Plant lore is the verdant heart of Scottish folk holidays and traditions. Nature’s gift and sacrifice is found in the burning heart of Yule – the Yule log of ash or birch.
Of all the Chinese festivals, I love the Mooncake/Mid-Autumn Festival the most. Right after the scary Hungry Ghost Festival or Ghost Month, it is a lovely festival celebrating family gatherings, enjoying sweet mooncakes and admiring the full moon.
The appearance of a Turkish knight, Beelzebub, and a horse’s skull mark out a centuries old winter tradition in rural communities across Britain.
The image of the Gypsy conjures up ideas of a carefree people, who live life without rules and restrictions. In reality, being a real Romany Gypsy is not a life of lackadaisical sea-shore living. In fact, our lives are quite the opposite.
There’s something about the concept of a poison garden that either titillates or terrifies, depending on your preferences.
The UK’s most famous Poison Garden is at the Alnwick Garden. Its influence is so far-reaching that if you Google “poison garden”, it dominates the first several pages of results. So much so that I assumed the poison garden was an established concept in horticultural history. Not so, it turns out.
Yet it does descend from a historical gardening ideal – the physic garden.
You and I are going on a voyage of discovery in these gardens. Just be careful not to touch anything…