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Friday, May 26, 2017




Saturday, 8:40 AM.  53 degrees F at the ferry dock and on the back porch.  Wind variable and calm.  The sky is mostly clear with some haze, the humidity 90%.  The barometer is mostly steady, at 29.83".  It should reach 70 degrees today, after a light shower last night.  Next week will be cooler, with chances of rain Sunday through Tuesday.
    Sweet woodruff,  Galium oderatum,  formerly Asperula oderata, in the family Rubiaceaea, is a common garden perennial,  native to much of Eurasia, and much used as a ground cover.   I find it a delightful plant, very fragrant, especially when dried.  
   Sweetwoodruff is traditionally used to make May wine, an old-world tradition.  A few sprigs of flowering sweet woodruff, picked fresh and steeped for a week or so in almost any white wine, makes a refreshing and somewhat different drink.  I think it is pretty good, but Joan doesn't care for it.  The plant has interesting whorled leaves and umbels of minute white flowers. It has another common name, sweet bedstraw, denoting its use  in Medieval times.
     Sweet Woodruff  spreads from rhizomes as well as seeds, and I find it grows particularly well under and around pine trees where not much else will grow because of  acid soil, shade and root competition. 

A poet,true to God and Art, not dead,
In his life-space not read
But when generations gone full read,
Is like sweet woodruff,
In whose leaves men find small perfume
Until they be dead.  

                                     Anonymous and  Ancient

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