I have a foundness for old fashioned plant names. Names that are seldom heard in today’s nurseries, foresaken for marketing friendly substitutions. So, when I came across this wonderful old rhyme while searching for inspiration this morning, I was instantly smitten by it’s word and meaning. In word, de la Mare describes what I can only imagine is a beautiful garden, busy with life. In meaning, he captures the true spirit of any gardener, in the joy the old widow finds in her garden of “weeds”!
A poor old Widow in her weeds
Sowed her garden with wild-flower seeds;
Not too shallow, and not too deep,
And down came April — drip — drip — drip.
Up shone May, like gold, and soon
Green as an arbour grew leafy June.
And now all summer she sits and sews
Where willow herb, comfrey, bugloss blows,
Teasle and pansy, meadowsweet,
Campion, toadflax, and rough hawksbit;
Brown bee orchis, and Peals of Bells;
Clover, burnet, and thyme she smells;
Like Oberon’s meadows her garden is
Drowsy from dawn to dusk with bees.
Weeps she never, but sometimes sighs,
And peeps at her garden with bright brown eyes;
And all she has is all she needs —
A poor Old Widow in her weeds.
~ Walter de la Mare
Are you able to identify all the plants in this poem? You might find many close by under a much different name. Which do you grow enjoy in your garden?
Enjoy your “weeds” my firends!