Experience life in abundance
Dragon Orchard magic stems from a unique combination of stillness, structure, light and life. The interplay of weather on leaves, branches and trunk and whispering breezes plays subtly on all of your senses.
Step inside to experience it for yourself.
To be in an Orchard
is to be immersed in a slowly evolving memory of what it means to be truly alive and receptive to our surroundings.
An Orchard is a very particular environment, both responsible for, and reacting to, the ever-changing natural world. The seasons are manifested in big bold strokes but every single day reflects small and significant changes.
Length and depth of light, wind direction, temperature and moisture all contribute to its constant but gently changing patina.
Hoare Frost paints the orchard in crystal white
The iconic pinks and whites of apple tree blossom in full, 'scent-ious' bloom
The wonder balance and ordered nature of trees marching together in stillness
To stay in Dragon Orchard
is to enter this slightly mysterious but ancient way of being connected to nature.
Roots nourish, boughs creak, buds burst, leaves feed, blossoms beam, fruit drops, butterflies weave, birds take wing, dragonflies dance and bees buzz.
Simply being aware of this, allows us to find solace, take refreshment. add energy and to relax, recharge and renew.
Bramley Apples in wooden bushel boxes
Morning sunlight glistens through a spiderweb in a pear tree at Dragon Orchard
Fallen cider apples at Dragon Orchard. Photo by Dan Gree
Mindful connection with nature through the senses
You may have already heard of the Japanese practice known as ‘Forest Bathing’, or shinrin-yoku. Research into how the natural environment has a direct impact on the human body has proven that time surrounded by trees and connecting to the earth is beneficial for our health, by reducing stress and significantly increasing feelings of wellbeing.
A recent study showed how a three-day, two-night trip surrounded by trees created changes in the body that lasted over thirty days. Here at the orchard we are inviting people to explore the same ideas and principles of Forest Bathing in the Orchard environment.
How to Orchard Bathe
Leave your devices somewhere safe as you are not going to need them. Remove your socks and shoes and walk out amongst the trees. Pay particular attention to your five senses and what they are receiving, focusing on the sensations of your feet on the grass, the smell of the air, what you see and taste.
Trusting your senses, follow your feet where they are drawn to wander. You are on a journey to nowhere, allow the environment you are surrounded by to make the decisions for you. Maybe you find a tree that you want to sit under, or you want to lie down in the grass, or wander in a random path through the trees. Whatever you feel like doing, that’s what you need to do.
Allowing yourself to breathe deeply and slowly will help you to adjust to the pace of the natural elements surrounding you, and gradually your senses will expand and become more sensitive.
Rest in the state of being that emerges. Measure how long you would like to bathe in the orchard with your internal barometer. When you return from your trip, take some space to sit and write about your experience, focusing on the sensations and feelings that arose.
THE POETRY TRAIL
'Orchard Days' Poetry Walk by Charles Bennett
In 2003, the director of the Ledbury Poetry Festival was commissioned by Arts Council England (ACE) to compose a collection of poems inspired by walking in Dragon Orchard. The result was the aptly named book Orchard Days, and the poems can be enjoyed by a marked ‘poetry walk’ through the orchard.
The Poetry Trail is a collection of 12 poems - one for each month of the year - to be read at specific sites in our orchard. It is a wonderful way to experience a year in the orchard, in an hour. Use the book and take a self-guided walk following the clear map at your own pace, or for a more immersive experience of the orchard and the poems, you can book a guided session by Norman or Hugh (oratory and comic quips included!)
...he must have thought the blossoming trees angels in the orchard of heaven...
'Orchard Days - May'