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What is your preferred plant or flower?

  • I use plants as metaphorical references. We wont be eating them.

  • We will be growing them, pressing the ones that come into flower, and using them in artworks.

  • We can also collect flowers and plants growing in the area, or from home.

  • Do you have local plant folklore? As we move through the workshops, you are welcome to bring to each workshop plants that have meaning for you.

Dublin Folklore - Dandelion Sandwich

  • In Dublin, a cure for tuberculosis involved eating a sandwich of bread, butter and dandelion leaves.


Dublin Folklore - Hawthorn gangs.

  • In May time customs, a Hawthorn was cut down, brought outside a house and covered in flowers, ribbons, eggshells, and bright scraps of material. In Dublin, rival groups went around trying to steal each others hawthorn bushes on this night, and fights would ensue.


Excerpts taken from Niall Mac Citiors Book: Irelands Wild Plants, Myths, Legends and Folklore; Irelands Trees, Myths, Legends and Folklore, 2015, Collins Press .


Find more Dublin folklore at, the National Folklore Collection.

You will find info here collected in the National Schools Collection from the 1930's. It was established in 1927 to collect, preserve & publish the folklore of Ireland.

“There is a strong rural bias within the Schools’ Collection, reflecting the commonly held belief at the time that urban areas no longer possessed folklore worth collecting” - Folklore Professor, Dr. Carol Barron,  ‘Snails, Water in a Stone, & Holy Wells: An Examination of Wart Cures from the Irish Schools’​


Workshops July 

  • I'll be offering workshops in how to extract colour from vegetables, berries and flowers.

  • We will use these to create inks, fabric dyes and watercolours. 

7 Herbs

Sculpture, with 7 wild flowers


On the Rag Tree / Offering Tree

Offerings were placed on May trees (hawthorn) to take away sickness, once the fabric withered so did your ailment. 
Temporary intervention in the landscape / 5 days, Mooneys field, Meath.

Fabric dyed wiht hawthorns, pine cones, blackberries, acorns and bracken ferns. 


Drawing of a Hawthorn Tree

Handmade wild cherry ink, and handmade oak gall and Hawthorn ink.

Workshops August: Anthotypes

  • Comes from the greek word 'anthos' for flower, and typos' for imprint.


  • I'll offer workshops in how to make anthotype prints and portraits. They use fresh and dried plants. 

  • These take time to make, it will be done over a number of weeks.

  • Some will involve taking a self portrait. This doesn't have to be your face. You can remain as anonymous as you wish.


If you pass under a briar rooted at both ends, on halloween eve, you can invoke the devil.

Blackberry Anthotype – Blackberry dye, watercolour paper, left to expose in the sun for two weeks, double ended briar. 


Blackberry Anthotype 'Portrait, exposed to the winter sun for 3 weeks, 2023 - 2024,

Blackberries, recycled cotton paper, St John's wort and Selfheal.

Inspiration for a small flower patch on the grounds of Eve Goirtin

''The seven herbs that nothing natural or supernatural could injure, were Self heal, Eyebright, Mallow, St Johns-wort, Vervain, Speedwell and Yarrow. They must be picked at noon, with a black handled knife, on the day of the full moon, to be at their most effective.''

Lady Speranza Wilde, 1889

Lady Speranza Wilde collected folk stories from Ireland, and published a selection in Ancient Myths, Legends and Folklore, 1887. The uses of each herb have been taken excerpted from Irelands Wild Plants, Myths Legends and Folklore by Niall Mac Ciotior, The Schools Collection at, and Medicinal Plants in Folk Tradition, Allen and Hatfield, 2004.

Area in the Garden


Can we install a small area in the garden in which to grow seven types of flowers?


Speedwell, in England, was used for tired or strained eyes. In Ireland it was an ailment for jaundice, the leaves and stems were boiled and the liquid drunk, with milk and sugar sometimes added.

Selfheal, was used in Ireland as a heart remedy, with the names cailleach’s tea and ceann de dohosaig, a sudden stroke (or poc). in Kildare and Wicklow to rid children of worms, in Londonderry and Wexford as a treatment for piles, in Meath as a cure for eczema, in Carlow as a remedy for ‘a pain in the back’ (renal colic?) and in Cavan for ‘weak blood’.

Eyebright is valued in folk medicine to remedy eye troubles, and in Irelands as a remedy for the 'fairy stroke' or the evil eye.

Mallow was prized in folk medicine as a soothing poultice for sores, cuts, bruises, ulcers, boils, skin complaints and inflammation of any kind as well as to soften and disperse swellings, including those in mumps and swollen glands.

St Jophns Wort.jpg


 - used for staunching bleeding from wounds, cuts, scratches or sores, usually by means of an ointment but sometimes by merely applying the fresh leaves as a poultice.

Vervain is not indigenous in Ireland, and it is currently on the Red List of endangered species. One other record of its use in Ireland was for allaying fever in Cavan. The healing virtues attributed to vervain is because it contains a bitter principle, verbenaline, which has an action resembling that of quinine. The plant was valued in the Isle of Man for allaying fevers and in Gloucestershire it was drunk as a strengthening tonic.

St Johns-wort is astringent and can staunch bleeding from scratches and more serious wounds. St John’s-wort has mild antidepressant action. It was used in the Highlands, allegedly used by St Columba, applied as a pad under the armpit or in the groin, to restore the sanity of a young shepherd after long hours alone on the hillsides.

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