Garden Bounty
0 comment Sunday, October 19, 2014 |
Child is off with his dad today and the house is very, very quiet. It's always a bit of an adjustment but I managed to get some painting done (acrylic paint is a challenge for me, but I'm starting to get a hang of the medium), watered the garden, moved the cherry tree to try and get it some more light - I think being in the lee of all the scrub on the upper levels is one of the reasons the buds aren't open yet! - and also checking out the local wildcrafting efforts.
I used to pick mushrooms in the US but I haven't dared it here - I just don't know enough about the varieties and I'm rarely able to walk well enough to do the forays in the first place. So I was rather surprised when I ventured out this morning to find that there were some mushrooms growing right in my front garden! Hm...again I don't know enough about fungus here in the UK but these have a pretty standard "bolete" stem, no frills or anything on the stem, whitish-pink gills and a rather un-mushroomy fragrance which is rather strange. Doing some hunting about online it seems they are St George mushrooms and in theory are edible. However, I'm not stupid enough just to take a chance on these and therefore even though I suspect they are good eating, I'm leaving them where they are. It's good news though if I stay here to have some fungus I could maybe harvest next year if they're properly identified.
And then, there's the yarrow - tonnes of it. The whole front garden is half-yarrow and to be honest this is one of the reasons I'm often rather reticent to mow it! This is nature's antiseptic and I tend to harvest a good bit of this when I can manage it. Now that I've got a bit of herbal garden started in the back, I've been thinking about just lifting a patch of sod and transplanting it, removing the grass and letting the yarrow do its thing instead. Tempting, actually, and that may be tomorrow's project.
And we've got dandelions, yes we do! As a matter of fact, I've started to nuke the dandelion from a few places as I just don't need THESE many. Again, harvesting dandelion heads for wine has been thwarted by energy levels, but I have picked the greens to add to a salad which was heavenly. Noms! Whilst I was doing that, I checked on a patch of cleavers, which is coming along well and should be ready for harvest soon.
I'm still waiting on the elderflowers - I'm eyeing the trees and one tree in particular in the area which has an amazing collection of sweet-smelling blooms. The tree in the back garden is a bit "cattish" as it were, so I don't tend to use it for flowers, but I did pick the berries for tonic last year. I will do the same this year but shan't be taking it - whatever auto-immune issues I've got going on doesn't respond well to the berries, but sprog stayed almost completely illness-free this winter whilst on it.
Spring is definitely happening out there - an amazing spring so far although I do worry a bit about the complete lack of rain (oh dear, did I jinx the weather?) Still, it's hopefully a sign of a promising year out there, with plenty to harvest and share.

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