Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hi guys! Ok, I made a mistake last time: the Loyola library does not have the article I wanted on rosemary, so whatever information that has for us won’t be appearing here YET. However, I did find somewhat of the answer that I was looking for, which was a more recent source that said rosemary came to England via Queen Philippa. I happened upon it when searching for this picture of rosemary to show you-[1]

The blog for the Cloisters medieval garden at the Metropolitan Museum says that “rosemary is not known to have grown in England before Queen Phillipa received the cuttings her mother sent along with the little book.”[2] The treatise on rosemary, sent to the queen, and translated by Friar Henry Daniel is the basis for this statement (that’s another gardener-author whose texts I’d love to get). Now, John Harvey does identify Henry the Poet (the subject of one of my former posts) as the gardener “extensively quoted by Friar Henry Daniel (c. 1320) as to the virtues of certain herbs.”[3] This connection is noted in the Cloisters blog and helped me realize that’s why rosemary does not appear in Huntingdon’s herbal-it was, as Friar Daniel said in the notes to his translation, introduced to England in 1338.

Our own Heraldic Garden at Loyola currently has no rosemary, but we ARE planning to expand and make some changes to it, and I will request that we include this fascinating plant.

[1]The Cloisters Museums and Gardens, ‘The Virtues of Rosemary’ The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (accessed February 19, 2013).
[2] Ibid.
[3] John H. Harvey, “The Square Garden of Henry the Poet.” Garden History, Vol. 15, (1987): 1-11.

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