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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
acegardener Folklore: Plants and Garden Folklore (3) RE: Folklore: Plants and Garden Folklore 06 Nov 10


There is the obvious like wassailing the apple tree on candlemas which was the original 12th night, and the start of the planting and growing system. But a load of old folk law seems to make sense like planting shallots on the shortest day and picking them on the longest day. The native indian system of the three sisters planting with beans, squash and maize is companion planting. planting garlic on mischief night is just that it is the right time of year anyway.

I always do a bit of dousing and charming the fairys with a bit of concertina playing, really as a bit of fun but my clients swear by me and most imagine that it does a bit of good. Well it can't do no harm can it. You know as well as me you could sell a barrel of nuclear waste if you tied a dream catcher to it to some people. I tell them it's all fun I don't con them. But stangely enough I can douse, don't ask me how, but it does give the client a tale to dine out on and helps to determine our starting point.

My main work is show gardens for the RHS shows like Chelsea, Hampton Court etc. I will research a theme for the winter months and it is suprising what turns up. (I should write a book).

First pick a plant, find out its medicinal qualities, where it originates from, who was the plantfinder, what the local name was called and why was it called that. They will all come down to a superstition somewhere along the line.

One instance. Tanacetum parthenium, or Febrifuge which has been corrupted to feverfew. I bet the first person to try that had never heard of a migraine, but he did know he had demons in his head, and the local hermit could drive them away with his magical herbs. so you see how easy it is to tag a plant as mystical. There are other plants that can take you to another plane and are still used in primitive societies to enduce a trance and raise the devil.

I could go on and on but you get my drift.

Get your local morris dancers around for a few fertility dances. Damn good excuse for a party if nothing else.


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