DIY: midsummer pole for the garden

Decorate and celebrate

In Scandinavia, the midsummer pole is the centrepiece of celebrations for summer solstice, the shortest day of the year. It's a tree or pole that's decorated with fresh foliage and flowers, and a fertility ritual that promises to bring good fortune to the land, animals, people and nature. Take inspiration from Sweden, Norway and Finland, and make a small version to place in your garden, to celebrate summer.

DIY: midsummer pole for the garden Thejoyofplants.co.uk

From May to Midsummer

The maypole that you see in British villages on May Day, and the midsummer pole that is erected in towns and villages across Scandinavia have similar origins in folklore. In the Nordic countries, however, the pole is decorated with flowers and plants, which we think is fantastic spin on the tradition. This year, take a (literal) leaf out of the Scandinavians' book, and celebrate the solstice with seasonal flowers and plants — both adorning the midsummer pole, and crowning your head in a traditional floral crown.

You will need:

  • A tree trunk or freestanding pole
  • Staple gun
  • Metal wire
  • Ivy
  • Ears of corn
  • Cornflower
  • Delphinium
  • Daisy
  • Lady’s mantle

How to make it

Traditional trees used are conifers, ash, spruce or beech — but any tree trunk or freestanding pole can work. Start with a base of ivy, winding the plant from top to bottom of the pole, then decorate with beautiful flowers and plants, adding them to the pole as you see fit. To create a more visually interesting and complex structure, make relaxed bouquets of daisies, cornflowers and corn, and attach them to the structure.