31st March

Welcome to the Eightfold Year. Every day a different painting will appear, along with moon phases, saints days, seasonal plants and other festive celebrations.

You can find out more about the concept of the Eightfold Year here.

We hope you enjoy this website. We will be adding content as we go through the year and welcoming your feedback and suggestions.

Onwards and Upwards!


Spring skies, Liverpool, Spring 2008: Jamie Reid

Moon Phases, March 2015:
Full Moon - March 5, 18:06
Third Quarter - March 13, 17:48
New Moon – March 20, 09:36
First Quarter – March 27, 07:43




New shoots, Liverpool, Spring 2011: Jamie Reid

Saint's Day:
Abdas of Susa
Acathius of Melitene (Eastern Orthodox Church)
Anesius and companions

César Chávez Day (California, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, Utah, and Wisconsin)
Freedom Day (Malta)
King Nangklao Memorial Day (Thailand)
Thomas Mundy Peterson Day (New Jersey)
Transfer Day (US Virgin Islands)

Flowering Now by Saul Hughes: Ivy Leaved Toadflax
Linaria Cymbalaria (Cymbalaria Muralis)
Family: Scrophulariaceae.
Gaelic Name: Buaflion Balla.


Also known as Gall wort, Rabbits, Aaron’s beard, Mother of Millions, Thousand Flower and Kenilworth Ivy.
This Beautiful little plant found growing on walls is not a native to these isles but is to be found in the Mediterranean region, though it has become naturalised all over these Isles, the plant is remarkable for planting its own seeds by placing them in dark crevices.
The name of the genus Linaria is from the Latin ‘Linum’ meaning ‘Thread, Flax’ the name of the species Cymbalaria is from the Latin word ‘Cymbalum’ as the leaves were likened to a ancient cymbal; And it was known as Linaria Cymbalaria as named by Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), though it is sometimes known as Cymbalaria Muralis after being named so by Bernhard Meyer (1767-1836) Philipp Gottfried Gaetner (1754-1825) and Johannes Scherbius (1769-1813) in their work the ‘Oekonomisch-Technische Flora Der Wetterau’, published in 1799 which was the source of many of the scientific names of plants; The ‘Muralis’ in this version of the name means ‘Growing on Walls’.


The name of the family order that these plants belong to the Scrophulariaceae (figwort family) arises from the many plants of this order having the ability to cure Scrofula.
The Gaelic name of the plant Buaflion Balla comes from ‘Buaf’ (Toad) ‘Lion’ (Thread) and ‘Balla’ (Wall) the meanings of the English country names are as thus: ‘Gall wort’ because it was bitter tasting like the Gall of the parasitic wasp and ‘Wort’ from the Anglo-Saxon name for any healing plant; ‘Rabbits’ because of the flowers when turned upside down and the sides squeezed together resemble a rabbits head; ‘Aaron’s beard’ on account of its trailing nature; ‘Mother of Millions’ and ‘Thousand Flower’ come from it habit of spreading so quickly and it profuseness of flowers; the name of ‘Kenilworth Ivy’ comes from it being found in large quantities in the historic town of Kenilworth in the heart of Warwickshire; The name of ‘Toad’ arises from the shape of the leaves and also as the toad was supposed to be found amongst these plants when it grows on rocks.


Medicinally the plant is Antiscorbutic (Cures Scurvy) and a Vulnerary (Treats wound) and is used externally for stopping bleeding. There are reports from the Indian subcontinent that the plant has had success in the treatment of diabetes. The plant was used as a compress for the treatment of minor wounds and cuts and grazes. The leaves are eaten as a salad in Southern Europe and are bitter, acrid and pungent like Cress. A yellow clear non-permanent dye is also obtained from the flowers.
Magically the plant is under the dominion of the Planet Mars and the element of fire; it was traditionally used for protection, charms against spells and was used for the banishment of negativity and hostile activities.
The plant is visited only by Bees who find it a great food source from the months of March to November. It features famously in John Gerard’s (1545-1611/12) Herbal published in 1596 which featured many plants he cultivated himself at his garden at Holborn, the ivy leaved toadflax was illustrated in his herbal as springing from brickwork, but the block of his illustration was placed upside down so the plant appears to be standing erect instead of hanging downwards as its is nature.*

Also on this day:

1717 – A sermon on "The Nature of the Kingdom of Christ" by Benjamin Hoadly, the Bishop of Bangor, provokes the Bangorian Controversy.

1910 – Six North Staffordshire Pottery towns federate to form modern Stoke-on-Trent

1930 – The Motion Pictures Production Code is instituted, imposing strict guidelines on the treatment of sex, crime, religion and violence in film, in the U.S., for the next thirty eight years. Boo!

1959 – The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, crosses the border into India and is granted political asylum.

1979 – The last British soldier leaves the Maltese Islands. Malta declares its Freedom Day (Jum il-Helsien).

1990 – 200,000 protestors take to the streets of London to protest against the newly introduced Poll Tax.

* All information regarding the uses of the plants is exactly for that informational purposes only, and that the author and owners of the web do not encourage anyone to be eating, or disturbing wild plants, but merely to admire them in their natural environment and to ponder on their rise and fall within human culture.