Saturday, 24 September 2011

September Miscellany - Of Autumn Fruits and The House Of Libra

Ciclo dei Mesi - 1397


The fruits of the Japanese Quince are very hard and astringent,
inedible in their raw state.
But roughly chopped and cooked for a long time
they become soft and mushy, and
can be used for marmalades and jellies.
Japanese quinces contain more pectin than apples and true quinces and will set readily.

Hypericum androsaemum
(St John's Wort)

'Tusan' is a corruption of the French toute-saine, roughly, 'all-heal'.
Modern herbal medicine uses hypericum poultices and salves for wounds and burns.
It is also well-known among herbalists as an anti-depressant.

St John's Wort, with its bright yellow flowers in summer, which turn to
showy black or red berries in autumn, is a popular plant for a dull spot in the garden.
Most of the leaves are retained in winter.

English Lavender

It's time to prune your lavender plants.
Lavender is another of the herbs that have a wide range of uses,
in food preparation, herbal medicines and cosmetics.

There's always a bowl of lavender flowers,
enhanced with a few drops of aromatic lavender oil
standing in a warm place in my house.

"I judge that the flowers of lavender, quilted into a cap and daily worn, 
are good for all diseases of the head that come of a cold cause,
and that they comfort the brain very well, 
namely if it have any distemperature that cometh of moistness."

William Turner
Herbal 1568

The Sun enters the House of Libra

'The man born under Libra shall be right mightily praised and honoured in the service of Captains. he shall go in unknown places. He shall keep well his own, if he make not revelation in drink. He will not keep his promise. he will be married, but go from his wife. He shall be enriched by women, but experience evil fortune, though many shall ask counsel of him. He shall have seventy years after nature.'

'The woman shall be amiable and of great courage, and shall go in places unknown. She shall be debonair and merry, rejoiced by her husband. If she shall not be wedded at thirteen, she shall not be chaste. After thirty years old she shall prosper the better and have great praise. She shall live sixty years after nature.'

Kalendar of Shepheardes 1604


  1. How curious how the fruit grows right on the branches like that and not on a stem.

    My sister has St. John's Wort in her herb garden. really showy flowers.

    and both my parents were Libras.

  2. very neat on the fruit...i would def give it a try once cooked the lavender fieldsnearby...def powerful in their scent...

  3. Well, this is good to know, 'cause my distemperate, moist brain could use some comfort.

    Those unmarried Libra gals, gotta watch out for them....

  4. An interesting post, Friko. With my sixty-ninth birthday just weeks away, however, I'm a bit concerned about a man of Libra — that would be me — living for only seventy years. Oh well . . . I can at least be content in the fact that I've had a great time for the first sixty-nine.

  5. Lovely almanack you are building, Friko!

    Warm Aloha from Waikiki;

    Comfort Spiral

    > < } } ( ° >


  6. Interesting post.

    Watch out for me, I am a Libra widow. LOL

    I enjoyed this post.

  7. Quinces look fascinating, growing right off the stem of the plant, Friko, and the St. Johns Wort is beautiful, but I'd love to grow lavender. Our climate is too fierce, however. Too hot in summer, too cold in winter.
    It was 34C here today, and has "cooled" to 31. That's still almost 88 Fahrenheit. I don't think I'll be able to walk the dog before sunset because I wither in the heat, and so does she.
    I agree with Cloudia: your monthly posts will make a beautiful and interesting almanac.

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  8. Lavender is my favourite. I have some that is drying right now. I also spray some on my pillow at night. A prefect scent.

  9. I seem to get on very well with Libras, although their perpetual problem with decision making flummoxes me.

  10. I'm going off right this minute to stuff a pompom hat with lavender to safeguard my head this winter .

  11. The Quinces are beautiful!!! I have never seen them! Very cool indeed!
    And the lavender is amazing...I could almost smell it here!!

