Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Dandelion Beer

I got a letter through the post last week from my friend Patricia which contained labels from some dandelion beer.

Hi Rebecca

Beer labels enclosed. Interesting that the label illustrates the seed head but the flavour mentioned will be imparted by the flower. John has made wine from Dandelion flowers many times - you have to make sure all the green parts are removed. I bought a bottle of this for John (for part of his Christmas Present) and Miriam bought a bottle for me! Coincidence.

Hope you are well!


The labels are now in the Dandelion archive (a box under my desk). I fancy finding some of the beer and trying it - better still i might try and make some of my own this summer...

Sunday, 13 February 2011


It's been a great week this week for the dandelion project - without even planning it. On thursday I received this email:

Hello Rebecca

"...My mother was an artist and illustrator and whilst I was doing some casual research on the internet I noticed that one of your sources for the 'Dandelion Project' had been a book called 'Botany for fun' by Gareth H. Browning and illustrated by Cecile M. Driffield - my mother...."

The illustration i used on the blog was for Centre for Contemporary Art posted in Jan 2010.

We have exchanged a couple of emails and she has told me a little more about her mother. It's been so lovely to hear more and Cecile M Driffield was a really talented artist of beautiful illustrations. It's made my week.

So, here is another of her illustrations (of dandelions) from the same book Botany for Fun by Gareth H Browning published in 1938.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Holy Grail Tapestry

I'm continuing to locate dandelions in artworks and i found one the other day while looking through a book about mythology.

The Failure of Sir Gawain; Sir Gawain and Sir Uwain at the Ruined Chapel
is one of three Quest for the Holy Grail tapestries held in Birmingham Museum. It was commissioned in 1895 by the industrialist Laurence Hodson, for his house Compton Hall near Wolverhampton. It is made of wool, silk, mohair and camel hair weft on cotton warp and was designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris and John Henry Deale.

I've not seen the tapestry close up though and would like to go to Birmingham soon to check it more closely.

One other thing: i just finished a lovely book about dandelions by Anita Sanchez. The Teeth of the Lion - The Story of the Beloved and Despised Dandelion is full of information about dandelions, recipes and stories etc. I found it particularly interesting as, with it being written from an American point of view, the dandelion is an alien, invasive species there and non-native. Sanchez is obviously very fond of dandelions, and not only writes about how they arrived in America, but also discusses how so many Americans really despise the plant and spend huge amounts of time and money on pesticides to eradicate them from beautifully kept lawns.