Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


2014-09-29 12.49.41

1. I have a strong memory of being sent into the country [Oxted, Surrey] as an evacuee in 1939. As a London child I was used to playing in the street and finding a new world of fields and woods was like paradise at the age of eight. We had a teacher who took us for nature rambles and taught us the names of flowers and plants … Along the paths were lord-and-ladies or arum lilies, pink and white campion, cowslips and celandines. The campions were called bachelor’s buttons [Putney, London, March 2011].

2. Red and white campions were always known to me as pudding bags, after their shape, similar to the boiled puddings in cloths eaten by the country families. The suet dumplings or puddings were the daily diet for farm labourers; also the pudding known as the Bedfordshire clanger, which consisted of a suet dough roll covering meat one end and jam the other, divided by a section of dough [Felmersham, Bedfordshire, March 1993].

Images: both, white campion, Silene latifolia, Beacon Park, Lichfield, Staffordshire; September 2014.