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Academic & Professional Books  Botany  Plants & Botany: General

Garlands, Conkers and Mother-Die British and Irish Plant-Lore

By: Roy Vickery
226 pages, 12 b/w illus
Garlands, Conkers and Mother-Die
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  • Garlands, Conkers and Mother-Die ISBN: 9781441101952 Hardback Sep 2010 Usually dispatched within 6 days
Price: £18.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Plants have had symbolic as well as practical meanings and uses since the beginning of human civilisation. This account introduces readers to a rich variety of British and Irish plant folklore, drawing on the author's own unsurpassed archives collated over forty years, and a wide range of historical and contemporary literature.

From plants that foretold births and deaths, to herbal remedies, planting and harvesting rituals, friendship bushes and festive garlands this is a book of rich and living social history and folklore.


Chapter 1: A time for every purpose;
Chapter 2: The golden corn;
Chapter 3: Necessity - the mother of invention;
Chapter 4: Healing hedgerows;
Chapter 5: Mother-die and friendship bushes;
Chapter 6: Simple pastimes;
Chapter 7: History and legend;
Chapter 8: Notes on names;
Chapter 9: The changing scenes of life;
Chapter 10: Garlands and nosegays;

Customer Reviews


Roy Vickery worked as a botanist at the Natural History Museum, London for over 30 years, as the museum's curator of vascular plants. He has published five books on plant folklore and is a former Honorary Secretary of the Folklore Society.
By: Roy Vickery
226 pages, 12 b/w illus
Media reviews
Here is an astonishing treasure trove of plant lore gathered by Roy Vickery since the mid-1970s. It includes material from over 300 sources from all corners of Britain and Ireland. With our society's ever-increasing urbanization much of our dependence on wild plants has diminished but many customs would be a dull world without our mistletoe at Christmas, pumpkins at Halloween, red roses for Valentine's Day, and even leeks or daffodils for St David's Day. This is a fascinating compilation.

Jane Croft, Vice-President of The Botanical Society of the British Isles

Roy Vickery's book takes you into the heart of the countryside and the underworld of the city on a fascinating journey of botanical folklore - through life and death, past and present.

Dawn Sanders, Gardens for Learning
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