Boody Garden, Shed and Nettles

30 May

I have re-planted our Boody Garden for the summer with Marguerites and Lobelia, partly to match the blue and white china that is in there. In the dialect of 19th century Northumberland, ‘boody’ referred to broken china. I discovered this at Tate Britain couple of years ago when we went to the  exhibition of folk art. Now I have a name for my little garden where my favourite broken pottery is saved. There is a beautiful old plate, part of a coffee cup which was the last of a set given to my Mum on her retirement from teaching deaf children at Roskear School in Camborne, a piece of terracotta from a much loved and used bread crock and handles from a beautiful piece of Jane Hamlyn pottery and I just love it, my ‘boody’ garden!Boody garden

Every time I go to the garden shed I mean to take a photo of this beautiful door plate which was recovered from a house we lived in as children. It pleases me every time I open the shed door!

Antique painted finger plate

Antique painted finger plate

This afternoon, while clearing some of the weeds from the front garden I was stung by nettles and it reminded me of a Vernon Scannell poem. Just imagine his rage that his three year old has been hurt so much and picture him slashing and burning – and then thinking about the hurts that his child will feel as he grows up but there will be nothing that the poet will be able to do to help……….

My son aged three fell in the nettle bed.
‘Bed’ seemed a curious name for those green spears,
That regiment of spite behind the shed:
It was no place for rest. With sobs and tears
The boy came seeking comfort and I saw
White blisters beaded on his tender skin.
We soothed him till his pain was not so raw.
At last he offered us a watery grin,
And then I took my billhook, honed the blade
And went outside and slashed in fury with it
Till not a nettle in that fierce parade
Stood upright any more. And then I lit
A funeral pyre to burn the fallen dead,
But in two weeks the busy sun and rain
Had called up tall recruits behind the shed:
My son would often feel sharp wounds again.

by Vernon Scannell



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4 responses to “Boody Garden, Shed and Nettles

  1. Mama Cormier

    June 12, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    I had my first experience with stinging nettles last week. I saw a plant pop up in our raised garden bed. I wasn’t sure what it was so I let it grow for a few days. Eventually I decided that it was a weed and I pulled it with my bare hands. Ouch! I’ve never experienced such a burn from a plant in my life. Luckily after washing my hands the burn only lasted for about an hour. I won’t make that mistake again.

  2. jpeggytaylor

    May 31, 2016 at 8:16 am

    A beautiful boody garden! I never knew about boody – thank you for teaching me. Scannell’s poem resonates with me too this week, as I have also been tackling the weeding task!

    • mybeautfulthings

      May 31, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      Isn’t it a lovely word and a lovely way to keep old china and remember occasions. Hope your nettlings haven’t caused you too much bother. 🙂

  3. ladysighs

    May 30, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    What a lovely way to keep broken dishes etc. Somewhere my broken dishes are beautifying a DUMP! 🙁


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