Friday, August 04, 2006

Flower List for August

I’ve been missing from my blog for a while because I spent the last month writing a Flower a Day entry for a select subscription mailing list. Then I got an invitation to go to Ireland during the month of August. By the time my trip was postponed I was so looking forward to a break from the relentless pace, that I decided to return to my blog.

But this time I’d like to do it a little differently. So far I’ve been treating the blog like an article: I find the good sources, do all the research and then distill it down into something to share with readers. I haven’t yet explored the truly personal, soul-baring aspect of blogging. Nor have I invited my readers to collaborate with me the way a good blogger should.

So I thought I would begin by letting you know the flowers for the week and hoping that you will go out and experiment with these plants and let me know what you find, either on the Web or in your garden. I will do the same and report on what I learn.

I take my plant recommendations from the French Republican Calendar
in which the months are named after their seasonal qualities (we’re in the middle of Thermidor which means Hot) and each day has a plant, animal or tool assigned to it.
The plants are usually seasonal and useful.

I also sometimes look at Flora’s Dial,
a calendar compiled by J Wesley Hanson in 1853 which assigns a flower to every day of the year. I find it annoying and arbitrary. It looks like he chose flowers at random from an alphabetical list, because so often the flowers appear in runs of similar flowers or initials, with little relationship to the season.

And sometimes when neither list really gets me excited, I find a flower associated with the saint of the day at Pip Wilson’s almanac:

Here’s a list of the plant possibilities for the next few days:
Aug 4 // Thermidor 17 Fri
Flax (lin)
Morning glory

Aug 5 // Thermidor 18 Sat
Almond (amande)
100-leaved rose
St Mary of Snows, the Egyptian water lily (Nelumbo nilotica)

Aug 6 // Thermidor 19 Sun
Gentian (gentiane)
Transfiguration, Meadow saffron (colchicum autumniae)

Aug 7 //Thermidor 20 Mon
Lock (ecluse), a tool since this is a day that ends in 0
St Cajetan, common amaranth

I'm going to look for flax, eat almonds, wander down the block to see if the autumn crocuses are up yet (they look like ghosts springing out of the dead earth but I think it may be too early for them) and write about/eat amaranth. I'll let you know about my adventures--you let me know about yours.


kerrdelune said...

Waverly, I like this so much, and there is so much food for thought here, so much happy browsing. Thank you for ALL of it.

Anonymous said...

My first knowledge of amaranth came in a health food store. There was a cereal made with amaranth. On the back of the box they talked about "Amaranth, the mystic grain of the Aztecs." Pretty attention-grabbing.

meggins (over at LiveJournal)