Friday, 18 February 2011

Camomile Path

I wonder if a garden path has ever been directly inspired by these lines from William Shakespeare?

"Though the camomile, the more it is trodden upon, the faster it grows;
Yet youth, the more it is wasted, the sooner it wears".

As a result, I am fascinated by camomile. There is symbolism and even Christian symbolism in the idea that something trodden on, flourishes more, in the case of Christian faith, by the grace of God and the efficacy of prayer. There is a phrase "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church" and the Cross and Resurrection follow the same paradoxical pattern. In these lines, one could easily insert, instead of "camomile", "the Christian soul" or even "truth" and get an interesting idea.

But, coming back to camomile: I cannot wait to tread on a "mat of camomile" and see whether it grows faster. So today, I laid part of a brick garden path and using "lawn camomile" I will sow camomile in the cracks and see whether the mat that grows produces a smell of apples too. A square metre of lawn camomile costs nearly 50 British pounds, so I am going for the seeds, as available in the UK at:

As a postscript, a reader of this article via Facebook, has just pointed me to a wonderful website on camomile lawns which states on its history pages that:

"The camomile lawn has a long tradition in England and Elizabethans enjoyed the sweet fragrance that filled the air".

Apparently, the poet Spencer in 1574 wrote of "breathful camomile" as he trod on a lawn of it. The Elizabethans adored scented gardens.

This is a literary "discovery" and again, cryptically, links Shakespeare to the Sidney/Spencer circle and also suggests he borrowed this idea too (how typical) and then vastly improved it.

For this website see:

For all Shakespeare's flowers see:

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