Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


1. During all my years in France I was always puzzled that although French people used to grin and warn me not to hand yellow tulips to people as gifts – being, as you know, a hint that your spouse (male or female) was adulterous, the flower shops always had stacks of lovely yellow tulips for sale. I suppose it would be safe to hand them to a widowed grandmother, but I have never dared to buy them [Kensington, London, January 1983].

Images: main, cultivated, Borough Gardens, Dorchester, Dorset, April 2014; inset, Madrid, Spain, January 2019.