Botanica Fabula - Amanda Edmiston, Storyteller: 'Herbs, Movement and Grand Drama'
My Blog

Wild garden sundials and a day at the shops

It's been a busy week, Monday I was at Glasgow Fort a behemoth of an outdoor shopping centre…sounds like an odd gig for me and I could explain at length, but it comes down to 3 things:

 1. The staff are lovely, a couple of the staff are hilarious (customer remark 'you're not a disney princess, where's the Disney princess?', Me to charming but slightly terrifying looking 6ft 4" cockney possibly security gentleman whose name I should know by now 'is the Disney princess on today (with raised eyebrow/back to customer)'  Him: 'No, I'm the big bad wolf…I've eaten them all' Me: (soto voce) 'excellent, you are this morning's hero'.

Giving in to your kilty pleasures?

This is the view
if you stand in my
garden and
look in one direction

A messy upcycled
child planted collection of favorite herbs, old slates telling stories behind the plants created by my daughter, scraps of folklore and ancient myths chalked onto stones amidst native Scottish plants.

Face the other direction and the view looks like this…
(well actually this is taken from the bottom of the road, but you get the gist!)
This is what you're looking at    I
                                                   V

Aberdeen, Living Voices and meaningful Activities Networks

Rosemary’s been coming up a lot for me lately, I’ve been researching it along with some other plants for a piece I’ve been writing which combines herbal folklore, traces of lost Scottish legends, and a bit of history of medicine and health care in the highlands, which may be going out to New York for Scotland weekhttp://www.scotland.org/whats-on/scotland-week/, along with my herbalist friend Claire MacKay who was herbal consultant on Outlanderhttp://www.outlanderherbal.com/ http://www.herbalheritage.

Eclipses? Equinoxes? Birthday Animals???


So we've had an eclipse and a gorgeous spring equinox and I have tales of ravenous wolves, rosemary, juniper, museums, radio shows and wars to share…but do you know my maternity leave ends next week…so I'm going to indulge myself and tell you a family anecdote, sometimes the best type of story to share…the sort children grow memories out of, ( like the time my dad saw a double decker bus drive under a low bridge and lose it's upper deck, or the time my Aunty was, as a small child lost for hours due to being trapped in the 'bed tuck' of the blankets), they're the sort of stories I get groups sharing, even the groups who tell me they 'don't know any stories' can tell gems about unpleasant habits of family members or the time there little brother got a walnut wedged up his nose (yes…really, a walnut….

The Deeside Lavender Project

LAVINIA'S LAVENDER AND THE DEESIDE LAVENDER PROJECT 

LAVINIA'S LAVENDER  is a story I developed for another project in 2013 'the lavender project' created by the lovely Helen Smithhttp://www.helensmith.co.uk/content/lavender-projectat the vibrant and stunning Woodend barn arts centrehttp://www.woodendbarn.com/in Banchory Aberdeenshire, the former home of Scotland's lavender industry. 

Unbeknownst to many, Deeside once had it's own cultivar of lavender, this mediterranean herb had made cold, granite clad Aberdeen the place of my birth it's home.

Rolled from the snow of spring, Tree's icy embellishment an

 Snow Girls and Nature adorns...icy embellishments

We had a day or two of embracing the freeze, the older child got a beautiful book of Russian folktales for her Christmas from her beautiful storytelling Grannyhttp://www.jeanstoryteller.co.uk/contact.html  …and we revisited one of our snow story favourites: Snow Girl…there are several versions out there…inevitably in many, dare I say it …sssshhhhhh…shhhheeee melts…of course, but seeing as one of mine is born on the Winter equinox under a blue moon, and was utterly unexpected but much longed for and came at a very high price…I don't like to court disaster, I like my Snow Girl story to be rolled from the Snow of Spring and be browned in the Summer sun…so this is one of my favourite versions of the traditional Russian tale: 

Valentines Day: Heather legends, Storytelling talks and sessions with adults…a great evening with Amicale


I've been starting to concentrate on my plant stories again, officially I'm still on maternity leave following the birth of my second lovely bundle of gorgeousness last summer. Spending my days exploring new places with the new baba…being intrigued by trysting stones, seduced by hibernating heather snow clad mountains.

But being self employed means you need to keep a hand in and a track on your admin…so I've carefully planned working the ten days the government says I can over the the period.

A Mouse's Tale #BurnsUnbound at The National Museum of Rural life

BURNS UNBOUND!

When I first got the call from Nicki Bray, the charming and dynamic learning officer at The National Museum of Rural Life at Wester Kittochsidehttp://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-rural-life/, a short drive from Glasgow, I was very excited. Storytelling at fantastic spots that you personally love and enjoy visiting is one of my favourite perks of the job!
The museum is a fantastic collaboration between the National Trust for Scotland and the National Museums http://www.nts.org.

Hidden spaces in a dear green place

HIDDEN SPACES IN A DEAR GREEN PLACE


This is the gate into my Glasgow…the one that drew me in…a gothic doorway into a cherished plant filled space. Now as we planned to leave, my daughter and I decided to create a photographic record of the stories we discovered whilst we were here, the hidden spaces in this dear green place.

A beautiful project caught my eye 'Hold Me Dear' an online photographic gallery of places people hold dear accompanied by a few words of the emotions and thoughts they linked to the place founded and curated by

Battlefield Spiral Stories: a guide to the plants and a tale or two

For your copy of our lovely little A5 spiral bound book click here and for £5 (no extra p+p in the UK) I'll post you one out!



Blog post to follow shortly! 

But in the meantime here are a few pics from the lovely book we made and a button (above) to enable you to buy a copy!





Children from Playing oot helped make 'sun prints' for The Battlefield Marathon 



Front cover design by Caroline Campbell, using plastercasts created by local children and families at our 'Illustrated' workshop in the Battlefield community garden in August 2013
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