[instagram-feed]  Journal writing course   Trees Banner

     Our client list

client logos


Nicole Moore’s Banyan Tree

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

In today’s blog post I’m delighted to share Nicole Moore’s favourite tree a Banyan tree which she posted on my twitter feed using the hastag #treesonyourtravels

Nicole Moore’s love of trees started in childhood, in Highbury, North London, which has a lot of lovely tree-lined roads. Her favourite school art lessons were when she was given the freedom to paint whatever she liked. It was always a tree.

Nicole found painting trees soothing. This photo of Nicole sitting on a Banyan tree was taken in August 1988 in the most exciting, enchanting and beautiful Oratava Acclimatisation Gardens, on the edge of Puerto de la Cruz in the second most major town in Tenerife.


Nicole penned a pantoum poem about her favourite tree.

So what’s a pantoum poem I hear you ask?

Well according to Nicole the pantoum is a poem of any length composed of four-line stanzas. In each stanza, the second and fourth lines serve as the first and third lines of the next stanza.

The last line of a pantoum is generally the same as the first line. Nicole really likes this form of poetry because it removes certain elements of choice for you as a poet, and that can be kind of freeing.


Still a Tree

It’s hard to believe

The Banyan tree

Started its life as an epiphyte

Yet still, beauty lies deep


The Banyan tree remains

Strong, eloquent, solid, still tree

Yet still, its beauty lies deep

Gracious and grounded


Strong eloquent, solid, still a tree

Over 200 years old

Gracious, grounded

Its majestic presence is irresistible


Voiceless it speaks

Started its life as an epiphyte

Connecting roots directly and indirectly to its central trunk

It’s hard to believe


© Nicole Moore May 2015


Nicole Moore is a freelance writer and editor with experience in magazines, newspapers, blogs and poetry anthologies. She writes non-fiction in the form of personal essays, memoir and poetry.

Nicole is the author of Brown Eyes, Sexual Attraction Revealed and Hair Power Skin Revolution.

If you would like to tell us about a favourite tree or a tree from childhood please feel free to send it into:info@jackeeholder.com or share it on my twitter feed @jackeeholder using the hastag #treesonyourtravels

Another beautiful Banyan tree for you to meditate on.

©Isac Goulbert




No Comments

Trees are much better looking with the naked eye

Sunday, April 26th, 2015


© Robert Bush


For a few months now on Twitter I’ve been encouraging people to capture photographs of trees on their travels #treesonyourtravels. One tree that caught my eye last week as I took a short walk to post a letter was an Olive tree taking centre stage of a front garden.

In the view finder of my iphone the tree appeared to be an ordinary specimen. But this really is a gross mis-representation of the beauty of the tree that stood before me. The difference between the trees I viewed through the viewfinder of my camera lens and the tree viewed with my human eyes was poles apart.

To the human eye the tree came alive in glorious detail from it’s shortened trunk, walnut grey in colour worn with gnarled ridges and wrinkles that glistened against the sun’s rays.

The tree in question is one that would enchant young children and adults alike. There’s no doubt in my mind that the human eye is the best camera to drink in the wonders of a tree.

With the human eye we can see more deeply than the surface view of an image or an object captured on a digital camera. Within the viewfinder of the iphone camera so much of the intricacies of the tree were lost.

I believe that if more of us knew the history and the cultural legacy of the trees in our local habitat I believe we would not take trees for granted in the way we do.

Going back to the Olive tree in question. Don’t be fooled by the short height of this tree. Mature and old Olive trees are generally small even though some can grow to a good height. After all this small Olive tree is a descendant of the ancient Olives of the past some, which were reputed to have lived to between 2,000 to 5,000 years old.

Olive trees have grown as far afield as Africa, the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean Basin. The sacred legends surrounding the Olive tree are many including how the ancient Egyptians sealed gold carvings of them into the pyramids.

I located many of these wonderful facts in a beautiful book gifted to me at Christmas by my daughter, Ancient Trees: Trees that live for a thousand years by photographer and writer Edward Parker and ethno botanist and writer Anna Lewington click here to purchase:


The next time you’re out walking take a moment to really take in the physical characteristics of a tree in your neighbourhood or even one in your own back yard.

Tweet This

Tweet your image with a few words about your tree and its location with the hash tag: #treesonyourtravels

On May 29th I’ll be in Greece for one week with a small, intimate group of writers who will experience a week long writing intensive with me in the company and aromatic presence of several hundred olive trees.

There’s still room to join us and put your 2015 writing goals into action. For more details and to sign up click here:


Or email us with your questions or for more information direct at: infor@jackeeholder.com

No Comments

When Great Trees Fall

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015


When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.” 

