Posted: 05/07/2013 at 18:12
Hi all. I am going to call this " A trip into the (gardening) past - a plant medley". With the thoughts,comments and sugestions in this post it will hopefully be interesting but depending on your attitude it will either give you much to think ( and hopefuilly talk) about or indigestion. Either way yer 'tis. We are all so very interested in our garden and plants as we buy today from the Garden Centres etc but how many have a thought about their Histories? - where did they come from, when, who found them, their naming, all the many myths and fables which over the years have accumulated round them?.. So off we go and here may I ask who has ever read about the "Doctrine of Signatures"? - this was where all the early medics devised a system whereby they believed that a plant by its appearance showed exactly what illnesses it could cure - a good example being the Lungwort (Pulmonaria) with its green spotted white leaves signifying a lung disorder and so on - can be read about on Wikipedia whatever. Next on the list has anybody obtained a copy of the very comprehensive "Gerards Herbal" in which so many of these early plant introductions and all about them is written ( in old English). To come up to date some more of this same can be read of - did mention a book by Alice Coats called Flowers and their Histories. I do believe that all this is well worth while i n that it tells of the plants you are buyings histories, so much and many good talking points obtained thereby. Lastly and just to digress a little may I say that amongst my many interests I also have a great love of Pottery and Porcelain, particularly the 19th cent and earliert/later blue and white transfer printed items and the earlier/later hand painted floral items - the early and later Worcester, Derby, Coalport, Spode, Davenport etc etc. Do pse have a look and sure you will agree some really lovely things there. Nuff said except to give an example of the myths of these plants and here consider the Mandrake ( Mandragora) plant - believed to have magical qualities and therefore not to be pulled out of the ground by a human. What they did was loosen it in the ground, tie a rope from it to a dog and let that pull it out of the ground for them. Cranky? - well maybe but most interesting reading non the less. Do not pse blame me for any indigestion you may have after all that little lot. Will leave it with you - enjoy.