  12. Just to say thanks for all your good wishes for Annie & co. It has lifted their spirits no end knowing so many lovely folk are thinking of them. Here's hoping next week looks much much better than last! x Jo

  13. Trying to accept that fall is on its way, because everything here is heavy green, soppy wet and overgrown!

  14. friko i love the autumn. quinces. i was trying to remember quince jam and then a ha! yes i was in new england with my family and we bought a small jar of quince jam. do you think i can remember the taste? nope! i'm intrigued to find some now. steven

  15. Friko, The first picture in the post has such beautiful, rich, harmonious colors and interesting depictions of various folks activities. It's fascinating to look at. Thank you for choosing it as the lead off to Libra time.

    I also just love lavender, and try to always have it in the apartment. (English and French varieties.)

    Hoping that you and Beloved are feeling better, and that Benno has been behaving himself.


  16. Hi Friko .. love your take on September and miscellany of autumn - the history is so interesting .. good quotes, wonderful pictures .. nature for my mother must have started at 30!

    I too hope that you're feeling better, the fridge/freezer has been sorted and that you and your hubby will have an easy time .. thinking of you .. Hilary

  17. A most informative post as always accompanied by lovely pictures.
    Hope that you and your beloved are both on the mend - I would have loved to have been one of your good Samaritans if I was closer.

  18. Three very interesting plants - all of which I've heard but none that I've actually seen before.

  19. I like the pink or red flowers of Japanese quince but didn’t know it bore fruits. I checked it on the Internet and learned it was nutritious and good for cold prevention. I’d like to make marmalade when I get the fruits. Hypericum androsaemum is new to me. I love lavender and have some in my garden. After pruning I make dried lavender. I imagine your house filled with the aroma of lavender – how nice! Thank you for this informative post with fabulous photography, Friko.

  20. Beautiful photos. I didn't know anything about quince. Thanks for the information.


  21. Dear Friko, You have such a light touch with information that is like an almanac enhanced with stunning photography.

    I wonder if, besides being a poet, you are a visual artist, perhaps a designer. You have an astute eye for beauty--visual and verbal.

    Thank you for this post.

    I hope you are feeling better now after your trip to the hospital.


  22. I like these posts, Friko. There's something of the life-goes-on about them, and always something new for me to read.
    We grow St John's Wort here, mostly because it will survive the drought and slowly choke out the weeds along the drive.

  23. I appears these Librans are a scurrilous sort. Not to be trusted with wine or women but all around good company. My kind of folks. But of course, being a Gemini, I wouldn't know about these things, being rock steady and all.

  24. I love lavender. It grows beautifully here in the PNW. This is a very interesting post. I love reading the medicinal aspects of the plants you mention--and the horoscope--well, I'm thinkin' about that one (since The Architect and I are both Librans) ;) :)

  25. I think a Japanese quince marmalade would make a lovely gift. I love giving food baskets as gifts, especially at this time of year.

  26. My daughter was born in the House of Libra and most of the edescription fits her. She turned 50 on Friday, and I pray she lives to a great age. I suppose 60 was a great age in the fourteenth century. Dianne

    PS Love the photos. I love Quince jelly althoughit is more difficult to find these days around here.

  27. Yet a second glorious September post, giving us the very best this month has to offer.

  28. There is a huge bank of St John's Wort growing across the street from our house; It's really quite striking. And there is a lavender farm in the neighborhood as well, which I love.
    I've been waiting to read about Libra, and I think this is a pretty good description although I see I'm living on borrowed time!

  29. This was very enjoyable. I love herbs and am able to grow a very few in pots as we are covered in shade. I do however, dabble in numerous essential oils. I love them.

  30. You make me want to be a gardener and a photographer and a poet.

  31. Thanks for the picture of the St John's Wort - I've got some in the garden and didn't know what it was. It's so beautiful.

  32. A bowl of lavender in your home, so lovely. Now I'm going to ask you to invite me inside from the garden; it's getting chilly out.

    Beautiful photos and herbal information. I am sad that we've lost touch with much of the lore and usage of these natural remedies.

  33. Beautiful autumnal pictures. We have chaenomeles but they only rarely set fruit.


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