― Maya Angelou


  • What line or lines are you taken by in the poem?
  • Why do you think this is?
  • What does this poem mean to you?
  • How would you prescribe this poem if someone requested a poem to soothe an ailment that speaks the language of what they might be feeling or experiencing but find difficult to put into words?
  • Choose a line from the poem and use it as a 5 minute writing prompt. See where it takes you?

After deciding to post this poem today I went in search of an image of a fallen tree and found the above image courtesy of Google Wallpaper here

Scrolling further down I discovered that Teresa had also posted the poem I was just about to post!

I love synchronicity.

In support of creative license I decided to go ahead and post the poem as well as share this link back to Teresa’s blog

Now you can enjoy is both.

The Inside Out Writers Retreat May 29th-June 5th 2015

If trees are your thing then you will enjoy the beautiful olive trees that surround the retreat centre in Greece where our second annual retreat takes place on May 29th-June 5th 2015.  Click here for more details

Whether you want to write about nature, business, a creative craft, get going with blog posts or find your writing voice this is a week of deep immersion into the creative writing process.

I just love teaching this retreat.

Gain Free Access To Our Online Creativity Library Resource

Our website is home to an online library of creative and goal planning resources available for free download.

All you need to do is to sign up for two of our free e-books and you’ll gain unlimited access to our creative library hub of  e-books and writing kits

No Comments

Cherry Blossoms have Arrived!

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Cherry_Blossom _On_My_Travel

I’ve decided to post lots more photo’s of the trees I come across on my daily travels. I love noticing the trees around me as I go about my daily business and nothing delights me more than stopping to capture a tree with my iphone camera.

Yesterday on my early morning walk this young Cherry Blossom tree waved at me from across the street swaying in the breeze reminding me that spring is here. There might have been a chill in the air but the sight of this young one made me happy, if only for a moment.

I’d love to see images of trees you encounter on your travels. If you’re on Twitter how about sharing them on my twitter feed @jackeeholder  or  Tweet #treesonmytravels or email over your pics to info@jackeeholder.com

This weekend keep an eye out for the Cherry Blossom trees in your neighbourhood as they prepare for full bloom in a couple of weeks time. Savour moments in your day by giving yourself a Cherry Blossom visual treat as you move around.

By the way Cherry Blossoms are estimated to peak around April 11-14th hence why my two favourite Cherry Blossoms in front of Honor Oak Park station in South London have not yet bloomed. There’s still time I tell myself.

Here’s what we can expect to see over the next week or so when these two lovely Cherry Blossoms bloom.



No Comments

We Want To Live Like Trees

Friday, February 6th, 2015


Credit:Photographer Unknown

No one has imagined us. We want to live like trees, Sycamores blazing through the sulfuric air, dappled with scars, still exuberantly budding, our animal passion rooted in the city.

-Adrienne Rich from her book, The Dream Of A Common Language

  • What thoughts come to you when you read the above quote?
  • Turn to your journal or notebook and capture your thoughts.
  • Choose a line or a few of the words from the poem and use as a writing prompt
  • If you lived like a tree … “How would your life be different to how it is now?”
  • Right now in your life -“What would you like to be blazing through the air with …?”


No Comments

Ancient Trees – And Why They Matter?

Saturday, August 9th, 2014


“Every tree is important.” – Ted Green

Yesterday I was so pleased that I got to attend the ‘How To Look At A Tree’ workshop at the Wilderness Festival. I was still working when the workshop started but managed to get into the workshop a few minutes in and I’m so glad I did.

Anyone who knows my work and me well knows how passionate and excited I am about trees. So meeting Ted Green and Jill Butler for the first time was great.


We share a passion of a love of trees. The way they spoke about ancient trees and our need to preserve them as natural monuments was music to my ears. I knew I was amongst my tribe. I learnt new knowledge about ancient trees during the workshop and it rekindled my interest in ensuring that more trees in our neighbourhoods and out in the wilds become protected species.

For years I have gone about speaking one on one with trees across London. They really are the best silent counselors. I’ve meditated and wrote in my notebooks and journals underneath the huge sprawling crown of my favourite Oak tree that sits on the top of the hill in Brockwell park in South London. In the past as part of weekend retreats I hosted I would lead sacred ceremonies under the gaze of huge Oak trees and only last week I bumped into a couple who invited me eight years ago to officiate a wedding blessing on their wedding day under the watchful gaze of one of the oldest Oak trees in the same park.

