Saturday, 5 April 2008

Wood Anemones in Croft Wood

The Wood Anemone
The wood anemone was the favourite flower of my dear, sadly departed, friend Chris Johnson. Pale and fragile is only thrives in woody, shady places. Here in Croft Wood they herald the imminent arrival of the bluebells which will soon carpet the little wood. Country names for the wood anemone are wind flower and granny's nightcap. It has protective and medicinal qualities attributed to it as the lines from this old couplet suggest.

"The first spring-bloom anemone she in his doublet wove,
To keep him safe from pestilence wherever he should rove"

In the language of flowers wood anemone means brevity and expectation.

I dedicate this post to Chris who died 7th April 1996.
Several years ago, Chris gave me a copy of The Illustrated Plant Lore by Josephine Addison. Soon after I started writing about (and photographing flowers) this spring, the book which had been more or less forgotten seemed to fall off a bookshelf into my hand. I have drawn on it extensively for little couplets (as above) plus the folk lore and 'language' of flowers - in doing so the book has become a joy to read and the memory of my dear friend fondly recalled.