What a beautiful day again today! I have been off on my bike to Nieuwemarkt, stocking up on Carageen (dried Irish moss seaweed) and dried Arnica flowers from Jacob Hooy and dried strands of Agar agar from the Oriental Supermarket, in readiness to write a section in my book about herbal gel making. Then back down the road to the park to collect a few Willow tendrils from Park Frankendael, to make plant rooting hormone tea for the Let’s Make Elder Babies gathering tomorrow morning. I learned about using Willow tea as a rooting hormone, quite recently from Ann at City Plot. Here is a useful link with some background about why the tea works and how to make it.
Here’s the Willow (Salix sp) I harvested from to make the tea today. All Willows contain Salicyclic acid but this Weeping Willow has so many babies growing at her feet, probably from ripped off tendrils which self rooted, that I thought she was the one to use.
I had a look along the Hugo de Vrieslaan outer edge of the park, to check that the Elder shrubs are in good shape to harvest from tomorrow. They look beautiful, with glossy leaves and lots of developing berries.
And here is another sort of berry developing, Blackberry, with a beautifully flowering Teasle plant growing alongside. I was asked about this plant on a recent herb walk. When should it be harvested and which parts are most valued for treating Lymes disease. I had little idea, its a plant I’m not used to using as in the UK you are not supposed to pick it due to its value to wildlife. I have just read the latest Ezine from Susun Weed and she mentions the first year roots being harvested in winter for this purpose so I suggest that route is followed by those I spoke to who have lots of Teasel growing in their gardens.