What Ted Green founder of the Ancient Trees Forum and Jill Butler of the Woodland Trust (best natural and real co-facilitation I’ve witnessed in a long time – they were your ultimate keep off the script double act!) reminded me of were the three things to look for that tells you a tree is ancient (over 500 years old):

• Firstly the width of the tree’s girth is often a sign of it’s age as ancient trees add a new growth ring each month

  • A shrinking crown growing downwards is a sign that the tree is slowly dying of a well-earned ancient age
  • Ancient trees become hollow due to the central wood decaying
  • Ancient trees tend to be 500 years old and more.
  • A Veteran tree is usually in the second or mature stage of its life
  • A notable tree is a tree of local importance, or of personal significance. It is likely to be a next potential veteran tree.

My blog contains lots of stories and personal narratives of notable trees that are of personal significance. I loved it when we went out in the middle of the festival amongst all the events taking place and people wandering around to visit what (was what I have now named the Wilderness Festival tree – thanks Jill) was a marvelous specimen of an ancient tree, which is over 800 years old.


A Selfie in front of the 800 year old Wilderness Tree 2014

Trees have an amazing life cycle and the dying process of an ancient tree could take some 300 years. Trees are resilient, adaptable and extremely flexible. There’s a lot we humans can learn form the life cycle of a tree. Ted made a good point that visitors pay money to go and visit Windsor Castle and on the walk from the gates they miss the magnificent ancient trees that they are mindlessly walking by.

People will pay to go visit Nelson’s column at Trafalgar Square, art installations and various monuments and statues scattered around the UK. Yet we struggle to give reverence to the magnificent trees that have survived over hundreds of years and are responsible for keeping us humans alive.

This is in distinct opposition to the customs and traditions of many of the ancient cultures across the globe who honoured and celebrated paying reverence to trees. This could be through ceremony and ritual, asking permission to be with the tree or leaving the tree a gift as a way of saying thank you for all you have given.

The ancients knew and appreciated the many usages trees had to offer community from it’s wood, to shelter, to providing different habitats for different animals to its sacred and ceremonial energies. In many cultures trees have been community meeting places and important places in village life.

If we think about it wholeheartedly we owe our trees a great deal. Tree’s stabilize the soil, store carbon, generate oxygen into the air and I for one would rather do what Wendell Berry writes in the poem ‘I Go Amongst Trees’, “I go amongst trees and sit still/All my stirrings become quiet …..” Visiting, sitting and being with trees is one way in which I quiet my mind and practice mindfulness.

When I need to recharge my battery it’s the Oaks I turn to. Only a couple of weeks ago on a visit to Chelsea Psychic Gardens I watched as a woman stood with her back straight against the bark of a huge tree and read a book. It looked so natural and comfortable. See if you can spot her in the photo below? It’s dark because I was some distance away.


Can you spot the woman in the above photo reading?

At the end of the talk Ted and Jill encouraged us to log trees in our area we believe are either ancient or need to be protected on the Ancient Tree Inventory on the Woodland Trust website which includes a simple recording form to send in the details of your ancient tree.

Here’s a link to the page of the Ancient Trees website where you can register trees or get in touch with The Woodland Trust:

In the meantime why not use this glorious weather to make friends with the trees in your neighbourhood.

  • Where are your ancient tree’s in your neighbourhood?
  • What are the notable tree’s of personal significance or local appreciation?
  • What trees would you name as the Veteran trees in your area?

Trees appreciate being acknowledged and appreciated. They ask for so little and yet give so much. Enjoy and take care of one of nature’s natural monuments. Thank you Ted and Jill for a great talk and field trip as part of the Wilderness Festival 2014. I’ll be in touch.

No Comments

Cloud Atlas

Monday, June 9th, 2014


I captured this wonderful formation of the clouds yesterday as they passed over our garden on my iphone.

I think that this arrangement of clouds are what meteorologists would refer to as, “Cirrocumulus clouds.” indicating that the weather is going to stay the same without any major, sudden changes. Judging by todays weather so far I think the clouds were right.

I loved the way they travelled swiftly across the sky in my part of South London.

  • Have a look up at the shape of the clouds in the sky right now.
  • What do you imagine them to be saying about the weather tomorrow?
  • Take a five minute break and mediate on the sky








































No Comments

Trees Matter and So Do Rituals

Friday, June 6th, 2014

“Even after its death, an ancient tree continues to provide habitats for wildlife, for decades more”

- Ancient Trees: Trees That Live To A Thousand Years

Many of my coaching clients know how much I love trees. I regularly use trees as examples and metaphors when I’m coaching. When I get time to head out into nature I turn to trees to re-energise and replenish myself when I feel stressed or overwhelmed.

Recently one of my former coaching clients, Fiona Parashar (Leadership Coaching) sent me a picture of a tree she’d captured on camera whilst out having what she described as a Restorative day. “The trees in Bath are wild today,” she wrote. I wrote back and asked why this particular tree resonated with her? Her reply, “Its full bloom spoke to me.” I smiled when I read her words.















