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Thursday, March 7, 2013
Every year, as soon as March starts creeping up on me, I start thinking of St. Patrick's Day and looking for a new shamrock plant to add to my garden. Were you aware that shamrocks not only grow in green but purple as well? One might think they don't grow well here in California, but mine do. Perhaps it's the fairies that tend them, perhaps it's my "luck of the Irish," but they last season after season and I adore them.
Shamrock comes from the Irish word “seamrog”, meaning “summer plant”. Even prior to St. Patrick, the Druids considered the impressive vitality of the shamrock to be a sign of sacredness. In this way, the shamrock came to represent life itself.
Irish legends about the shamrock include a variety of mystic powers. The leaves of the shamrock are said to stand on end to warn of an approaching storm. The shamrock is claimed to be a remedy against the sting of scorpions and the bite of snakes. A common saying associated with the shamrock and the clover family is “to be in clover” or to live a carefree life of ease and prosperity.
Shamrocks are also often associated with leprechauns, a generally harmless type of fairy said to live in seclusion and protect pots of gold. However, if a human should attempt to capture a leprechaun to learn the whereabouts of his gold, the leprechaun may turn mischievous or practice hypnotism or trickery to evade or confuse his pursuer. The shamrock can undo the malevolent magic of a leprechaun. It's best to keep this dainty plant on hand.
Let's all put on our dancing shoes and wear our shamrocks purple and green, and toast our friends both here and there and everywhere between!
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