Wild flowers – folklore, food and fantasy
Ide Hill, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN14 6LD
About the event
Is Betony really a cure-all? Why is St John’s-wort so called and what is the story behind forget-me-not? What was used to preserve beer before hops, and can you really eat bulrush roots and should you stuff silverweed in your boots?
As well as delighting in the stories behind these and very many more common names we will learn which people have influenced plant folklore from the Ancient Greek philosophers and their writings, to the herbalists Gerard and Culpepper and of course the simple country folk up and down the country with their vast amount of plant knowledge built up and passed on by word of mouth over the centuries.
We will find some plants which were used to treat various ailments, some which have been popular food and delicacies, and how some have become associated with magic and superstition.
The day will comprise a morning of illustrated talks covering a brief history of herbalism and folklore, an introduction to plant chemistry, and finally a look at some of the plants mentioned. After lunch we will then enjoy a practical session trying our hand at some of the old skills, such as making nettle string, rush lights and dyeing.
We will finish the day with a short walk to discover some of the wildflowers in the rich grasslands and hedgerows of Bough Beech.
Led by Lynne and Peter Flower, Naturalists
Suitable for beginners and improvers.