Cloutie Wishing Tree

The British Isles are full of magical places rife with fairy lore. Many of these places are marked with Cloutie trees where it is custom to tie a ribbon or cloth to the tree and make a wish.

Cloutie Tree on the Hill of Tara, Ireland

Cloutie Tree on the Hill of Tara, Ireland

While visiting the UK, I was lucky enough to stumble upon a Cloutie tree and was enchanted by all the colorful ribbons full of hopes and wishes fluttering in the wind. I tied on my own ribbon and my wish came true two months later… Since then, I always intended to make a Cloutie or Wishing Tree of my very own.

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I finally got to it, and this spectacular Azalea seemed perfect for fitting the job. With Valentine’s Day approaching, I tied white, pink and red ribbons to its delicate branches. My family and I wrote the wishes on bits of folded paper and pinned to each ribbon. Wishes for 2016, wishes for family and friends, wishes for our dear imperiled Earth are all now fluttering on my perfect little Cloutie tree. My daughter was enchanted with the project so now I think we’ve just found a lovely annual tradition!

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