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Garden & The Environment
Garden Folklore.

You may find this page a useful resource if you are trying to research garden folklore and traditional garden remedies to age old problems. Please be advised, all recipes are solely for entertainment. I do not condone the misuse of chemicals, be they ‘natural’ or otherwise. Some plants are toxic if ingested, or if in contact with skin for prolonged periods.

If you want to add to this resource, email me: folklore@guydeakinsgardening.com

THE GROWING GARDEN.

The first and only true rule of the garden is good husbandry. A well manured, well mulched and well turned garden will have more strength and vigour than any that is left to it’s own devices – following of course the old garden lore; “dung your fields in October, and your land its wealth shall yield.”

GROWING CHARMS

INDIA. In the UK and other western countries we are told to feed our plants, mulch them, manure them etc. India has an old custom called “Donada” which involves stomping on the ground and singing to the tree. They believed this encouraged growth.

UK. In the UK we have a practice called “Wassailing”, which is remarkably similar to the Indian ‘Donada’. It involves naked men, dancing round the orchard trees on the new year, (whether this is the ‘old’ new year or ‘new’ new year brings debate) singing, stomping and generally making merry. It is also thought that shooting at the branches is fair practice along with pouring cider on the roots. Each county has it’s own song and own specific custom.

APPALACHIA. In the Appalachia, USA it is said to be bad luck to say thank you if you ever receive cuttings or plants as a gift. The plant will not thrive. (I have also heard this said about sneezing. If somebody blesses you, never say thank you. You will kill a fairy!)

EUROPE. If you find a horse shoe, hang it above your door, ‘U’ pointing upwards lest the luck pours out! In the USA this is also valid if you hang the shoe in the nearest tree. This whole belief has possibly two sources. The Saxons had a belief in the ‘honesty’ of iron was a powerful protector from evil and harm. The second, dates back hundreds of years, and involves St Dunstan (a blacksmith) making and then nailing hundreds of horshoes above doorways in his efforts to thwart the devil.

AFRICA. There are many old laws and rituals associated with the growth and health of crops. Many invoke the blessings and invocation of the fertility gods. (see below).

CHINA/SE ASIA. Feng Shui and the Garden. Without going into too much detail, as I confess, I am no expert, A Feng Shui garden should be tidy (this includes the shed.) The basis of this idea is to encourage the free flowing of energy known as Ch’i. Water features aid this flow and soften negative energy, spiky plants should be removed as they add aggression. Overall, the main theme is that of a calmative effect. Soft flowing lines and edges. Healthy plants are great, thin sickly things are not. It is also important you relax and do not see it as a chore. Absorb yourself in the flow of energy. In the true Zen style, become part of the garden. Life is about the experience, no matter how trivial or menial. If however, you follow the Tao, take a deep, deep breath and accept you can only agree to a draw with nature, she can never be beaten! For more info on Feng Shui, go to HERE

BHUDDHA. Zen bhuddism has long had associations with the garden. It is said a truly Zen garden is a compliment to the desire to meditate. One must not be distracted by the image, rather become one with it. Having visited Japan, I would agree.

PLANT FEEDS

Nettle Tea. As well as being an effective pesticide, nettles also have the benefit of feeding. Green nettles (with no flowers) steeped in water for a week will be an effective foliar feed. However, do not use the feed after two weeks as it is supposedly no longer viable. Equally nettle roots pulled up in late winter are excellent feed when steeped in the water butt for a month. Once the liquid is strained, throw the rotting root onto the compost and use the water liberally.

Symphytum Tea. Symphytum is an excellent tea when used as a feed. Either press the leaves and collect the liquor and dilute to suit or steep in water for a few weeks. (be advised smelly).

Silver Sand and Water. Apparently, a mix of silver sand and water, shaken not stirred and then left to settle, will aid to the strength and vitality of vegetables. Added to the watering can, the silica is the key.

