Much has been written about the holly and the ivy. In Treflach the best hedges are holly but when they are allowed to grow into trees their berries are a good food store for many birds. Holly is either male or female – bearing pretty white flowers in May- loved by bees. Holly wood makes very good logs and the foliage is also inflammable. In times past chilblains were remedied by thrashing with holly until blood was drawn!
Ivy uses trees trunks solely for support. It is the last wild crop to flower in October for insects and the first in Spring for berries for the birds. Many myths surround holly and ivy especially when entwined. It is bad luck to bring ivy indoors but a wreath outside brings fortune and health. Years ago it was believed that milk drank out of an ivy wood cup was a cure for a hooping cough.
Old Mans Beard, a plant that creeps up trees, blanches Llynclys Hill this time of year and less so in the local woods. It eerily signals the coming of St Nicholas or Father Christmas.