Making a St.Brigid’s cross, is an ancient tradition in Ireland, people young and old make these crosses from rushes of which there are plenty growing around the country. Tradition has it that the cross will protect the house from fire, hunger and evil if hung above the door. You can often still see them hanging in halls of houses. St.Brigid or as she is known “Mary of the Gael” is the patroness of Ireland, she was born in 450 A.D.

It is also suggested that this cross has pre-Christian origins and is related to the sun cross. The first of February is when St.Brigid’s day is celebrated, this is also the ancient Irish celebration of ‘Imbolc’ which marks the beginning of spring, and indeed spring starts on the first of February in Ireland! (According to the behaviour of the birds this morning in our garden, this must be about right).
Actually Wikipedia gives a real good write up about St.Brigid cross and that is why I am adding a link to it, far more information than I could know or share here, so enjoy if you are interested.

I have added some photos to show how the cross is made on request of some of my nice friends that follow my blog.  I made some of these crosses tonight. Went to pick the rushes earlier and kept them from drying out, this is important to work with them easily if not using straight away.

So here goes, I will do my best to describe:
First you hold one rush vertical in your hand, and you add another rush with your other hand bending it in the middle and sliding it across the vertical rush as seen in pic 2.  you then turn the vertical rush either clock-wise or anti clock-wise depending on whether you are right or left handed.  You keep adding one rush at the time constantly turning the original rush, you keep a tight hold of them.  When you have added enough and it becomes like pic 6 then you have to cut the ends but be careful as the whole thing might jump loose, so hold tight, fix an elastic band around the end and repeat this with all four sides.  Your cross is now ready to hang up.

I hope the explanation will do, and if you try I hope you have much fun.

The rushes or reeds used to make these crosses are called;

Soft Rush or Juncus effuses.




Yes the sun came out today, and it shone over the valley here in Skibbereen, it was glorious and so welcome after all the days of mist, rain, and stormy weather. So I took a walk along the boreen* and found a few wild flowers making colour, their therapeutic effects did not stay behind, I felt so energized after that walk.

To find the red clover in flower was probably early in the year, but then the temperature is warmer than normal, it has been a steady 10C for a while now and today in the sun the temperature went up to 15C even despite a cold northern wind.

This beautiful little fern grows along rocks even in urban settings all over Ireland.  It’s most delicate and very hardy.


The gorse usually flowers twice a year, once in February,  and once in the summer.  It’s probably early this year, but I did not get any of its scent, we need stronger sunlight for that.


I took this photo behind our houses, it is waste land, the sedges are lovely, I like this sort of landscape too.  Soon St.Brigid will be celebrated in Ireland and people will use the sedges to make St.Brigid crosses, I used to teach people in the library to make those, it’s fun to work with the sedges.


It is getting time that I start planning my garden, I have not done anything about it really because the weather has been so wet.  Today I started to take stock, and some of the raised beds wood surroundings have rotted!  The soil is still very wet.

Roll on warm and dry weather!

*    Boreen is an Irish word for a path in nature, (Irish: bóithrín,  pronounced [bɔːˈriːn]) it is a rural walking path.