I met the gardener who looks after Park Frankendael today. He’s happy with our little Elder babies and suggested another location for additional planting. He also taught me about the the Primrose species which live in the park. I’ll order some seed of those species soon and will be bringing on Primrose and Violet plants to add to the park at suitable locations.
One of the Elder babies is in the middle of this photo.
The Comfrey (Symphytum uplandicum x) plants are looking great today.
As is Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea), in flower in some situations.
Today is Puur markt in park Frankendael and that brings lots of extra traffic to the woodland as well as the main park.
As I arrived, a fire was being put out on the edge of the woodland.
Here are a few plants which I noticed today:
Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis)
Primrose (Primula vulgaris)
Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) of last year. There are still a few seed heads on these dry flower spikes.
Wild garlic (Allium ursinum) Daslook. A nice area of it with a toxic Arum maculatum (Lords and ladies) growing proudly in the middle of this shot.
The plants in park Frankendael seem to have appreciated the sunshine and warmth today…
Elder leaves surging through.
Pretty purple flowers of Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis). It doesn’t really do much for the lungs but is said to be of mild medicinal action. It’s a borage family plant so is likely to contain some harmful alkaloids.
Woodland geranium (Geranium species) above.
Not edible but very pretty, crocuses.
Primrose (Primula vulgaris), edible, medicinal but too slow at proliferating to pick at all.
Snow drops, too pretty to pick and poisonous.
Lastly today, Wild garlic (Allium ursinum) with equally edible Yellow archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon) with it’s evergreen silvery leaves and toxic Hedge parsley (Torilis arvensis).
Oh I’m so excited! In the park today…
Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum) Ramsons. It’s up! It smells great. I love it!
Please be aware that anyone who takes up a wild garlic plant, bulb and all, is acting illegally. Anyone ripping handfuls of the leaves or harvesting when the plants are too young to recover, is acting unethically. I shall continue to carefully harvest one or two individual leaf blades as and when I know I will use them directly. I only harvest from huge swathes of the plant and I suggest that others who like the plant do the same too. Most of the plants are too small to harvest from today but some are fine and their potency (as for regular Garlic but it’s less irritating to the tissues) is greatest before the plant flowers. So from now on, until the flowers come on the plants, I consider it Ramsons season. I walked through all the Ramson areas of park Frankendael today and some are completely without signs of life, so we are really fit at the binning of their time above ground. Keep your eyes open for them and be very attentive to their state of health, vigor and whether or not they are big enough to disturb by plucking a leaf. Flevopark has masses of Ramsons and I am sure the other big parks also. I’ll stick with my most local plants and plan to make some wild garlic ghee from a few leaves, for the apprentices next week. Here’s an interesting blog post about Ramsons in Amsterdam and some comments about the ethics of eating some.
Lesser celandine. A sign of early spring, not for eating, not for picking but with historical uses.
And lastly another beauty not to pick because of it’s rarity – Primrose. Very tasty and very very useful!