Sunday, April 22, 2012

World Earth Day

Lesser Celandine & Dandelion
Forget-me-not & Bluebells
Nettles & Wild chives
Wild primrose & Lady's Smock
Bay Tree
Wild Garlic
Wild violet & Angelica
In the last few weeks we've been blessed with a world of overflowing colour, pattern and form. So much is taken from the earth but it just keeps giving. I've got an abundant, organic deli on my doorstep where everything is free. Dandelion and nettle leaves are at their best this time of year when they're fresh and young. Wild garlic can be used to make pesto or soups, and when mixed with butter can be used to make garlic bread. You can't mistake it and end up eating something poisonous because you will know when you find it; the strong garlic smell pierces the air when the leaves are walked on. Am I worried that dogs have peed all over this woodland salad bar? No. I walk my dog here often and he has never peed anywhere near the edible plants. And I think a bit of pee is far less disgusting than a vat of poisonous spray. The other day I noticed someone at the allotment had sprayed their plot. The beds were surrounded by paths of collapsed, yellow, dying grass. Fortunately the plot is quite a distance from mine and the majority of allotment holders these days grow organically, without dangerous chemicals. The rules and regulations, issued by the Council, that are there to insure everyone enjoys their growing experience and gets the best from their land, do not include a ban on herbicides. Why? What kind of crazy world are we living in?

 I used to hate dandelions. I'd had years of indoctrination. "Pick a dandelion and you'll wet the bed" I heard often as a child. The French name is pis-en-lit. Taraxacum officinale. It wasn't long ago that I discovered the myth comes from the use of the dandelion as a diuretic in herbal medicine. Bees and beneficial insects love them. The use of herbicides to kill dandelions and other wild plants has been linked to Parkinsons disease, cancer, embryonic cell damage, infertility, genetic damage and a decline in bird species in the UK. There's no need for herbicides and it's a disgrace they are still being used with abandon. It's time to start loving our wild plants and flowers. We need them more than they need us.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Loving Magnolia

When I saw the text from my neighbour last week letting me know her magnolia tree had flowered, I rushed over with my camera. The forecast had been for rain but we were lucky to have a whole week of fine weather; the best way to admire the handkerchief coral tepals is under sea blue sky. The spread of the branches takes up a quarter of her small back garden and creates shade for most of the year. She has thought about cutting it back but never has because she is worried it would stop flowering. The magnolia flower represents "splendid beauty and dignity". From a little sappling she thought didn't look so well when she planted it, to a diva of spring in our neighbourhood.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spring in the Woods

I hope you're all having wonderful Easter holidays. I've been enjoying catching up with friends and spending time in Alexandra Park and Guestling Wood where the anemones were sprinkled over the woodland floor like fallen stars and above our heads tiny birds were chirping and trilling while a woodpecker knocked out rhythmic beats. When did you last go for a walk in the woods?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Sale

I'm having a MAD SPRING SALE over at my shop. Enter the codes in the description to save £££s
£15 off rag dolls.
£3 off drawstring bags, crochet rose corsages and dog cushions.
All handmade with quality vintage fabrics by The Green Lady in Hastings.  

* Ends 15th April *
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