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From: "Kristina Patmore" Re: peace garden

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  • icculus2000@yahoo.com
    Hi Kris, I m Steve. I typed Welsh - cultural significance of plants - Wales Into Google.com and got the following exerpt. The most popular New Year s custom
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 22, 2005
      Hi Kris,
                 I'm Steve.  I typed
      Welsh - cultural significance of plants - Wales
      Into Google.com and got the following exerpt. 
      "The most popular New Year's custom was one that was carried out in all parts of Wales : the Calennig (small gift). Very early on the morning of January 1st, groups of young boys would visit all the houses in the village carrying an evergreen twig and a cup of cold water drawn from the local well. The boys would then use the twigs to sprinkle the faces of everyone they met. In return, they would receive the Calennig, usually in the form of copper coins. Even the doorways of some houses (when the occupants were still asleep or away) were sprinkled, and all the while a short verse was sung or chanted that celebrated the letting in of the New Year. The custom continued from dawn until noon , (after which it was considered very unlucky indeed), and in certain areas the boy carried apples or oranges into which sprigs of holly or corn were inserted. These offerings later became very fancy, with raisins, hazel nuts, or colored ribbons all helping to decorate the fruit. The custom, in various forms, survived in some areas well after World War II, at least the chanting of a verse or two in exchange for small coins.
      Twelfth Night (the evening of Jan. 5th)
      Twelfth Night was celebrated as the end of Christmastide. The decorations, including holly and mistletoe, were taken down, the burned out Yule Log was removed from the fireplace, and its ashes stored temporarily. These were then buried along with the seeds planted in the ensuing spring to ensure a good harvest."
      Also, check out  Lake Vyrnwy.   It's a nature preserve in the Berwyn Mountains - it has the largest tract of heather moorland in Wales, apparently.. Heather is another good one.
      Mead (honey wine) is an underlying theme in many european countries.  Following that, a few plants for bees to harvest from and pollinate would fit right in.
      As far as signature plants go, Oaks remind me of Bill Mollison's general model; palm trees are pretty characteristic, as well.. Is that what you meant?
      Hope everything goes well.
      Kris wrote:
      For my part, if anyone can suggest plants which have significance in
      Wales in terms of their meanings etc I would love to know.
      Also, I'm working on a bed called 'Signatures & Sympathies',  where signature
      plants are concerned and would love to hear suggestions.

      Obviously, we need a way of farming that attaches people to the land much more intimately, carefully, and democratically than the industrial system has been able to do, and we can neither establish good farming nor preserve it without successful communities.

      ~Wendell Berry (from the essay "Does Community Have a Value" - 1986)

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