Tag Archives: Autumn equinox

Images of autumn

I’ve been busy with all sorts since my last post. There’s a little competition at the end of this one for those able to get to Amsterdam who fancy trying for a free Herbology Walk in Amsterdam oost. Work (school) has been lively. We’re fully open and yet the rest of the world seems to be closing up. Interesting times for all!

Am loving helping new Urban Herbology students on my courses – some are working so quickly on the Crafting Course, it’s great to see their enthusiasm!

I’ve been enjoying many walks in Amsterdam’s green spaces and was honoured to speak to a group at the Vrienden van Vrankendael’s celebration in Huize Frankendael’s coach house recently, about my involvement and hopes for the park. The guests were invited by the Vrienden van Frankendael and I spoke about the River of Herbs gardens. The Friends of Frankendael also featured us in the first article of their special 30 year celebratory magazine. The article is called Het eetbare park – The edible park. I’m very grateful to have been interviewed by them and especially humble to be so welcomed in the park.

Bench in one of the River of Herbs Orchards

Increasing capacity for multifunctional, sustainable urban edible spaces and community gardens is so important. City parks and planners can help enormously with this. I love discussing options for these spaces, with people who can help it to happen on a bigger scale.

Yew – Taxus

Marisa, one of my apprentices, graduated from the full course, in the woods, during one of the Witching Season gatherings. She has worked really hard on the course and I’m sure that good green things will continue to come from it! Marisa runs a fabulous vegan skincare company called Primal Essence and I love her products. Finally, they are available in Amsterdam!

Primal Essence

I’m now enjoying offering walking & talking consultations in Amsterdam and look forward to supporting more clients with personalised herbalism, reflexology and yoga. Details are on the Consultations page.

I thought that you may like to see a few photos from the past month or so.

So what have you been finding? Personally, I’m most pleased with the delights of the Virginia creeper grapes and Chinese Hawthorn, this season. Also the invisible strength building qualities of Michaelmus daisy.

Most people are writing to me about mushrooms this autumn. I must expand my confident-to-forage-and feed-my-family-fungi repertoire! Those shown above are for their beauty alone. I did eat the Jelly ear this evening. The others remain on the woodland floor, logs and benches where they belong – invisibly connecting life and death. Perfect organisms for teaching us about Samhain.

If you can tell me via email where this is, you’ll win a private 45 minute Herbology Walk in Amsterdam oost this autumn or winter! First person wins. Mutually convenient date and time to be arranged with the winner.

365 Frankendael 156

Today is beautifully autumnal; a crisp, bright morning followed by a dimmly lit afternoon and an all pervading air of quiet, inward, downward energy.

If you like to attune to the cycles of nature, you may notice that this is a time to slow down, to store energy, to reflect on what has gone well and otherwise in your life. It’s a time to sew seeds in your soul and the soil; seeds that will benefit from the transformative powers of winter darkness.

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We visited the Hermitage museum this morning. There’s an enormous, somewhat stylish, lawn filled space in the middle of the building, which I hope is home to more than just grass. Close to the inner entrance of the museum is this stately pair of Horse Chestnut trees. Parts of this tree species can be used in capillary tightening preparations.

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Back at home, I thought it was time to share a photo of this useful and (I think) beautiful, creeping evergreen herb. It arrived on the wind at “my” tree pit, sometime this summer. It’s such a tasty and interesting little plant, mostly overlooked but offering many uses thoughout the while year. If Ground Ivy sets root on a patch near you, I hope you’ll welcome it and try it.

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Lastly, Hollyhock seeds – again! I keep on mentioning them, hoping and dreaming that there will be a few more of these useful beauties growing and being used in the city, as a result. Please collect them and save them to sew next spring, or better still collect them and sew them right away in every dull tree pit or neglected corner of soil you can find! Just rub the soil over a little with your shoe, to make them less obvious to paying birds. No digging required, just plant them and hope! Search this site and others for medicinal uses of this relative of Marsh Mallow.