nettle, elder, dandelion, hawthorn, plantain, chickweed - a vibrant array of ingredients all right there.

As time went on we moved from our van into a bender underneath an oak tree. Like a magpie, I started collecting twigs and twine and shiny things unearthed from previous festivals. I made them into pretty installations in secret bits of hedgerow, like a shrine to the faery folk there.

And I’m pleased to say that they are still intact to this day, having survived the onslaught of three festivals.

Because when the party’s over, the land goes back to its age-old rhythm.

We go home, wash off the glitter and sleep for a week. We take away shining inspiration, new and ancient memories of what it is to live free, and a longing for more.

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