Thursday, 29 May 2008

Four-leaved Clover

We don’t have clover in our lawn at Pensby. I suppose whether you have clover or not depends both upon where one’s turf came from (or the lawn mixture that was used if the grass was seeded) and the nature of the soil. Here at GB’s there is clover in the back lawn and I was sitting outside picking through it the other night in the hope of finding a four-leaved clover.

This four leaved clover was found last May by Rob Rieder, an aspiring structural engineer, who is currently an undergraduate at The University of Bath.

The four leaf clover is a universally accepted symbol of good luck with its origin ages old. According to legend, Eve carried a four leaf clover from the Garden of Eden. I think she would have been better off using a fig-leaf like Adam! Druids held the four leaf clover in high esteem and considered them a sign of luck.

In 1620, Sir John Melton wrote: "If a man walking in the fields find any four-leaved grass, he shall in a small while after find some good thing."

The leaves of the ordinary clover (Trifolium repens) are said to symbolise Faith, Hope nd Charity. When it bears a fourth leaf it symbolises Luck. In Irish tradition the Shamrock or Three-leaf Clover represents the Holy Trinity: one leaf for the Father, one for the Son and one for the Holy Spirit. When a Shamrock is found with the fourth leaf, it represents God's Grace.

By the way, it is no use buying a four leaved clover. Even if they are not fakes they lack the good luck since that is said to come only by finding it oneself.

Just to be pedantic I should point out that the term four leaved clover is incorrect since a clover only has one leaf - the individual sections are technically leaflets. Whilst clovers with four leaflets are rare there can be even greater numbers of leaflets - one of eighteen having been recorded.

Why have I put this posting in my nostalgia blog, you might wonder. The answer is that while searching in GB's grass I was reminded of what was probably the last time I looked for a four leaved clover - on the King George V school playing field that we visited when I was at Ryebank. When we were not all rolling down the grassy bank - the girls with their summer dresses tucked into their knickers for propriety - the girls would sit and make daisy chains and some of us boys would search for four leafed clovers. My ambition was to find one to give to Ilona Richardson. I never did find one and if I had I would have needed all the luck it could bring to have the courage to give it to her!

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