Gardening is an inexact science and surrounded by centuries of tradition, folklore, myth and superstition. Hidden amongst it is some age old wisdom and also some age old cobblers.
Anemones used to be called wind flower possibly because
they grew in areas of wind anemos
is Greek for wind (anemometer - wind speed measuring device).
Robert Fortune is the one who introduced Dicentra to the western world, but only after the Treaty of Nanking of 1842 gave botanists and plant collectors somewhat better access to China.
Despite stories to the contrary, the camellia was
not named for the notorious 19th century French courtesan Camille. Although, Camille
used to carry a bouquet of camellias, for twenty-five days, the camellias were white,
for five days, they were red, this was thought to indicate the five days of the
month she was experiencing her menses. (We are not told how Camellias were kept
in bloom year round, presumably they weren't.)
Language of flowers - Carnations, Colour messages.
Pink carnations have the most symbolic and historical significance. According to Christian legend, carnations first appeared on Earth as Jesus carried the Cross. The Virgin Mary shed tears at Jesus' plight, and carnations sprang up from where her tears fell. Thus the pink carnation became the symbol of a mother's undying love, and in 1907 was chosen by Ann Jarvis as the emblem of Mother's Day.
Bringing a single daffodil into the house is to
be avoided as it brings bad luck. A bunch ensures happiness. In Wales finding the
first daffodil of Spring is expected to bring more gold than silver to your life
and home during the following 12 months.
The traditional flower to be used for "he loves me, he loves me not" enquiries. If a young girl grabs a whole bunch of daisies with the eyes shut she can then count how many years she would have to wait before she would marry (one per flower).
Passion flowers are climbers and vigorous ones at that. Used in protection and love magic. When passion flower is used, it calms and brings peace to the home. You can sprinkle dried or fresh passion flower over the doorsteps of your house to keep harm away. If you carry some of the herb in an amulet bag, you will make friends easier since it will work to increase your personal charisma making you more attractive and more likable. Place Passion flower in a dream pillow and it will help you get a good nights sleep. Use in love spells to attract love. You can also burn it as an incense to promote understanding.
Honeysuckle - Lonicera
A wedding will soon occur if this plant
is brought into a house. Placing the flower in a female's bedroom is reputed to
encourage erotic dreams (not required for males however).
Love, purification. Used in love sachets and incense. Put 2 handfuls of lavender flowers into a square of cheese cloth and tie with a purple ribbon use this aromatic "washcloth" in place of your usual one. Lavender was thrown into Midsummer fires by witches as a sacrifice to the ancient Gods.
On a more mundane note, also used
as an insect repellent.
In the West Country (England) these are known as 'The Drunkards' due their reputation for turning people into alcoholics when the flowers are picked or even looked at for any length of time.
The Welsh traditionally believed the flower could be used as a weather omen. If the flowers were not open early in the morning a storm was on the way. Used as a love charm, in wedding garlands and posies, it was also believed that rubbing the flower head on a wasp or bee sting would alleviate any pain.
Often used as companion plants with tomatoes to keep pests away.
Avoid picking these when you're in the
middle of a spell of fine weather or the rain will soon return according to tradition.
Roses are known as THE herb of love. Add rose bud petals to bath water to conjure up a lover. Put red rose petals in a red velvet bag and pin this under your clothes to attract love - or you can wear rosehips as beads to bring love to
you. rose oil and rose incense are
both used in love spells (if you're that way inclined). If you wash your hands with
rose water before mixing love potions, the potions will be stronger.
It's not all good news though, if the petals of a rose are consciously scattered on the ground it is thought to be unlucky, and if the petals fall from the plant when it is being held it is said that that person will die (the when is less clear).
Different colour roses have different meanings so you can use them to give someone a message magically.
What the different rose colors mean:
Red - I love you
Attributed with many healing properties the botanical name comes from the Latin 'salvere' meaning 'to save". Used to relieve sore throats, gums, typhoid fever, measles etc...you name it. This plant was believed to have extremely powerful magical qualities and most ailments were treated with it at some time.
Frequently seen as an omen of death despite its springtime prettiness. It symbolizes purity but is said to be unlucky to bring the flower into the house if someone in the household is ill.
A flower mainly of ill. Wearing it around your neck can prevent drunkenness, but be careful as it is also believed to encourage fleas to move into the home.
Violets originally warned of epidemic or death. Blooming in the autumn the small dark green leaves and beautiful purple flowers require shaded moist ground that has been undisturbed for some time to flourish.
Napoleons favourite flower
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