Friday, March 16, 2007

Friday Flowers: Shamrock

The Irish shamrock is any one of a number of trifoliate plants, those with leaves divided into three leaflets. The white clover (Trifolium repens), a wild flower which is commonly found in lawns, is the traditional favourite. I bought this wood sorrel (Oxalis regnelli) at a flower shop where it was sold as a St. Patrick's Day shamrock. The delicate white flowers bloom in the spring above the folded heart shaped leaves.

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland lived from 385 to 461 AD. Born in Wales, he converted to Christianity and became a missionary to Ireland. According to Irish legend, St. Patrick chose the shamrock as a symbol of the church's Holy Trinity because of its three leaflets bound by a common stalk. In the 19th century it became a symbol of rebellion against the English and began to be strongly associated with Irish identity.

Today, St. Patrick's Day remains a Catholic holy day, but it has evolved into a secular holiday. In Canada, it is an official holiday in Newfoundland and Labrador. The city of Montreal, Quebec has hosted a parade each year since 1824. All over Europe and North America, it is a day to celebrate all things Irish.

Irish Blessing

May you always have...
Walls for the winds
A roof for the rains
Tea beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all your heart may desire.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

And a special Happy Birthday
to my sister-in-law, Pat,
who celebrates a milestone birthday tomorrow!


  1. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

    Your post is very pretty and so appropriate. Do you like corned beef and cabbage?

  2. What a sweet way to do your Friday flowers and recognize St. Patrick's Day as well.
    Isn't it amazing how many of us say we have Irish ancestry around this time? Some of us actually do!

  3. I was surprised to see many of the middle-schoolers at my daughter's school already wearing green today! Happy St. Paddy's a few days early.

    Oh, by the way--my son is driving to Toronto tomorrow with eight of his college buddies from Michigan on spring break. Any recommendations for what they should absolutely see?

  4. Perfect for the day - love those little flowers!

  5. Mary- I like cabbage, but have only had really good corned beef once. I generally do not eat salty, cured meats.:)

    KGMom- I don't think I could shake an Irishman out of my family tree, but you never know!

    Africakid- Oh my! We just had a significant St.Patrick's Day snowfall and it is cold! But the roads are OK and it is not stormy. Toronto with money and Toronto without money deserve separate recommendations. I love the Queen St West and Spadina Rd districts for walking and city sights. I have never paid to go to the top of the CN tower, but it is worth it on a clear day. The waterfront is lovely, but would be freezing cold today. Hope your son has a good week!

    Laura- Thanks. It is a cheery little pot in a snowy day.

  6. Well, not a scrap of Irish in me anywhere, but Italian/Sicilians love a party too! And what's not to like about Shamrocks anyway? So Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!

  7. Wow, I never knew shamrocks had such lovely flowers!

    I love the phrase, "walls for the winds" in the Irish blessing.

  8. "Those you love near you . . " That's a blessing to be greatly desired.

  9. LauraO- What is the party day for Italians/Sicilians? They do know how to have a good time!

    Ginger- Hope you are sheltered by walls, especially this week!

    Cathy- Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I had a look at your blog and will be returning to see your inspiring pictures.


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