Strewing Herbs

In those days when herbs were commonly strewed over the pathway of the newly-married persons, the Fennel seems to have been one that was usually chosen. Thus we have Michael Drayton saying:—
"Whilst some still busied are in decking of the bride,
Some others were again as seriously employ*d
In strewing of those herbs at bridals used that he,
Which everywhere they throw, with bounteous hands and free:
The healthful balm and mint from their full laps do fly,
The scentful camomile, the verdrous costmary.
They hot muscado oil, with milder maudlin cast,
Strong tansy, fennel cool, they prodigally waste;
Clear hyssop, and therewith the comfortable thyme,
Germander with the rest, each thing then in her prime,
As well of wholesome berbe aa every pleasant flower,
Which Nature has produced to fit that happy hour;
Amongst these strewing kinds some others wild that grow.
As burnet, all abroad, and meadow-wort they throw."
The Flowering Plants of Great Britain, Volume 2
 By Anne Pratt
 
It is thought that the name of Bedstraw is derived from the old English word, to straw or strow, and that these plants were used for strewing over floors. Thus we find in churchwardens' accounts of former days various items for "strawenge of yerbes;" but a more direct origin is found in the fact, that straw, as well as herbs, was formerly used for beds, and that some imaginative monk or nun thought that this plant, from its beauty and sweetness, should form "Our Lady's Bedstraw." The old historian Fitz-Stephen, who was secretary to Thomas a Becket, tells of one who held a manor in Aylesbury, on condition of finding litter for the king's bed; namely, grass or herb in summer, and straw in winter, three times in the year, on the king's visit to Aylesbury. In as late a period as the reign of Henry VIII., the beds were filled with straw, even the king's bed being of that material.The Flowering Plants of Great Britain, Volume 2
 By Anne Pratt
 
Strewing Herbs Of All Sorts.
1. Basil, fine and bush, sow
in May.
2. Balm, set in March.
3. Camomile.
4. Costmary.
5. Cowslips and Paggles.
6. Daisies of all sorts.
7. Sweet Fennell.
8. Germander.
9. Hyssop, set in February.
10. Lavender (Ln-vcndula
vera).
11. Lavender Spike (/..
spica).
12. Lavender Cotton.
13. Marjoram, knotted, sow
or set in the spring.
14. Maudeline.
15. Pennyroyal.
16. Roses of all sorts, in
January and September.
17. Red Mints.
18. Sage.
19. Tansy.
20. Violets.
21. Winter Savory.
The Book of Herbs
 By Rosalind Northcote