Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


1. When I was a child [c. 1915] I lived in an old house on the outskirts of Belfast, and on a south-facing wall outside my nursery there grew a fine myrtle bush which flowered freely. According to local tradition this bush grew from a sprig from Queen Victoria’s wedding bouquet … If the Queen did have myrtle in her bouquet, how did a sprig get to my parents’ house in Belfast, Northern Ireland? [Broomborough, Merseyside, November 1990].

Image: cultivated, Geffrye Museum gardens, London Borough of Hackney; August 2015.