Monday, March 31, 2014

31st March

A cloudy grey day, and I have just listened to the world climate report on the news, so we must adapt seems to be the answer, a bit like the insects and animals.  Not going to worry about it, Nature has her own way of sorting things.

Weaver of Grass has put a photo of Marsh Marigolds on her blog, and it reminds me of a walk I took years ago along a little valley, that the Romans had once settled there and built a temple.  Along the small stream, in years gone by you would have found old Roman coins, probably thrown in for luck as were the coins at the Bath Roman temple... Richard Jeffries says of the plant "Nails of gold driven so thickly that the true surface was not visible - countless rootlets drew up the richness of the earth like miners in the darkness throwing their yellow patches of ore broadcast about them." The words and photo below show their love of damp wet places, but its history as given by Grigson tells of a plant that likes the cold as well. I notice from my blogs that their are some at Hylands House but these are probably garden centre plants.

"Marsh Marigold- Caltha Palustris has another historic tale to tell, this time from Geoffrey Grigson. He says that this flower was growing before the Ice Age in Britain and its bright yellow flowers that arrive so early in the year must have forced itself into the consciousness of all who saw it on damp, cold grey days of early spring. In Iceland it appears when the snow is still on the ground, and its flowers surround the farmsteads on the high dry knolls separated from the boggy land below.

The Anglo-Saxons when they arrived as colonists must have welcomed this flower from their home country and they probably called it Meargealla or mersc meargealla. Mear from 'horse' and geallafrom 'swelling' or 'blister', a horse-blob or mare-blob. This is of course conjecture on the part of Grigson but is well to remember that names, and especially Saxon names, have a direct correlation between that which is seen and experienced, and apparently because the round globe flower suggest a round swelling, and the flower itself looks like a large buttercup, whose roots were used as a soothing concoction for blisters."

Nettleton Shrub


Whatever the colour of the day, spring sits like a benign spirit on the land, the blackbird is furiously sqwacking  this is the one who loves his pear cores, the blue tits have taken some of the wool, our doves have not as yet built their untidy nests, which always fall to pieces.  Everything grows, my pots of snipping lettuces colour up and the spinach grows apace. Sinking runner bean seeds into the earth is always a pleasure as well, Scarlet Emperor this year.


  1. Interesting story Thelma - thank you for enlarging my knowledge bout my favourite plant.

  2. You mentioning them bought back memories of the Nettleton Shrub valley, they are so pretty when set alongside rivers etc.