Bracken. Bracken is an excellent source of potash if composted with horse manure. As it is ericaceous it is of value as a mulch for Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Blueberries and Heathers (and vitally important as a replacement for peat). It is also said that Fuscias thrive on the cut fronds being placed in the planting hole.

CUTTINGS. I have always been of the belief cuttings will prosper if  given the correct, sterile approach. However, there are old methods to aid the cause.

Cereal Grain. If you plant a cereal grain underneath a cutting, the germination process, exudes rooting hormone, stimulating the cutting.

COMPANION PLANTING

Garlic: Garlic has long been known to have a beneficial effect when planted near others in order to protect from insect attack. A single clove of garlic, planted next to a rose bush is said to protect that bush from any future attack from aphid (remember to remove any flower stalks lest you want your rose garden to smell of garlic). It is also said to ward off flying insects if planted at the door to glasshouses.

Wild Garlic. According to old lore, rabbits refuse to cross a boundary planted with wild garlic or ‘Ransomes’.

African Marigold. The African Marigold, or Tagete, is an exceptionally useful plant. It has been proven scientifically to ward off eel worm in root crops such as potato. However, it is also effective (allegedly) against flying pests, not only by the smell but also by its attractant qualities of predator insects such as hoverfly.

Calendula. Much like its African cousin, Calendula officinalis, can be used a companion plant to attract the hoverfly, one of the most effective predators of aphid. I have often heard it said, a border lined with a low hedge of marigold is stronger and more resilient. I must also add here, having spoken to some other old market gardeners, marigold is an attractant of Black-fly and was always used next to broad beans as an alternative for the dreaded pest.

(Marigolds were sacred plants of the Mexican Goddess of Agriculture)

Nettles. Urtica spp. is a species of plants which are common in many countries. A small patch, cultivated in each garden, throughout the year, can have the benefit of giving ladybirds an early supply of aphids, thus encouraging them to remain in the garden all year. A small amount of nettles, planted between currant bushes are said to aid growth, help fruit production and improve pest resistance. Scientifically speaking, nettles are a good indicator plant – where they grow is a sure sign of abundant nitrogen rich soil.

Chives. This has an interesting history. Planted near an apple tree it is supposed to prevent the dreaded scab. Another strange custom, was to plant in orchards, to prevent lightning from striking! (something you may notice whilst walking through and old orchard…)

Fennel. Again a useful herb as a companion. The flowers attract the hoverfly.

Leeks. I have tried, this with some success. If you are worried about ‘root fly’, plant leeks in a row next to your root crop. The roots will remain pest free.

Houseleek. The humble Sempervivum (one of my favourite plants) has long been held in high esteem. It is said that planted on or near the house will surely cast aside all lightning.

Foxgloves. It is said by some, that foxgloves improve the border, not only by their beautiful flower display, but by other means also. Their root system encourages other plants, by its ability to store nutrient and by aiding soil structure.

LUCKY PLANTS (see garden mythology for  a fuller list).

Black-eyed peas. An extremely drought tolerant plant, this legume is traditionally eaten on New Years day in the Southern States of America and in Jewish households, as a bringer of prosperity and good luck. The Southern tradition dictates the meal should be accompanied by beetroot or spinach, leeks, collard and ham or pork – each ingredient indicating a positive bringer of fortune.

Parsley. A herb whose use has long been hailed, yet whose origins have long become lost, it is thought seeds sown on Good Friday, will bring happiness and fortune.

Fennel. According to the book ‘Old Wives Lore’ (see bibliography,) fennel is supposed to have amazing powers of magic. If attached to a petrol mower or power tool, then the machine accordingly praised for it’s beauty and value, it will start first time, every time.

Dracaena sanderiana. Not forgetting that gardens can also be in the interior of houses, lucky bamboo as it is commonly known is supposed to hold virtues in the art of Feng-shui. It is thought to enhance positive energy. Accordingly the number of stalks holds importance as does its positioning in the house.

