Category: Half a Hundred Herbs

Website of poet Elizabeth Rimmer

The Charm of Nine Herbs – (1) Mugwort

I was hoping the Old English Lacnunga would translate into a good poem for Haggards, but it really doesn’t. I might write my own Charm of Nine Herbs at some point, but while I was working at the original, I have done some research that might be interesting. The link I’ve given is to a…
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November 7, 2016 2

Penn State Garden

In my research for my version of the Old English Charm of Nine Herbs, I came across this site. It’s full of well-researched and fascinating information, which I’m sure will be of value to anyone who followed the Half a Hundred Herbs project. Penn State Medieval Garden Give it a glance – you’ll love it!


November 2, 2016 0

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…
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September 12, 2016 2

April Already

I have been slack this year, and the garden is only just beginning to get the attention it needs, but the chives are growing lush and strong. The knot garden is looking a bit battered – I lost four santolinas, which is a thing I never remember happening before, and I’ve already replaced two rosemary…
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April 20, 2016 0

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,…
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February 2, 2016 3

Haggard Herbs

I think this is lesser skullcap, which I found growing wild on a grass verge near the local cinema. It’s on a narrow strip of land above a steep bank down to the river, too narrow for anyone to build on, and I’ve found plants there I’ve never seen anywhere else. In parts of Ireland,…
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January 8, 2016 0

Half a Hundred Herbs Week 50 – Myrtle

This is myrtus communis, the sweet myrtle. When it matures it should have deliriously pretty white flowers, but this plant may take a year or two more before it gets to that point. It isn’t reliably hardy in Scotland, so it lives in the greenhouse in the winter, and will have to stay in a…
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November 25, 2015 0

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…
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November 19, 2015 0

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…
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November 5, 2015 0

Half a Hundred Herbs Week 47 – Tansy

This brassy leggy plant is nothing more nor less than a weed. It is tough as old boots, can read about five feet high if it really wants to, and spreads without mercy. Fortunately it doesn’t seem to set seed, but the roots are just about invincible. In spring it is a bright green, healthily…
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October 27, 2015 0