The Storybook of Plants – the Gardeners Library

Telephus, son of Hercules, was destined to die at the gates of Thebes but was also destined to rule foreign lands and fight his fellow Greeks before reaching Troy. He became the King of Mysia and when the Archaeans happened upon the city en route to the Trojan Wars there was a savage battle. In it Telephus was wounded by Achilles, a titanic force on the battle field.

Telephus’s wound would not heal so he consulted an Oracle. “He who wounded shall heal” came the response leaving Telephus no option to but to seek the assistance of the man he had fought.

Pretending to be a beggar Telephus sought out Achilles and asked for help, Achilles though claim he had no medical knowledge. A lie as the centaur Chiron had shared his herbal secrets with human pupils and had taught Achilles to use a certain herb on the battle grounds to stem the flow of blood from the wounds of his soldiers. Telephus eventually convinced Achilles to heal his wound in return for showing the Achaeans the way to Troy – to heal it Odysseus had reasoned that the weapon that inflicted the wound must be used to heal it, so shards of Achilles spear were used along with the herb, and Telephus’s wound was healed.

The herb in question? Yarrow or as it is known Achillea millefolium.

Whether you garden because you like the colours and structures you create, or you are just passionate about plants, or maybe it’s simply a case of keeping the place tidy, your garden and the plants with in it are a mass of murder, mystery, suspense and tales of old – a storybook of myth and magic.

Walking around any garden is like walking through a library and behind some many plants is a story to be told. Understanding plants can be so much more than the physiology, habit, appearance and care. Understanding the origins of their names can open a completely new aspect with yarns to grip even the most reluctant of garden visitors, taking a garden and plants beyond the sensory and design aspects to food and fuel for the imagination….

Achillea millefolium 'Cassis'

 
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3 thoughts on “The Storybook of Plants – the Gardeners Library

  1. Thanks for this lore. Yarrow is an amazing plant. I let it grow wherever it lands on my property. I use the dried stalks in craft projects. An infusion of the leaves makes an excellent nerve tonic for women having trouble sleeping, too.

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