Mistletoe. According to the excellent book ‘A pocket guide to superstitions of the British Isles’ by Steve Roud, there is actually no basis for mistletoe to be classed as lucky. Supposedly a divine plant of the druids, apart from the brief description by Pliny, there has been no real real record of its veneration until the 19th Century.

UNLUCKY PLANTS.

Red and White Flowers. Supposed to represent ‘blood and bandages’, this is not a colour scheme you should encourage in the house or present at a hospital. The only saving of the situation is to place another single colour into the mix.

Parsley. Despite previous post, relating to bringing luck and fortune, Parsley -especially the root – is seen as bad luck and not to be brought into the house.

Primroses. These beautiful early spring flowers should never be brought into the house in case they bring bad luck with htem.

Lilacs. Another plant said to bring bad luck if brought into the house.

Daffodil.  A perennial favourite in households brightening the garden in late winter/ early spring, these flowers can be seen as harbingers of death. It is according to some sources, the drooping of the flower that is an ill omen and thus should be avoided at all costs!

ROSES

An old gardener, who I had the pleasure of working with in Suffolk, some years ago, swore by the addition of animal fat to the rose bed. In addition, she would dig said fat into the border before planting. It has been said on several occasions that this will enhance the blooms and increase their volume thereafter!

PLANTING STRAWBERRIES

Before planting strawberries, dig in a liberal amount of the leaf litter from a conifer forest. Then, once planted, mulch the strawberries with another helping of the pine leaf litter. The flavour is said to be enhanced.

VEGETABLES

Time to Plant. In Cornwall, it was often required that the gooseberry was inleaf before planting runner beans.

There are many combinations of plants which do well next to each other, or by virtue of proximity positively dislike one another.

From my own perspective, (and most other gardeners I know) a vegetable garden should follow a strict order of rotation. No two similar vegetables should be planted in the same place on the following years.

Beans with Cabbage. It makes perfect sense for beans to have a positive effect on the production of a leaf vegetable, purely by the virtue of nitrogen storage in the root structure. My allotment neighbour, Mick, who has been allotmenteering for the past 50 years, swears by the practice of a bean or pea row in close proximity to a brassica. Having seen the evidence of this years sprouts, I can vouchsafe, it works!

Opposites. According to Appalchian folklore, never plant similar sounding vegetables together. Think Tomato and Potato. etc.

Potato. Always plant potato on Good Friday. The same can be said for Spring Beans.

Lettuce and Chicory et al. It is said plants will taste sweeter if their seeds are first soaked in rose water.

PESTS AND DISEASE

GENERAL PESTICIDE. Given that pesticides are now being proved to effect the unborn child in the womb and are being associated with the decline of honey bees, what better way to deter pests using traditional ‘safe’ remedies.

According to Dorothy Hall in her book, ‘The Book of Herbs’, a good natural repellent is a spray made of the following herbs, mixed together and steeped in water: Garlic, Chives, Tansy, Rue, Lavender, Santolina, Wormwood, Southernwood.

APHID CONTROL

Rhubarb Spray (harmful if eaten): Take 1Kg of Rhubarb leaves. Boil in 1/2 ltr of water for 30 mins. Strain the liquid and allow to cool. Mix 20g of soft soap, with the remaining liquid and mix thoroughly. Decant to normal household sprayer. (Please do not eat any crops for two weeks after spraying).

Wormwood Tea (harmful if eaten): 15g of fresh wormwood leaves (Artemesia absinthium). Pour 1ltr of boiling water over leaves and strain. Leave to cool. Use as a spray on plants to deter butterflies and aphids from resting.

Nettle Tea. Take 1 Kg of fresh nettle, (preferably before flowering), add to a bucket 2 litres of hot(not boiling) water. Leave to steep for between 24 hrs and 48hrs. Use as a spray.

FLY-TRAPS. Toadflax flowers in a saucer of cream, placed on a windowsill is deadly and irresistible to a fly.

