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Found reference to an English translation on this page (above), plus an excerpt of the poem!

Then come the showers of Spring, from time to time
Watering our tiny crop, and in its turn
The gentle moon caresses the delicate leaves.
Should a dry spell rob the plants of the moisture they need,
My gardening zeal and the fear that the slender shoots
May die of thirst make me scurry to bring fresh water
In brimming buckets. With my own hands I pour it
Drop by drop, taking care not to shift the seeds
By too sudden or lavish a soaking. Sure enough,
In a little while the garden is carpeted over
With tiny young shoots. True, that part there
Below the high roof is dry and rough from the lack
Of rain and the heaven’s benison; true, this
Part here is always in shade, for the high wall’s
Solid rampart forbids the sun to enter.
Yet of all that was lately entrusted to it, the garden
Has held nothing enclosed in its sluggish soil
Without hope of growth. What is more, those plants that were moved,
More dead than alive, to the newly dug furrows are now
Green again; our garden has brought them back
To life, making them good with abundant growth.

—From Hortulus by Walahfrid Strabo. 9th century. Translated from the Latin by Raef Payne. The Hunt Botanical Library, 1966.
helwen: (jug)
Found this nifty site just now...This page is on Walahfrid Strabo's Hortulus, with a little overview on Walahfrid Strabo and his garden-poem, Hortulus. There are links for more detail on various things.

He was a 9th c. monk on an island in southern Germany. The poem lists what he considered the most useful plants (and why they're useful), including the gourd (lagenaria). I'm still looking up the history of bottle gourds but so far Strabo's my only connection for it in Europe. I haven't really spent more than a few minutes here and there, so I'm sure there's more out there. I did find out that when the bottle gourds are young and small that they're edible.

There's other gardening info at this site as well. People may find it to be of use.


Please note that the link is to Walahfrid's page, as I'm working on tracking down his text in English. Menu for the site is in a sidebar on the left.


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