Wildflowers

Wildflowers (7)

Written by forestelf

The wild flowers which decorate the British landscape offer a myriad splendours for the countryside walker to take delight in. As beautiful and vibrant as cut precious gemstones, these treasures lighten the spirit, not the pocket. Enticing wonder from the most world-weary of eyes, their magnificent, yet delicate, colours offer displays too transient to be spoiled by boredom or over familiarity.

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Our ancestors held a deep fascination and respect for the wild flowers and herbs which decorated their world. Not only did they bring beauty to the countryside about them, they also provided flavour for their meals and medicines for their bodies. Indeed, people were so in awe of the properties of some of these plants that they imbued them with supernatural attributes, believing them to be manifestations from the Faery Realm or that they held links with saints or devils.

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This enchantment of wildflowers and herbs gave plants a degree of respect that now seems lost in the 21st Century. Indeed, many wild flowers are more commonly termed 'weeds' today. How very sad and disrespectful to these charming little creations is that! Let us return our respect to these precious gifts of nature. They are certainly deserving of all the time and thought we can offer them.

Sunday, 18 July 2010 09:28

Bluebells

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The flowering of a Bluebell wood is one of Britain's greatest natural displays. There really is something bewitching about the way a Bluebell wood comes to life after its winter slumber each year. This magical quality was not lost on our ancestors who believed numerous superstitions and folklore concerning Bluebell woods.

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Such was the beauty of an ancient woodland decorated with a sweeping carpet of Bluebells, that it was considered by many to be of unearthly origin. Bluebell woods were considered very dangerous places by folklore. Faeries were said to live in these places and to walk into a Bluebell wood was to risk being whisked away into their Nether World!

Thursday, 12 August 2010 10:12

Deadly Nightshade

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More popularly known by the darkly evocative name Deadly Nightshade, Atropa belladonna has also been called Devil's Herb, Sorcerer's Berry andĀ  Witch's Berry. These various nameĀ  detail the plant's long association with pagan magic.

Sunday, 18 July 2010 08:56

Harebells

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Harebells, Mumbles Hill

During one of my regular walks on the Gower Peninsula, I was delighted to stumble across a patch of dainty Harebells (Campanula rotundifolia) in full bloom. These delicate flowers, which are amongst the most gorgeous wildflowers you can hope to discover along the whole of Gower Peninsula, are as rich in folklore are they are in beauty:

Sunday, 18 July 2010 19:34

Heather

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Intoxicated by its heady scent and dizzied by its vibrant colours, Faery passions are said to be roused wherever large carpets of Heather are found in a landscape. According to ancient lore, such spots mark the location of magical portels, bridging the eveyday world of people with the Faery realm.

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A Rare Patch of White Heather, Rhossili Down, Gower

Sunday, 18 July 2010 19:18

Poppies

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Poppies (Papaver rhoeas) are one of Britian's most vibrant and beautiful wild flowers. Given their delicate splendour, is is no surprise to find the flowers are rich in folklore and symbolism.

Sunday, 18 July 2010 09:32

St. John's Wort

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St. John's Wort, Mumbles Hill

St. John's Wort is most commonly known today for being a herbal remedy for depression. But the plant's medicinal, and believed magickal properties, have been used throughout history as a prescription to improve a wide variety of physical, mental and spiritual conditions.

Sunday, 18 July 2010 19:40

Wild Thyme

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A Beautiful Bundle of Wild Thyme (Thymus serpyllum) - Bovehill Tor, Gower

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