Monday, April 11, 2016

Joan's Garden is replanted

A couple of years ago we introduced a small herb garden outside the Museum.  It is called Joan's Garden (visitors can experience Joan's cottage inside the Museum).  The plants were looking a little tired after the terrible winter weather so we decided to replant them and introduce some new ones.  Each plant has a label which explains its significance to witchcraft or its folklore (information derived from Mike Howard's Witche's Herbal

Above: the main herb garden (or wheel) which includes a variety of plants, each with a slate text explanation.  This year we have lemonbalm: there is a legend that if one drinks this every day in water then one can live to a hundred.  Another plant is fennel with the saying "Sow fennel, sow trouble".  We also have rosemary which is said to help prevent baldness if used to comb the hair.  The beautiful flowering plant yarrow is still outside, it has been there for a couple of years and is thriving.  It comes with the sign: "Hang yarrow above your baby's cot to prevent it being taken by the fairies."  We have sown dill which it is said could keep a witch in their house if scattered on the doorstep.  The last plant in this section is chervil.  A bath in chervil infused water was said to ensure a pain free birth.

We have also created two new plant areas to extend Joan's Garden further (pictured above).  Top picture: broom said to be used to tame wild horses and calm rabid dogs.  Bottom picture: columbine which is sacred to the Goddess Venus and used by witches in spells relating to love.  


Penny Arden said...

Oohh, any sources for the Chervil birth bath? Due next month, always up for new ideas!

Museum of Witchcraft said...

The reference is from page 48 of Michael Howard's book "The Witches' Herbal" which says, "In the later Medieval period pregnant women bathed in water containing this herb to improve their general health and increase their chances of an easy, pain free and safe childbirth." All the best with your delivery x