St. Peter’s Keys


We don’t see Cowslips around much. I think they’ve been poorly. Apparently, in the 1970s, things just got a little too much for the poor dears and they were on the verge of packing it all in and retiring to a nice boarding house in a not too popular, but select, seaside town. This plan came to nought however, as the department of roads started to put cowslip seeds in the ‘wild flower mix’ that they spread around to provide a vegetative covering along the raw banks of new and improved roads and motorways. This new career opening revived the cowslip’s flagging fortunes and they were soon on the road to recovery.

One of the main problems, if you’re an early (spring) riser, is that there hasn’t been anything to eat around all winter, so unless you’re very poisonous – and I mean very, very poisonous – people and various other animals will eat you. This is really inconvenient if all you want to do wave a few flowers at an occasional bee, produce a seed, and then get back to sleep. Hopefully, we’re now old enough to know better.
Cowslips are sometimes called St. Peter’s Keys. With a little imagination, they do look a bit like a bunch of keys, don’t they? I mention this because the explanations offered for the etymology of the name “cowslip” is bland beyond belief.

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