Category Archives: Half a Hundred Herbs

The Charm of Nine Herbs

I’ve been making a translation of the Old English Lacnunga, usually translated as The Charm of Nine Herbs. This glamorous one is mugwort ‘the first and the oldest of herbs’. The best guess of what the nine herbs are (and this is in serious dispute) is: mugwort plantain stonecrop nettle betony (possibly cockspur grass, but… Read More »

Kate Young at Celtic Connections – Umbelliferae

I got to this gig almost inadvertently when it was mentioned at the excellent event Songs of Separation last Thursday as part of Celtic Connections. My ears pricked up when someone mentioned it had something to do with herbs used in highland traditional medicine and I wasn’t too sure what we were going to get,… Read More »

Half a Hundred Herbs Week 49 – Daisy

I had to look hard for this photo. I am sure I must have taken many pictures with daisies in them, but they seem to have been at the back of the chorus, with larger more showy herbs taking the limelight. And yet every poet, from Chaucer to Alice Oswald seems to have written about… Read More »

Half a Hundred Herbs Week 48 – Clover

This is a larger photo than usual, mostly because you need a larger one to see the very small clover flowers in this patch of wasteland under some sycamores on the river bank. This is white clover, but there is also red clover, a larger and showier plant, which has the pretty alternative names of… Read More »

Half a Hundred Herbs – Week 46 Yarrow

Yarrow is a tough herb which grows in hedgerows, fields, lawns, rocky hillsides, and frankly anywhere it can get the chance. It is not remotely particular in any way, flowering almost constantly ad holding its green feathery leaves through all but the most severe weather. In the wild it is a dull off-white – not… Read More »

Half a Hundred Herbs Week 45 – Hawthorn

There is a belt of trees on the riverbank. Some of them are covered with ivy and intertwined with wild roses: At this time of year they are a magnificent sight. There are blackbirds and thrushes most of the year round, chaffinches, robins and wrens, and most of the time the magpies jackdaws and rooks… Read More »