FLEA BEETLE. A good way of putting off the nasty little creatures that destroy your brassica seedlings is to sprinkle mint stalks and leaves along the rows.

Another ingenious method was to make a trap using sticky angled wood and sacking hung beneath, which if used in a particular way, would trap hundreds apparently.

CATERPILLAR. It must be noted here that if you cut or bruise a brassica, it will exude a smell, which will attract any pest species within half a mile!

According to a source in the US, the best way to deter or kill caterpillars on cabbage is to dust the plant with corn meal and salt. Accordingly the caterpillars will gorge themselves, bloat and die.

I have always been of the belief the best way to rid yourself of caterpillars is the time honoured system of hand removing them all.

C H Middleton recommends that a coarse spray of a teaspoon of salt to a gallon of warm water does the trick.

SLUGS AND SNAILS. There are many old remedies for slugs and snails, some absurd some a bit more practical. As a child, I was once paid to go into the garden of an uncle at the dead of night and hunt snails with a torch, destroying them when found.

Beer Trap. Beer is incredibly amazing at attracting slugs and snails. A small cup full of beer, all but lip buried close to ground level, will not only attract but also dispatch all in its vicinity. Just remember to empty the cup every other day, as the smell of dead slugs is awful.

Oatmeal. It has been suggested that oatmeal spread around the plants will be eaten first by the slugs, who will expand and die after gorging.

Shells. Broken seashells are said to be uncomfortable for the slugs and snails to pass over. If you buy direct from a shell-fisherman, they will be heavily laden with salt too!

Comfrey leaves. According to Monty Don, writer and BBC cognescente, fresh comfrey leaves placed about susceptible plants will attract the slugs more than the plant you are trying to protect. These leaves will be eaten first, thus leaving your plant untouched.

Copper Tape. The use of copper in the garden especially around pots, has a tradition going back a hundred years or so. Apparently slugs will not travel over the copper, as it is uncomfortable but according to some is said to give a mild electric shock.

Lime. According to Mrs Beeton, lime applied to the leaves in the morning of a dew will deter the pests.

HAIR

The relative merits of hair have long been a subject of contention. Hair placed in planting holes are said to ward off eel worm and other pests. Apparently they spike any ground dwelling insects. Whether this is true cannot be proved. However, hair does have several beneficial trace elements.

MOUSE DETERRENT

Coffee grounds sprinkled about the borders put mice off from venturing too far. Equally, cheap instant coffee granules have a similar effect, but need replacing after rain.

WINTER WASH. Tar oil seems to be the preferred and unsustainable method of winter washes in modern times. However, there were alternatives.

Caustic Soda is a good fruit tree winter wash. The formula was 1lb of caustic soda, 5 gals of water. Dissolve the soda in 1 gallon, stirring thoroughly. Add the remainder of the water and apply with a coarse spray. Must  only be used in winter with no leaves and do not get in on your clothes or skin!

LIONS AND TIGERS. Lavender plants, placed amongst your borders are sure to keep any visiting lions and tigers docile.

FUNGUS and FUNGICIDES. Fungus is a perennial problem for the gardener. Various routines were followed along with the ample use of chemicals usually involving sulphur or copper. Slime moulds are the result of acid soils and should be treated with calciferous supplements like lime.

Besom. It is a surprise to read that brushing the leaves of certain plants, such as onion, with a besom was supposed to have some deterring effect.

Horsetail. Boil up a liberal amount of horsetail in an old pot. Leave to cool. Spray liberally on the plants you want to protect.

Potato Water. Using the water you have used to boil potatoes in, and of course allowing to cool, spray liberally. The ‘starch is accordingly attributed with providing a protective layer.

