Reading Harry Potter and thoughts turn to gardening

Purslane - is this what Gillyweed might look like?
I am reading all of the Harry Potter books this summer and my thoughts turned to gardening, as they always do.

Naturally, I am interested in the references to herbology as one of the subjects that the young wizards and witches study. 

I noted today that it was mentioned in the fourth book that none other than Neville Longbottom seemed to do best in herbology. Poor Neville, slightly chunky, barely a wizard. Of course herbology is his best subject. After all, isn't it always the slowest, clumsiest, most inept among us who seem to do well with plants and gardening? 


When will this characterization of gardeners as those who aren't really all that smart or good at anything else cease?

I would take umbrage except I know that nothing is as it really seems in the Harry Potter books and I suspect that Neville Longbottom's plant knowledge will come in handy at some point.  Plus, I have read other books, including the Brother Cadfael mysteries by Ellis Peters, where the herbalist, the one with the gardening knowledge, is the smartest after all, the one who figures out whodunit.  

I also noted today that there was a brief mention of fairies in the fourth Harry Potter book. The fairies, which I assume were garden fairies, were hanging out around rose bushes and lighting them up.  I would like to set the record straight on garden fairies at this time, and explain how they differ from wizards.  First, garden fairies do not...

Garden fairies here. We are garden fairies and we do not think it is right that Carol writes about us as though she is in the know. If there is anything written about us garden fairies, we will write it.   We will set our own record straight. We are garden fairies.


  1. Neville Longbottom was my favorite character in the book series. It makes sense now...

  2. When will this characterization of gardeners as those who aren't really all that smart or good at anything else cease?

    If you have Netflix streaming video, there's a British series called "Rosemary and Thyme" that the husband and I have just started watching. The description from

    "Housewife and former policewoman, Laura Thyme, loses her husband to a younger woman. Meanwhile, Rosemary Boxer, a university lecturer in horticulture, loses her job. A sudden death and a love of gardening bring the pair together. They join forces to start their own business. But death and mystery seem to follow them wherever they go. The gardeners find themselves acting as amateur sleuths in a series of very cozy mysteries set amongst the stunning gardens of Europe...."

    I don't know if it's necessarily a great show (we've only seen the first two episodes so far), but it seems like it might be relevant to your interests, and they're definitely not presented as stupid or inept.

    The entire first episode is also on YouTube; I didn't look for others but it's possible they might be available as well.

  3. You are right about Neville, Carol, and all gardeners. We know a thing or two....

    That series sounds great, Mr. Sub.

  4. I still haven't read any of Harry Potter, but I'm glad you're enjoying them, Carol. I've found that gardeners are pretty darned smart!

  5. Love the Potter books, and wouldn't it be nice if here in the Muggle world we had some plant classes in school?
    Oh, and also love the British series Rosemary and Thyme! I have all episodes on DVD.
    Yeah for the Brits!

  6. I am currently watching Rosemary and Thyme series.

  7. I'm on my third round of reading the Harry Potter series. Our kids are well spaced: 21 (we would fight each other for the books when they were first released!); 11, and now, I have the pleasure of accompanying our 7-year-old through the series. I adore HP. Actually, we had a Harry Potter movie marathon this weekend prior to the first day of school. (Youngest son is only allowed to see episodes up to 5...the last are too intense.) Neville's herbology wisdom is definitely put to good use! Now, I'm very anxious to check out the Rosemary and Thyme series! Enjoy your reading!

  8. I just want to know-? Where did Peter Rabbit GO?Amy ioppolo

  9. I've read all the Harry Potter series and embarrassed my daughter by appearing in the same theater with her and her friends on the local opening night of several of the movies. You'll be most pleased to know that Neville does not remain the bumbling idiot in the series but represents we mighty gardeners well at the ending.


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