BOO!

Spooky rooftop installation

Do you avoid walking under ladders that are open? Knock on wood to ward off bad events happening ? Do you talk to the bees ( its a hard language to master ) Do you avoid Fairy rings ?

Knocking on wood – Wikipedia

The origin of the custom may be in Celtic or German folklore, wherein supernatural beings are thought to live in trees, and can be invoked for protection. One explanation states that the tradition derived from the Pagans who thought that trees were the homes of fairies, spirits, dryads and many other mystical creatures. In these instances, people might knock on or touch wood to request good luck, or to distract spirits with evil intentions. When in need of a favor or some good luck, one politely mentioned this wish to a tree and then touched the bark, representing the first “knock”. The second “knock” was to say “thank you”. The knocking was also supposed to prevent evil spirits from hearing your speech and as such stop them from interfering. Alternatively, some traditions have it that by knocking upon wood, you would awaken and release the benevolent wood fairies that dwelt there.

Another explanation links the practice to wooden crucifixes. A more modern theory from a folklore researcher suggests it derives from a form of tag called “Tiggy Touchwood” in which players are safe from being tagged if they are touching wood. ( thank you Wikipedia )

You may be surprised at what is a good omen and a bad omen in your garden – or in your dating life ( that’s another much longer Blog post )

Greens for potions and lotions – oh and salads

Lady’s Mantle

The cup-shaped leaves of lady’s mantle collect beautiful large round dewdrops, which you have probably noticed if you grow this plant. In pre-eighteenth-century Europe, people thought that the dewdrops that collect on lady’s mantle had magical properties.

Lady’s Mantle collecting dew drops

The dew from lady’s mantle plants was collected and added into magic potions and people reportedly thought that they could use it to turn common metals into gold. This practice is called “alchemy,” which is where lady’s mantle got its Latin name, Alchemilla mollis, meaning “small alchemist.”

Telling the Bees

As it sounds is as it is ! – its talking to bees

Oh hello there – have you come to help me with the garden?

It was considered essential to honey production for bee keepers to talk to their bees each day and inform them of goings on in the household ( they would be bored in my household )including everyday activities and more significant events such as births, marriages, and deaths.

If a member of the household passed away, it was thought that if you didn’t put the bees into mourning by draping their hives with black fabric then they, too, would die.

Foxglove

Foxglove was thought to be one source of witches’ power. People believed that witches would make a balm from animal fat and foxglove which they would rub on themselves and their broomsticks in order to fly! ( now that could be handy )

Foxglove is also a favorite plant of the fairy realm. Fairies love to play inside the trumpet-shaped flowers, and the speckles on the petals are thought to indicate places on the flower that a fairy has touched. Picking a foxglove and bringing it inside is thought to be bad luck because the flowers belong to the fairies and if you pick them for yourself it will annoy the fairies and they will take revenge on you.

See the source image
Foxglove

Fairy Rings

Speaking of fairies, it is bad luck to step inside a “fairy ring” ( a circle of mushrooms.) The rings are said to spring up where fairies dance in a circle, and entering the ring will enable you to see the fairies who would otherwise be invisible to the human. If you step inside it, the fairies can capture you there, and if you eat any of the food they offer you, you will never be able to leave the fairy ring and come back into the human world. ( sounds like bliss right about now – do I get wings ? )

If you do step into a fairy ring, legend has it that if you sprinkle thyme or marjoram on the ground the aromatic herbs will intoxicate and confuse the fairies so that you can escape. Yet another good reason to plant a herb garden !

Fairy rings are created by a mycelium underground which moves outward from the center and produces mushrooms above ground in a circular shape. Well, either that or fairies make them.

See the source image
Give me my wings !!!!!

Giving and Receiving Plants

Have you ever given someone a plant as a gift and not gotten a “thank you” in return? It happens more than you might expect. That is because there is a widespread superstition among gardeners that if you say “thank you” for a plant that’s been given to you, it will not grow.

The origin of this is based on the belief that if you do something morally wrong like stealing a plant or not saying “thank you” when one is given to you, the plant will then grow prolifically to remind you of your misdeed and make you feel guilty!

Some gardeners believe that plants will grow so much better if stolen that when they give someone a plant, they will put it down and turn their back on it so that the other person can “steal” it.

