September Rhymes and Miscellanea

Warm September brings the fruit;
Sportsmen then begin to shoot.


September from Septem, the seventh month of the Roman calendar. The Saxons called this ‘harvest month’.

The Anglo Saxons called it Gerstmonath (‘barley month’). In Welsh it is ‘medi’, meaning ‘the month of reaping’, and in Scottish-Gaelic it is ‘Sultuine’, meaning ‘the month of plenty’.

Beautiful are the fern and heath covered wastes in September – with their bushes bearing wild-fruits, sloe, and bullace [wild plum], and crab; and where one may lie hidden for hours, watching how beast, bird, and insect pass their time away, and what they do in these solitudes. In such spots, we have seen great gorse-bushes in bloom, high as the head of a mounted horseman; impenetrable places where the bramble and the sloe had become entangled with the furze and the branches of stunted hawthorns, that had never been able to grow clear of the wild waste of underwood.


It is said that a fine day on the first day of September signifies a fine spell of weather in the month ahead.

September rain is much liked by the farmer.

Married in September’s golden glow,
Smooth and serene your life will go.

September blow soft
Until the apples be in the loft.

Onion skin very thin –
Mild winter coming in.
Onion skin thick and tough –
Coming winter cold and rough.

Cider on beer, never fear.
Beer on cider makes a bad rider!

Many haws, many sloes, many cold toes!

A cat born around Michaelmas is called a blackberry cat, and is always mischievous.

With the harvest drawing to a close for corn, hops and other produce, many fairs up and down the country were held selling and celebrating the end of the country year.

Hop processions were held in Kent, Hereford and Worcester.

Hazelnuts, blackberries, crabapples and other fruits were gathered from the trees and hedges and made into jams, jellies and wines to last through the coming winter.

Gorse was cut for fuel and bracken for bedding, and the whitebait season began for fishermen.