clover

Clover

Purple Clovers

Purple Clovers (Photo credit: miamism)

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It seems right to talk about clover on St. Patrick’s Day. I know lots of people spend time trying to remove it from their yards and gardens, but I really like the little plants.

I’m especially fond of the purple clover that springs up in my garden every year at this time. It was one of the first plants I bought when I moved to Dublin, GA. Very appropriate, don’t you think? It has been a staple in my shade garden for as long as I’ve lived in this house. An old friend by now. It’s officially known as Oxalis regnellii ~ a wood sorrel ~ or the purple shamrock plant. It has never gotten out of control, but pops up dependably in the same spot each year. The tiny pink flowers are so dainty and happy.

There are lots of wild green clovers growing around my yard and each one gives me a little smile when I spot it. The three leaves represent hope, faith, and love. A fourth leaf represents luck, of course. If we have hope, faith, and love, though, we’re already lucky.

Scott Cunningham associates clover with the planet Mercury and air, making it a plant of Gemini. It does stand on a long stem bouncing about with each little gust of a breeze. (Gemini plants tend to be leggy.) If you’re wearing a shamrock today, Cunningham says to place it over your right breast to guarantee success “in all undertakings.”

Oxalis (wood sorrel), on the other hand, is associated with Venus and earth, which would make her a plant of Taurus. Maybe that’s why I’m so partial to her. I love all things Taurus in the garden. I love the common name, fairy bells, for oxalis. Maybe I’ll check the garden today for the sound of tiny wings.