Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Garden lore and garden books

Asters from 2006, also called Michaelmas daisies

I read a piece of garden lore today in Autumn Gardens by Ethne Clarke.  I have read numerous times in British fiction that one ought not pick blackberries after Michaelmas, or St. Michael's Day, September 29th.  Now I know why!  Apparently when St. Michael the archangel tossed Satan from Heaven he landed in some blackberries and, stamping on them in retaliation, cursed them.  Michaelmas was traditionally the end of harvest, fall equinox celebration, so it actually was a convenient time to stop picking the tail end of the berries. 

Clarke includes this poem...

The Michaelmas daisies, among dede weeds,
Blooms for St. Michael's valourous deeds;
And seems the last of the flowers that stode,
Till the feste of St. Simon and St. Jude-
Save Mushrooms, and the Fungus race,
That grow till All-Hallow-Tide takes place.
Soon the evergreen Laurel alone is greene,
When Catherine crownes all learned menne,
The Ivie and Holly Berries are seen,
And Yule Long and Wassaile come round again.  

A few years ago I realized I could get garden books for less than the cost of magazines.  I have a shelf full and as I get better ones I discard others.   I like real books and the orderliness of photos matched with sequential thought.  

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