365 Frankendael day 41

Today a lovely scene, if you like tended gardens, of the old partitioned garden at the back of Frankendael Huis. I really appreciate how the gardeners allow the plants to spill out here and there and especially so with the stunning Valerian officinalis which is shown here. Valerian medicine is traditionally focused on the roots but the flowers are also useful and have more subtle effects than the other parts of the plant. I have a big Valerian plant on my roof and this weekend, harvested every third flower cluster, for drying. Doing so leaves the beautiful appearance and special scent almost intact, for everyone else to enjoy.

Here is a photo Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), NL: Brandnetel, in bloom. Now is not at all the time to harvest this wonderful tonic herb but I took the photo to illustrate the difference between the plant and other look a likes, such as Lamium alba, White Dead Nettle, shown yesterday.

Here is a photo of a plant that I want to learn more about, creeping along the ground rather like a Strawberry with similar leaves and runners. Growing amongst it, with purple flowers, is familiar Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacaea) which is edible, useful and tastes minty. I have been watching the Strawberry look a like, in several shady parts of the park, for several weeks. Today it is coming into flower, yellow flowers, so I now remember that the plant a little better. It is a member of the Cinquefoil (Potentilla) family, I’ll have a closer look tomorrow to find out which. I brought a sample home but my cat ate it in seconds – maybe that should tell me something!? Strawberries are members of the Fragaria family.

Not one to eat until next Spring, here is an update of how Ramsons (Wild garlic, NL: Daslook) look at the moment. Not very tasty but the seed heads are developing well.

Next, and again for future reference, the closest Sweet Chestnut tree to my home. Totally unrelated to Horse Chestnut, far more tasty but possibly less interesting for herbalists.

Lastly today, an enormous Dandelion(Taraxacum officinale), two 50 cm long leaves of which, are destined for my plate this evening…


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