All About Roses

Everybody loves roses and, since the floral emblem for June is the rose, what better time to investigate the origins of the flower? Easy-peasy, I thought.  Wrong…  Information I came up with boggled my mind. I knew the genus Rosa was an old cultivar, but I didn’t realise garden cultivation began in China 5,000 years ago. Not only that, the …

May Celebrations, Festivals, and Historic Rituals

The historic festival of Beltane took place on the first day of May. Gaelic in origin, it marked the beginning of summer and, to celebrate the occasion, houses were decorated with flowers cut from Hawthorne trees. To protect people, animals and cops from evil spirits, or fairies, believed to be especially active at this time of year, eccentric rituals were …

Happy Easter to you all

April comes from a Greek word meaning ‘opening’, which is appropriate when one thinks of the flowers and trees that burst into life after lying dormant throughout the cold, dark winter months in the northern hemisphere. Meanwhile, at the southern end of the globe, autumn has arrived with some longed-for cooler weather. As an ex-pat Yorkshire woman, I recall the …

Did St Valentine’s Day Exist in the Late 13th and Early 14th Century?

During the writing of a medieval adventure trilogy, I researched festivals and customs. Oric, the main character in my books, gifted trinkets to his ladylove on various occasions, but nothing on the 14th of February. This caused me to question whether St Valentine’s Day existed in the late 13th and early 14th centuries.  My curiosity aroused; I began looking for …