Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


0281. [Lancashire] When I was much younger, I brought a sprig of flowering privet home when my grandmother was visiting.  As soon as she saw it she looked horrified and recounted the story of her mother telling her it would bring bad luck after my grandmother herself brought it home as a little girl.  Shortly after, their house burnt down (luckily no-one was injured)!  I thought they owned a fish-and-chip shop at the time, but apparently this wasn’t until later (although that caught fire as well!).  I will try and get more information when I next visit my grandmother in Lancashire [Swaythling, Hampshire, April 2009].

2. As a child I used to enjoy blowing the shiny leaves that grow in garden hedges to make strange noises [Tooting Common, London, July 2003].

Images: main, cultivated, Campden Hill Square, Notting Hill, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, London, January 2014; inset, planted, Calver, Derbyshire, July 2015.