Saturday, July 10, 2010

all the meadows white

When I was little I had this little poetry book and since Queen Anne's Lace grew everywhere in the country around my house this was my favorite:

Queen Anne, Queen Anne, has washed her lace
(She chose a summer's day)
And hung it in a grassy place
To whiten, if it may.

Queen Anne, Queen Anne, has left it there,
And slept the dewy night;
Then waked, to find the sunshine fair,
And all the meadows white.

Queen Anne, Queen Anne, is dead and gone
(She died a summer's day),
But left her lace to whiten in
Each weed-entangled way!

Yesterday I was at my dad's house and just had to pull over in the driveway to pick some flowers. They are maybe my other favorite summer flower besides hydrangeas and peonies. I wish I could have a bouquet of them all together but I think Queen Anne's Lace is simple and pretty enough on it's own.

Apparently there are many different versions of how this flower got it's name. I like this one: The origin of the name is reputed to be based upon an English legend. Supposedly, when the future Queen Anne arrived from Denmark to became the queen of King James I of England, wild carrot was still a novelty in the royal gardens. The legend states that Queen Anne challenged the ladies in waiting to a contest to see who could produce a pattern of lace as fine and lovely as the flower of the wild carrot. The ladies knew that no one could rival the queen's handiwork so it became a triumph for Anne.

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