The most famous of fungicides is ‘Bourdeaux Mixture’, which has been listed in many books dating from the last century to the present day. A recipe for it is as follows. BE ADVISED. I do not condone or advise experimentation with any chemicals. The following chemicals are caustic so utmost care should be taken. Gloves, goggles and breathing mask MUST be worn. Wash everything carefully and be sure not to get any on clothes. 4.5oz. Copper Sulphate. 9oz Quicklime (slaked). 5Gals. of Water. Dissovle the copper in 4 gallons of water. Slake the Quicklime in the remaining water. Add the two solutions together and use immediately.

Burgundy Pitch.

A now rare substance (why?) , this was derived from the sap of the Norway Spruce. It was melted in hot water and strained through a cloth, it was seen as a great natural fungicide on fruit trees.

TROUBLESOME WEEDS

Creeping Thistle. “Pull in May, back next day. Pull in June, be back soon. Pull in July, sure to die!”

Bracken. The best time to cut and then roll bracken is early to mid-summer. In medieval times it was illegal to cut bracken before September 1st as this was a valuable crop for bedding and thatch.

POTATO SCAB.

If green grass cuttings are dug into the potato ground, prior to planting, the potaoes will not get scab. Apparently the grass cuttings were more attractive to the ground dwelling organism. It must be noted here that scab was encouraged by the use of lime, so none should be applied to the area.

MILLIPEDES.

A constant pest in the garden, they eat seedlings and roots. Trap with hollowed out half-potatoes or mangolds. Collect and destroy these.

RABBITS

Whilst I have thus far not found anything rabbits are deterred by, except perhaps wild garlic or indeed a gun, I have gleaned some information from a game keeper friend as to aversion therapy.

Soak newspaper or rags in creosote. Then push the paper into the rabbit holes and back fill the tunnel. The rabbits may dig the offending items out, but will eventually give up if the trick is repeated. nb. Rabbits do not like activity around their burrows. They will sit tight for a number of days if they think danger is lurking close by, so keep going!

MOLES

It is said, in old garden lore, if you talk of them, they will come.

According to some, the placing of sharp spiky plants in their runs will deter the most determined of moles. I have found with some success, Berberis is useful. Holly doesn’t have the same effect and Pyracantha was mixed.

Mole or Caper Spurge, Euphorbia lathyris, amongst the borders is said to have some effect, but one would have to plant en-masse realistically to see any real change. However it is quite an attractive plant so no real loss to aesthetic, but beware the white sap, which is poisonous and will burn the throat if ingested.

Another unusual cure is the placing of sardines in the runs. According to a South African source, the smell puts them off.

A client in Worthing, West Sussex offered me this tip. Fill some small hessian sacks with human hair and leave them on the boundary of your garden. Moles will stay well clear.

DOGS AND CATS

Blacks Gardening Dictionary recommends the use of pieces of meat spread about the border. The said meat however be filled with cayenne pepper. It was thought the taste would soon put the animals off venturing into the garden again. However, not only is it illegal to injure animals, but rats are partial to meet and have no problem with cayenne pepper, so be warned.

ONION ROOT FLY

It is suggested that parsley, planted about an onion bed will deter onion root fly.

CARROT FLY

I have heard rumour that sprinkling crushed and crumbled moth balls in the soil prior to seeding is a sturdy defence against the dreaded carrot root fly. A further addition once the seeds have sprouted leaves the flavour unaffected, and the carrot untouched.

Mint Spray. A spray made up of water steeped in mint leaves is supposed to disguise the plants from the attacking insect!

Paraffin. A weak paraffin emulsion sprayed on the leaves, disguises the carrot from the fly. Mix half a pint of paraffin and half a pound of soft soap with 12 gallons of water. Used twice a week, this will make the garden smell of paraffin…This can be used against parsnip and celery fly also.

BIRDS. There are a few ideas about avoiding bird damage, some new some not so new. Most involve themes around the scarecrow. CDs and things that make odd noises are another.

Black Twine. A practice I have seen in many commercial orchards is the use of thick (3mm or 4mm) nylon twine, spread tightly about the tree or plants you are wanting to protect. The birds having landed, will find themselves caught in the twine. Upon escaping, they will be put off from landing again.

