Thursday, 14 July 2011

The Final Day

The much feared and dreaded day arrived. 

As per usual I rolled into class late, mornings and me don't get on very well. Successful start to the day - almost crash into a Hort student in the corridor, crash into the locked door, then proceed to read aloud a note that has been left for Amy and myself on the floor, following this reading with a very loud "damn!" I turned around and marched up to the Nursery plots - all while the poor Hort student is behind me, crashing into me as I stop abruptly and then I can feel the "oh dear god" look as I read aloud. 

Rucksack included I marched up to the Nursery beds, to find the rest of the class presenting their beds - for the second week in a row to both Catherine and David this time, instead of Lee. We summarised, that Leigh had seen the bed's from a horticulturist point of view, while David was marking us on the herbal element of the garden, and our reasoning behind such. 

Sarah as always, due to the curse of being the first alphabetically by surname, stood first to explain her stunning garden.Calendula and wild Poppy's bloomed beautifully in abundance, while her garden had flourished in the - somewhat questionable - Scottish summer. The curse of being next in line in the alphabetical order, is I had to talk about my garden after Sarah - nightmare! I stammered and stumbled my way through explaining exactly why it looked the way it did, and why I'd done it that way - a debatable topic most of the time! Thankfully, having done the profiles for the garden the week before, I knew, if only vaguely what each plant kind of did. David was forgiving in his questioning and just wanted to prize any knowledge we had from our heads. 

Margaret followed me, with her perfectly organised garden, labelled and designed so as to include different areas of the body and botanicals that worked on such areas.
Then Ally with her garden based on old medicinal wheels - using an oval shape, she'd separated the garden into seasonal materia medica and duly pin-pointed North, South, East and West.
Christa then explained her Bees and Tea's garden - due to her love of weeds, she'd allowed the borage to have its run, creating a bright display of blue/purple flowers. And as I watered the garden, I noticed the array of half hidden saucers and cups that once filled with water provided baths and bars for the bees.
Finally Amy presented her garden for insomniac's, filled with nervines, that the last time I'd seen they'd been inches high but now flourished beautifully. Amongst her checkerboard-grass design, viola's created a carpet of purple.

The girls were pro's at presenting, each knowing exactly what to say and how to answer, after having faced Leigh's gaze the week before. Once completed and each plot water thoroughly, we trudged back down to the classroom - where, once again, the girls had completely and utterly shown me and my lack of preparation up! The back table was covered with different covers, flowers adorned each selection of work, small shelving units stood displaying the various green pharmacy concoctions, completed herbariums lay in immaculate condition next to herbal journals and pharmacopeias. I stood, shocked, mine was literally going to be a pile of printed paperwork, and a couple of green pharmacy preparations that we'd made in class!

(All photos are borrowed from Herbology 101)

The Herbologists at lunch - terrorising the cafeteria with our bursts of uncontrollable laughter.

After lunch we got back to the classroom before Catherine and David arrived, while the girls made tea, I quickly scattered my paperwork in a fan across the desk, sitting my dissertation (the only one to have been completed) in pride of place, with my green pharmacy preparations sitting behind - then, to try and make my display look slightly interesting, I scattered freshly picked Calendula flower heads across everything that wasn't moving. While the rest, as well as the wild Poppy I lay out on sheets of paper to dry. 

So we cracked open the champagne and began!

David and Catherine returned for the next bit of marking and explanation. Sarah as always was first, with her seaweed-themed creations. Her herbarium was a work of art, each seaweed carefully placed that they actually appeared to be ink drawings. 

Sarah's table top display

Margaret then followed, with her extended array of tinctures, her carefully handwritten herbal journal and pharmacopeia, and her herbarium. Followed with her homemade Seabuckthorn Gin - a potent mixture that with a lemonade mixer I could see becoming very popular! And her fantastic physic garden design, including deadly Schedule 3's fenced off in a fantasy-like idea, a garden that encompassed 'good' and 'bad'.

Margaret's table top display - and physic garden design

Christa then followed, her table covered in petals and flower heads, an vivid display of colour that covered her Nursery garden planting scheme, but that cleverly complemented the beautiful pictures she had chosen to be the covers for her herbal journal (first ever completed journal!) and her pharmacopeia. And despite a lack of patience at times, her herbarium was literally dancing off the pages!

Christa's table top display

Ally was next, with her spectacular display of embroidery, home-made herbal journal (her flatmates t-shirt had been well re-used), as well as a "how to" pharmacopeia - easily taking you through recipes, the herbologist's version of a dummies guide! Definitely a seller for sure! She had a large collection of tinctures, creams and green pharmacy preparations that she had prepared at home and used. 

Ally's table top display

Amy - even though she isn't graduating this year, took time away from her camera to show us some of the green pharmacy preparations she'd made. Including a Viola tincture where she'd managed to capture the very essence of the flower. 

Amy's Viola Sleep-Inducing Syrup

I was last to sum up the day with my paperwork and Powerpoint display, flickering through screenshots of this very blog - as it does constitute part of the homework!Then it was a case of explaining my very few green pharmacy preparations - getting put on the spot about Comfrey - and generally explaining in brief detail why I had such a pile of paperwork and no herbarium as of yet!

My table top display

And with that, came the end of our Herbology classes. Bearing in mind we still all have homework to finish and submit! So Sarah cracked open a bottle of Botanist gin, threw in some Spring Blast icecubes - slightly bitter I must add - and mixed us up with some tonic. Cheers to the end of our Herboloy Tuesdays!

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