Just a quick post today:
Thank you Carlijn for these two beautiful photos of a tiny, edible Veronica flower
And Greater celandine.
Amsterdam was scorching hot yesterday so I headed to the open air pools of Flevobad with my daughter. We cycled through Flevopark to get there and what a green treat that place is at the moment! It’s absolutely bursting with life. Dozens of herbs caught my eye and as ever garlic mustard is BIG there. Must be something in the soil or the smell of the graffiti artists spray paints.. Whatever it is, it works!
Do you have your heart set on harvesting a particular herb and crafting it this summer? If so, find out the peak power time of that plant and plan to find it then.
The sweet smell of Japanese roses (Rosa rugosa) now fills the air in parts of Amsterdam, as Dana has found today.
Here is a selection of recent photos from some of the foraging challengers. They have been very busy…
Leonie has found some lovely plants. I thought this looked like Meadowsweer on first glance but the flowerhead looks more like a celery family plant (Apiaceae). That with a red stem sets alarm bells ringing. I think we need some close ups of this one Leoniek.
and this bright flowering plant seems to belong to the Lamiaceae family but what is the name.. Gypsywort has similar serrated leaves but completely different flowers.
Dana has been finding lots of stunning Comfrey at Sloterplas
Peter has been finding Green alkanet in Belfast
and a super patch of waterside Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris). Those dead flower stems from last year make it very easy to find.
And Carlijn has been extremely active. Here is Bugle –
and Japanese knotweed
Just 7 days to go and lots of plants to be found! Thanks so much to everyone who has sent in photos.
I really need to catch up on the beautiful photos which the challengers have sent me this week! Tomorrow, I’ll work through them all and add more to a post. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster week but now I’m back in Amsterdam and can happily reflect on good times spent with my family.
Chepstow has a VERY old castle (1067, so my Dad tells me) and around it grow a lot of beautiful plants. Stinging nettles and wild garlic are the two edible show stoppers around the castle and dell, but there are dozens of other tasty plants. Alkanet and Veronica are growing amongst the cow parsley here.
Walking through the town, I found Lime trees with leaves almost begging to be nibbled, brambles offering fresh new growth and this perky patch of Pellitory of the wall. I’m always very pleased to find this herb. It does like the protection of walls and it can offer a lot of benefits as well as taste. Best known to me is its talent for nourishing the urinary system. I stumble into Pellitory in the older parts of Amsterdam but Park Frankendael is home to a massive colonie of its cousin, Pensylvania pellitory. I’ve found it to be very useful too but it has an infortunate reputation in some areas due to its synchronised emissions of pollen. Pensylvania pellitory looks very similar to its cousin but lacks any redness and had an air of glassiness (and it’s conveniently called Glaskruid in Dutch).
I’ve been in the UK with my family hence no day 19. Here are a few green momentos from the trip…
Above, a handsome Yew tree.
What things this beautiful tree must have witnessed over the years and what quiet comfort it offers to those who gaze upon it. May it continue to do so for millennia to come.
Next, Stinging nettles with tasty nutty seeds hanging – already. Offerer of protection, strength and vigor.
And lastly, a small symbol which happily catapults me back in time:
Formed from the red clay of north Bristol; so thick, staining and pure that it can be scooped out of the ground with bare hands, then moulded and baked. Real sticky clay. This brick is from the house where I grew up in Nowhere (a tiny in between place, now part of Stoke Gifford). I’ve always found it wonderful for houses to be made from the land on which they stand.
My first foraging experiences were around that house and oh how I enjoyed them! Plums, gooseberries, blackberries, lupins, marrows, willows and lilac. Their scent and flavour come back in a flash and yes, lupins are poisonous. Faithful dogs, hungry goats, rabbits and grazing cows… Lying in sunny fields of moon daisies and poppies, reading poetry, biology and Laurie Lee. Snow drifts, baths by the fire and a cold leaking roof. Buried conch shells, old farm machinery, half dry brooks, skeletons, deep wells, roman treasure and music…
Oh how fortunate a childhood I had!