ANTS (Emmit for you Cornishmen). Powdered Borax (poisonous) mixed with sugar and sprinkled near nests will kill ants.

LEATHER JACKETS. A problem for lawns, the small brown grubs destroy lawns if infectation is bad. An old method was to scatter Napthalene about, which would put the adults landing and laying eggs.

WIRE WORMS. In the book, ‘Outlines of a small Garden’ by C H Middleton, the surest way to rid the soil of wire worm is good, clean cultivation. But a successful way of trapping wire worm is by planting “wheat here and there between vegetable crops. The worms prefer the roots of wheat to most vegetables and will soon find it.” Carefully digging up these plants when they are 6 inches tall will rid the soil of the pest.

COCKCHAFER (Otherwsie known for some reason as Joe Bassett?) A beautiful beetle sadly in decline this has been an enemy of the gardener for centuries. The only way of ridding the soil of the fat grub is due diligence and good cultivation. Lawns alas suffer.

BRASSICA CLUB ROOT

Club root can be a problem, especially in areas where the soil is sour, or has been repeatedly planted with the same crop, a fact written about by Mrs Beeton in her famous companion. To combat the problem, sweeten the soil with hydrated lime. However, a good old lore goes by the use of a sliver rhubarb placed in the planting hole before the insertion of the brassica seedling. This is said to stop the disease occurring. Another theory of long ago, was the overuse of manure. If the garden had too much of the stuff, the club root was sure to follow.

PEPPER DUST

Chiefly used against earwigs (see below) is also a useful deterrent against cats, slugs and mice.

EARWIG DAMAGE

Earwigs, Forficula auricularia, beautiful, delicate and destructive. If you are a Chrysanthemum or Dahlia grower, especially if you ‘show’ take heed. Somebody recently searched this site to find out what it means to find six earwigs on your flower…destruction for your flower is the simple answer. 

Place several bamboo stakes (varying heights) amongst your prized show winners. Then take several 9cm flower pots and fill with straw. Place, aforementioned flowerpots upturned on top of stakes. Have patience. Overnight or perhaps two, the earwigs should have collected in the up turned flowerpots. Dispose of the earwigs in a manner which is safe and thoughtful to the environment.

WEATHER PORTENTS.

Wherever you are on the globe, an ability to tell what the weather holds is vital. In the UK we have a plethora of sayings and beliefs. Many are exceptionally local, for example, Barrow, near Bury-St-Edmunds in Suffolk, has an entirely odd weather system according to old locals, which can be foretold by looking South West at a particular spot. Another example I am told is that Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast has less rainfall annually than the Sahara Desert. Micro-climates are nothing if not peculiar.

Start of Summer. It is said, in some old custom, that Summer does not start until the Elder is in flower.

Rain. In many countries it is of importance to look for signs of imminent rain. Apart from looking to the heavens for low, black foreboding clouds, one useful tip is to watch the swallows and martins. If they are flying high, then it will be clear. If they are flying low, then rain is surely on the horizon. Obviously this is not so useful to those of us in areas of migration where they are not present for the wettest parts of the year!

Frost. If the October moon comes without frost, expect no frost until the moon of November.

Fair Spring. “Snow on Christmas means Easter will be green.” Beware though, “A green Christmas means a white Easter!”

Dry day/Wet day. We all know the old saying, “Red Sky at night, Shepherds Delight. Red sky in the morning, Shepherds warning.” What is not oft told is that the red or pink must be reflected on the opposite horizon to be of any consequence.

Clear Spell. I admit to not having heard this until recently, it has thus proved interesting. If there is a set mist before dawn, in the few days leading up to the full moon, the next two weeks will be fair. Try it yourself. Interesting.

Pink Clouds. Nimbostratus or Cumulonimbus clouds with a pinkish tinge are said to hold snow. This one takes a while to get your eye in folks, but does ring true.

