La Primavera! The Power of Three.

Posted – Friday 17th March 2017.  To serve as an update on my sweet – and purely innocent – Belladonna Babe.

'Atropa Belladonna' and 'The Go-Between' by L P Hartley.

‘Atropa Belladonna’ brooch made by felt artist extraordinaire – Inna Danchenko from Ukraine.  Bespoke made item available from her Etsy shop – InnaFeltArt.

I’m feeling excited as we race forward to the Spring Equinox; with longer, warmer days ahead and the promise of late-night walks in the dimsy.  I’m sniffing wafts of warm, heady scented summer breezes and I’m feeling intoxicated already – for three reasons!

Beginning to grow - Spring 2016.

Beginning to grow – Spring 2016.

My Belladonna Babe has survived her Winter sleep and now she is pushing forth also – growing noticeably bigger everyday that passes. She is so beautiful and green – and lush – and will soon need replanting especially as she has sprouted two small ‘off-shoots’ – or sisters as I like to think of them.  Together they have just about outgrown the confines of their small clay pot.  Daily, I will them to grow more strong – more powerful.  “Grow, grow, grow…”  I whisper sweetly to them.

The tallest and strongest sister is growing well-away – but her diminutive siblings have catching up to do – and need their own independent space to thrive.  I feel now is the time to separate them and to further encourage them – I have given then individual names.

For inspiration – I turned to an ancestral photograph that hangs on my parlour wall. The canvas is positioned high up over some french-doors – and because this is a Victorian house with high ceilings – the three sisters benevolently smile down at me from their elevated position up in ‘the gods’ – where spiders weave their clinging webs about them.

The Three Graces - Jane, Mary and Margaret of Tavistock.

‘The Three Graces’ from left to right – Jane, Mary and Margaret.

The Sisters have such kind, familiar faces – I feel like I have known them all my life; this side and next – and back through the mysterious tunnel of time from whence I came. Collectively I call them ‘The Three Graces’ – individually they are from left to right – Jane, Mary and Margaret – and they were all born in the ancient stannary town of Tavistock in West Devon – on the edge of Dartmoor.

All born in the 1800’s – they are my ancestor’s through my late father’s side.

It was only on a recent trip to my birth-land – following my father’s death in January – that I rediscovered their beautiful faces. I can’t thank my inspiring cousin adequately enough in three ‘simple’ words for having shared them with me but here they are – “THANK YOU SHARON!”

For me – the three sisters represent my faith and belief in the unseen – therein connection with my deceased father and so on and so forth… 

I adore everything about the composition of the photograph – the angle of light – the dry-stone wall overgrown with ivy – and I especially admire their long, black garments.  Their embroidered waistcoats, pin-tucked blouses and their hair so elegantly pinned atop their smiling heads.  I feel like they have come home – or is that me!  It’s only a cheap, modern canvas picture but it works like a mirror.

You may well ask why I should wish to name three potentially lethal plants after three such benevolent beings?

The Power of Three. Atropa Belladonna x 3. Spring 2017.

‘The Power of Three’.  Atropa Belladonna x 3.  Spring 2017.

Well, It is my argument – for example – that a length of string or a knife have the potential to do harm also, but for most people they are simply useful tools that we handle throughout our daily lives.  

Even when choosing a nice new shiny car – people are drawn by the aesthetics and performance – yet they are buying something that has the capacity for destruction also.  No one bats an eyelid at the availability and procurement of these three things.  Although I concede – that Deadly Nightshade can’t be compared to mere objects because it is a living, breathing entity – its potential for use or misuse are no different.  From the time of the Romans – Belladonna was used to open eyes and enable clear vision.  Although it is rarely used for this purpose today – metaphorically it still dose the trick in my eyes!

Atropa belladonna is a magical, all-seeing plant; she is good at listening and keeping secrets too.

Nowadays – her medicine, Atropine – is good for an ailing heart – so what better endorsement can there ever be for it’s broader cultivation than that.  

Warning: Atropine - good medicine for an ailing heart - but not for garnishing a salad!

Warning: Atropine – good medicine for an ailing heart – but not for garnishing a salad!

For my purposes – its cultivation is purely for its inherent, natural beauty; it is as innocent and as beneficial – and as powerful as that!  Mary and Margaret are my chosen names for my tiny specimens – but the tallest and strongest – has to be Jane.  

P.S.  I have notified my grown-up sons that while their three infant sisters are residing in their small clay pot on my kitchen window sill – it is not to be mistaken for Basil or the like…

Sweet BELLADONNA - NOT sweet Basil.

Sweet BELLADONNA – NOT Sweet Basil.

Bravo Sweet Belladonna! May you grow more lovely with each and every day that follows. Keep you posted . . .


Tuesday night 9th May 2017 – growing ever stronger…Deadly Nightshade - Atropa belladonna Tues 9th May 2017 Something about DartmoorDeadly Nightshade - Atropa belladonna Tues 9th May 2017 Something about DartmoorDeadly Nightshade - Atropa belladonna Tues 9th. May 2017 Something about Dartmoor


Growing ever stronger and lustier - Saturday - 5th August 2017. (Year 2)

No plain Jane! Growing ever stronger and lustier – Saturday – 5th August 2017. (Year 2)

I love the reddish tinge and hairiness of its succulent leaves.

I love her reddish tinge and hairiness.

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