How can you turn your back on this Plant Specialists creation – absolutely adore slipper orchids

Herbs

There are a myriad of interesting and odd superstitions surrounding herbs. Some people believe that you must apologize as you harvest herbs so that they forgive you for taking their leaves, while others say that you need to curse at your herbs regularly to ensure that they grow well. The origin of this is hazy, but we suspect it came from some ancient garden-related frustration.

People have long believed that basil lends protection from bad luck and evil. Placing it at entrance ways and in windows is supposed to keep wicked forces away from the home. In Europe, basil has a history of being given as a token of love, but the origin of this is not as romantic as it might seem—basil was said to die if it was in the presence of someone impure, so giving it to a prospective romantic partner was used as a test of their worthiness.

You may have heard the legend of Thieves oil. The story goes that during the fifteenth century when the Bubonic plague was rampant, a group of thieves developed a blend of herbal oils that had healing powers strong enough to ward off the plague, allowing them to rob the graves of rich people who had died from the disease. When the thieves were apprehended, they traded their secret blend of herbs for their freedom, and you can still find Thieves essential oil blend in stores today.

Nasturtiums, Lavender & Thyme.

Plant Potatoes on Good Friday

Many gardeners still say that you should plant your potatoes on Good Friday—a confusing day to pick since the date changes year by year. A better rule of thumb is to plant potatoes when spring is in full swing and there is no risk of frost.

This superstition actually originated when potatoes were first introduced to Britain in the sixteenth century. Because the vegetables were unfamiliar and grew underground, the belief arose that potatoes were the Devil’s food.( I do believe that French fries mat well be the devils food )As a precautionary measure, gardeners would plant their potatoes on Good Friday and water them with holy water to keep any evil at bay.

I can see this being The Devils food !

Fennel

Hanging fennel over the door is meant to prevent dark magic from entering.( Be nice if it stopped a few choice people from entering as well ! ) People also used to place fennel seeds inside keyholes to keep witches and demons from entering. Protecting your home with fennel is supposed to be especially important on Midsummer’s eve, when magical spirits are most active.

Fennel reportedly has quite a lot of healing qualities including boosting the immune system, so in a way it can keep negative forces away. But you need to eat it to benefit from these qualities, not just leave the seeds in your keyhole.

See the source image
Image from www.whiteseed.com

Four – Leaf clover

We’ve all heard that finding a four-leaf clover brings luck. This belief goes back to the biblical story of Adam and Eve. When Eve was cast out of the Garden of Eden, she took a four-leaf clover with her so that she would still have a little piece of paradise. It is said that each of the four leaves represents hope, faith, love, and luck.

Four-leaf clovers are now also commonly associated with St. Patrick’s Day, but the original connection was between St. Patrick and three-leaf clovers. Legend has it that he would use the three leaves of the plant as a teaching device to explain the holy trinity to others.

See the source image
Image from www.deercreekseed.com – yes you can buy four leaf clover seed

Scarecrows

Be sure that you’re treating your scarecrow right!!! — apparently if you don’t show them respect, your crops will die! Scarecrows must be given hats to keep them cool in the sun, and once you have given clothing to a scarecrow a human can never wear it again or it will bring bad luck.

Different types of scarecrows have been used by various cultures all over the world, but in Europe they originated in ancient Greece from the myth of Priapus. Priapus was the son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, but he was so ugly that everyone avoided him and even birds would not come near him. This gave ancient Greek gardeners the idea of building figures that looked like Priapus and placing them in the garden to keep birds away.

See the source image
Ok I’m scared – like really scared ! Halloween props available from Amazon.com

Knock on Wood

Touching or knocking on wood for luck is a superstition that exists all around the world. It is so common that many of us do it regularly without thinking about where this practice came from.

Many think that it is tapping on a cross around your neck that is made of wood.

The origin is not known for sure, but one likely explanation is that knocking on the trunks of trees was thought to wake up kind fairies living inside and let them know that you were requesting help. The fairies would then grant you luck.

We wouldn’t have thought that fairies would like being woken up, but apparently they don’t mind—just don’t pick their foxgloves – or stand in Their mushroom circle – actually long and the short of it is just don’t get the fairies angry – EVER.

If in any doubt of any of the above superstitions call your Plant Specialists staff member we will help you out and if we cant we can certainly recommend a good fairy wing color !!