Good Weather for Harvest: A wet May makes a big load of hay; A cold May is kindly and fills the barn finely.

Wet Summer / Dry Summer: It is said that the order of flowering can tell of dry or wet summers in the saying, “Oak before Ash in for a splash. Ash before Oak in for a soak.”

Wet July. “If the first of July it be rainy weather, ’twill rain more or less for four weeks together.”

White, long Winter. “If the first week of August be warm, the winter will be white and long.” Equally, “If St. Michael brings many acorns, Christmas will cover the fields with snow.”

Hard Winter. “When berries are many in October, beware a hard winter.” Or, “When birds and badgers are fat in October, expect a cold winter”. If you have a penchant for the downright morbid you could do no worse than say, “A green December fills the graveyard!” (A reference to a mild December bringing a late cold snap.) Finally, the nearer the new moon to Christmas, the harder the winter apparently.

According to a Mr Malcolm Brown of the Isle of Wight: “If ducks do slide at Hallowtide, At Christmas they will swim; If ducks do swim at Hallowtide, At Christmas they will slide.” (Hallowtide is from October 31st to November 2nd).

Dry weather to follow: Mist in May; Heat in June. Makes harvest come right soon.

Extended Winter. “Ne’er cast a clout till the Mayflower is out”, refers to the flowering time of the common Hawthorn (not the boat that took the Pilgrim Fathers.). A clout being a winter coat in old English, meaning do not put away your winter coat until the hawthorn has flowered. It was also said of this: “Till April’s dead, change not a thread.”

Wet summer. “As it rains in March so it Rains in June”. Also, “If early April is foggy, rain in June will make lanes boggy.”

End of Winter. “Beware the Blackthorn winter.” This refers to the shrub, Prunus spinosa, otherwise known as Blackthorn or Sloe. It is said, and I will agree, that winter always returns after the Blackthorn has flowered. My colleague Brian, the Head Gardener at Bellasis introduced me to this idea some years ago and it has never let me down.

Seaweed. Seaweed has long been used as a good indicator of weather. Hung up in the porch, it is said to predict coming weather by being damp or dry. If not, bury it in the border. It is a fantastic fertilizer!

Something for all. If New Year Eve the wind blows South, it betokeneth warmth and growth; if West, much milk and fish in the sea; if North, cold and storms there will be; if east the trees will bear much fruit; if North-East then flee it! Man and Brute!

Bibliography

An excellent source of knowledge on this subject is The Complete Old Wives’ Lore for Gardeners by Maureen Boland and Bridget Boland. I have read this book, and have used some of the ideas here (although I hasten to add, all their tales appear in other such books or I have heard elsewhere) as well as others and find their storytelling enchanting.

The Book of Herbs. Dorothy Hall. Pan Books. 1972.

1000 Household Hints. Elizabeth Craig. Collins. 1947.

Book of Herbal Remedies. The Brockhampton Library. Brockhampton Press. 1996

The Penguin Book of Herbs and Spices. Penguin Books. 1959.

Book of Potions and Magic Plants. Otley College, Suffolk. 2005

Black’s Gardening Dictionary. Edited by E.T Ellis. A&C Black Ltd. 1921

Folklore of Sussex. Jacqueline Simpson. The History Press. 1973.

Amateur Gardening Pocket Guide. A.G.L Hellyer. Hamlyn 1941.

Websites of interest.

http://coyoteandanotherone.com/santos_folder/garden_patrons.html

http://www.ponddoc.com/WhatsUpDoc/Statuary/Saints%20of%20the%20Garden.htm

http://www.gardenfairy.com/fairygarden/fairylore.htm

http://www.worldbotanical.com/Philippine_plants_tested.htm

http://www.treesforlife.org.uk/forest/mythfolk/hawthorn.html

http://gardeningwithwilson.com/2007/10/29/it-was-a-crazy-saturday/

http://www.communigate.co.uk/london/whittinghamgardeningclub/page15.phtml

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