In a recent post on the Coaching Supervision Academy blog executive coach and coach supervisor Elaine Patterson reframed the word resilience to resourcing. She described resourcing as, “creating a bigger energy within ourselves . . . . .” You can continue reading her blog post here

The word re-Sourcing, which Elaine Patterson writes about is a good word to use when I think about what my client and I both gain from our connection and love of trees.

Last week my partner’s cousin came to stay overnight. Whilst all three of us caught up on our week in the kitchen preparing dinner she shared how she gone with her mother and sister to an arboretum where they planted a tree for her sister who had sadly passed away the previous year.

The idea for planting a tree had come about because her sister had been cremated and their mum was finding it hard having nowhere significant to go and visit her on a regular basis. So not only had they purchased a tree and planted her, they also planted a time capsule with some of her favourite objects and possessions, which they buried under the young tree.

Rituals are important practices to bring back into the routine of our daily lives. They provide meaning. They offer us moments to touch the sacred, to breath into what is important and allow the rhythm of the ritual to bring us back into true connection. I’ve watched as rituals have helped coaching clients reconnect to the present, to their lives and most importantly to themselves.

In the past trees held very symbolic places in our communities and in our cultures. In many agricultural communities trees provided valuable food and shelter.

Ancient trees were often a prominent meeting point in many communities. If we consider the importance and focus of the altar in a religious building then many trees were considered places of reverence and worship in nature.

In my role as an interfaith minister I’ve officiated a wedding blessing under the watching eyes of a huge evergreen oak in a South London Park. And once when I had hit a very dark place in my life several of my friends entering from the four directions joined me early one morning in a healing ritual under the watchful guidance and presence of that same tree.

I really do love trees and I miss the time I would spend really connecting with their presence. I wonder if you feel the same way too? If the weather’s as nice over the weekend as it was today then see if you can find a moment to mindfully focus on a tree in your surroundings or neighbourhood.

Why not capture on camera a tree that catches your eye. In the meantime I’ll leave you with some questions to reflect on over the weekend.

  • How have you engaged trees in rituals as part of family events, services and celebrations?
  • How might you involve the presence of a tree in a future event?
  • What do trees mean to you?
  • How have you engaged with trees in a meaningful or sacred way?
  • What’s your favourite tree?

No Comments

More Photo’s From Kew Gardens

Monday, March 17th, 2014


More images from Kew Gardens

No Comments

Restorative Days

Monday, March 17th, 2014










Today was a beautiful sunny day in London town so I decided to treat myself to a restorative day.

I took myself across to West London to the nature sanctuary of Kew Gardens one of London’s most cherished nature spots. Seems I wasn’t alone judging by the long queues to get in.

But once inside I knew I had made the right choice. I decided to join a one hour guided tour of some of Kew’s plant and tree life. This was a good start giving me information about Kew and it’s plant life. Our guide Angela shared lots of interesting and fascinating facts about plant life including:

When it comes to trees and plant life gardeners hate grass why because it gets the food first – Interesting fact I thought.

Arborists leave trees alone instead of trying to treat them trees. Why? Because trees have an inbuilt healing system and when left alone heal by themselves.

What is going on in a tree’s root system is reflected in the health of the tree above ground.

Once the tour ended I wandered through Kew at a slow pace and every few steps captured on camera some of the many delights of the garden on this gorgeous spring day.

See what I mean with some of the images below.










Twin _Trees_Kew











































This was just what I needed. After delivering two workshops yesterday in Birmingham I was in need of some restorative time. Restorative days are days where you schedule in a solo adventure intended to recharge your battery. This is not a night out with the girls or a new romantic partner; this is strictly time with you and you alone.

But even I have to admit this is not always an easy thing to give ourselves but I’m always reminded of how important it is once I do it.

Restorative days are intended to energise and uplift. Just wandering in nature recharged my battery. With lives and schedules that have us constantly on alert it was good to wander without a destination or an agenda. In our over stimulated lives wandering can be a very liberating thing to do.

Of course in my bag I did have books to read (two in fact plus a magazine) but I followed my gut simply guided me to walk, stop to eat, write this blog post at a leisurely pace and then just be. To end my time in the garden I sat on a bench stared into the space, read and allowed the sun’s rays to stroke my cheeks.

Doing less empowers us to do more. Tomorrow I’ll be fired up to dive onto the page first thing with enough energy to get on with the weeks tasks in hand knowing that my reserves have been topped up and I’ve been refueled.

The busier your life is the more restorative days you’ll need to build in. Your restorative activity feeds you creatively, emotionally, physically and sometimes even spiritually. So visits to the salon to get your nails done don’t count.

So when will you book yourself in for a restorative day in March?

Let me know how you get on.

No Comments