Friday, 8 June 2012

Queen Anne's Lace - you find it growing all over the place ....

    Nothing made me feel more comfortable - when I was just a faery-sprig, knee high to a grasshopper - than to listen to the stories in the 'Little Grey Rabbit' books by that great country writer Alison Uttley.  The pictures by Margaret Tempest still fill my mind with enchantments.

Cover Illustration  by Margaret Tempest from the book  'Little Grey Rabbit Makes Lace' by Alison Uttley.
First published: Collins 1950

    Grey Rabbit learned to make lace inspired by the cobwebs in the dew and the early summer flowers that frothed in the English hedgerows. Like it's name-sake - Queen Anne herself - she became a skilled lace maker. The lanes around Muddypond's wood are awash with the fragile-seeming flowers of Queen Anne's lace - Anthriscus sylvestris .......

 Confusingly - there's another plant  with the same folk-name, particularly in the USA, which is a wild carrot - Daucus Carota - it is common here too, but this has a lower, squatter flower which is fully out just as the fizzy-white lace flowers are dying back.

  True Queen Anne's Lace is a flower of faery-enchantment and we can make our way down the lanes weaving amongst the scented stems, or hiding from the world with white blooms like clouds high above our heads.

'Fairy Lace'  by D.E.Burton
(Unknown book print from my collection)

Queen Anne's Lace
From 'Little Grey Rabbit Makes Lace' - Alison Uttley

Queen Anne, Queen Anne,
She sat in the sun,
Making of lace till the day was done.
She made it green, she made it white,
She made it of flowers and sunshine and light,
She fastened it on a stalk so fine,
She left it in the hedgerow to shine.
Queen Anne’s lace,  Queen Anne’s lace,
You find it growing all over the place.

Illustration by Dorothy Lathrop from 'Down-a-derry' by Walter de la Mere
pub:Constable 1922

Illustration - 'Uninvited Guest' by Florence Mary Anderson c1930
(Unknown book print in my collection)

This beautiful 'Cow Parsley'  fabric is from Vanessa Arbuthnott and come in several colours

The pottery of Margaret Brampton - a pretty reliquary for favourite enchantments.
See Margaret's Blog here      Margaret's pottery my be found for sale at The Imagination Gallery

1 comment:

catkin tales said...

nothing more magical than queen anne's lace and little grey bunnies :3