Saturday, 29 December 2007

Gorse - good news it's in Flower

Gorse bushes can produce one or two flowers at any time of the year; hence the common saying, ‘When the gorse is not in bloom, then kissing's not in fashion’. Occasionally it is included among the flowers regarded as unlucky and not to be taken indoors, lest it bring death into the house. On the other hand, in 19th-century Cornwall it was customary to tie a sprig of gorse to the door of the house early on May Day morning, and whoever did so would get a plate of bread and cream and a drink of skimmed milk for breakfast.

Gorse is also known as Furse or Furze, and in the Cornish folk song "Black and Gold" written by Will Colman the first verse has the line "Kissing's out of fashion when the furse is out of bloom"

This patch of Gorse can be found in bloom along Upper Road on the way to Dover, so there's hope for all those contemplating a new year kiss!

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