Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Morning in Mary’s Garden – March 10, 2014

Blessed virgin MaryToday in Mary’s Garden we are going to take a closer look at a Crocus. The Marian name for the crocus is Penitents Rose.  The Latin name is Crocus Sativus.

 The history involved with this flower is quite interesting and also it is interesting how useful a small plant like this can be. The Crocus was a very prized possession in ancient times and very valuable.  These flowers back then were planted not because of their beauty but rather because of their Saffron.  Saffron is a thread like substance that when dried can be used as dye, perfume, medicine, and as a spice. Have you ever had a back ache? Well if you had, then you could have simply used Saffron from a crocus to get rid of the ache in your back. Saffron was also used for curing spitting up blood, dry skin and lots and lots of other uses such as curing paralysis, but oddly enough it is thought to only work on paralysis on the right side of the body.

The Crocus cannot even wait for the snow to melt off the ground before it pushes up its gay blossoms just like the snowdrop. The Crocus does not have a bulb yet it has a Corm. A corm is a solid thick underground stem and is not in layers. The root comes off the lower side of the corm. The corm of the crocus is well wrapped in five, white coats with papery tips. When the plant begins to grow the leaves push their way thought the coats. The leaves are grass like and may be in the number from two to eight depending on the variety.

The Crocus is a very low maintenance plant and multiplies readily. You have to plant them outside 6 – 8 weeks before hard frost, usually in between September and November depending on where you live. To prepare the soil loosen it up until you have a depth of in between 12-15 inches. Next mix in a 2-4 inch layer of compost. Set corms in 4 inches deep the pointy end facing up. Space 3-4 inches apart plant in groups of 12 or more for best effect water thoroughly after planting. 

I found this legend of Saint Valentine very interesting and wanted to share it with you.
Saint Valentine -- St. Valentine and St. Ambrose both patron saints of beekeepers.  :)According to legend, the crocus is connected to Valentine's Day. Valentine was a 3rd century Roman physician who administered natural remedies. He was also a practicing Catholic priest and prayed for his patients' healing. Unfortunately, Christian practices were not permitted under the reign of Claudius II, and Valentine was arrested and sentenced to death. 

The jailor's blind daughter was one of Valentine's patients. Just before his execution, Valentine handed the jailor a note for the blind girl. In the note, he had wrapped a yellow crocus, the source of one of his healing herbs, saffron. As the jailor's blind daughter opened the note, her sight was restored and the first flower she saw was the yellow crocus which rivals the sun in its brightness. On the note, the physician had penned the following message: 
~From your Valentine.~ It was the physician's last message and the world's first valentine. The day was February 14, 270 AD. 

written by ~ Maria von Hatten 
Sweet fawn with birds and flowers .... illustration

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