Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


1.  Natural History Museum, London, May 2014:

2. ¬† My grandmother had a pansy game or story which goes like this: There were these five lovely daughters and they all went to the ball in the most lovely velvety ballgowns. My grandmother would pick off the five petals and hand them to me to admire the gowns. Then she would say – but they left their old mither (she was a Scot, my gran!) all alone sitting with both her legs in one stocking! Then she would show me the two spindly plant parts from which she had pulled a little green covering. I was always fascinated that this was so. And even now – I often pull apart a fading flower just to repeat gran’s story! [Long Melford, Suffolk, November 1993].

Image: The Withies Inn, Compton, Surrey; April 2014.