28 March 2012
News from the Hedgerows
We take a walk up the country road that we live on to see what's bursting into life. There are nettles and there is galium (aka sticky weed, goose grass, cleaver). Nothing very exotic. But no, the galium is 'looking tasty' so we gather some, and the nettles in turn are 'feisty' which is how we like them. With their fresh green tips they do look more appealing than usual and we gather some with the aid of gloves, for a very quick dose of goodness as well as a taste test.
Julia often refers to herbs (you know what I mean) as a 'she' or a 'he'. It's a personal thing. 'Nettles are feisty grandmas who keep everyone in line.' They are also seen as a protective plant. Anything that crawls in there will be kept safe: very grandmotherly.
I need to be reminded of the finer point of nettles and of galium while the kettle is boiling.
'Nettle is anti-inflammatory and it's also a blood tonic: use it after long-term illness or blood loss.' Or drink nettle tea because you like it. Cooled tea can be poured on the hair to give it a pro-shine and anti-hairloss boost. Julia adds four nettle leaf tips to boiling water and we let it steep. There's something a bit tingly about the whole process and I can't help thinking abut the word 'nettle', a derivative of 'needle'. It smells like wee.
Julia is also known on twitter as Botanical Bird@juliathompson15