April – welcome the weeds

Good Morning Flower, Plant and Earth Lovers!

Here i am going to be sharing with you my life of growing flowers and how i take care of my own little eco-system, my personal paradise.

The power of nature has shone so brightly into our lives these past weeks. Having been forced to slow down our busy lives, the connection between us and mother earth has been profoundly appreciated. You may have found sanctuary in your garden or local green space, listening to the birds and the bee’s or watching the blossoms pop. Having my hands in the soil and trying to learn what seedling is what has been a wonderfully calming activity : can i eat you? are you a self seeded flower? or were you destined for the compost? Getting to know my weeds has been one of my personal tasks this week and it has been far more rewarding than i expected.

A flower arrangement using the best of April’s weeds – listed below with their uses.

DandelionTaraxacum officinale – all parts of our common dandelion are edible, pop the new leaves in a salad for a bitter taste or use the flowers for to make dandelion wine.

White Dead NettleLamium album – the dead nettle’s have no sting and are not actually related to their lookalike. Instead these little ones reside in the Mint family, with little bell flowers which grow in circles above each set of hairy leaf. The flowers and young growth is edible when eaten raw or cooked!

NettleUrtica dioica – I always used to despise this weed, but since putting it to use I’ve learnt to welcome the fresh shoots with a quick snip! The Nettle has long been used in Tea’s or Soup but my favourite use is one I came across only last week. Anna Greenland’s recipe for a Nettle and Rosemary Hair Tonic left my hair feeling fantastic the next day.

Sticky Weed/CleaversGalium aparine – the weed of everyone’s childhood. Harvest while the growth is young to use in a nourishing tea – it will help clear the toxins from your body and is also good if you are prone to cystitis. When the sticky weed goes to seed you can use them to make a very popular wild coffee.

Cow Parsley Anthriscus sylvestris – this common beauty floods our roadsides from April to June and can be used as a whimsical addition to seasonal flower displays. Don’t forget to sear the stems to avoid fast wilting. Our native orange tipped butterflies love Cow Parsley too!

White CloverTrifolium repens – i have picked this before they have come into flower, at this stage they are good to throw into a salad or garnish a soup. Once the flowers have arrived, collect these or the seed pods, grind and use as flour!

Hopefully this insight into some of Britain most common weeds will help you turn these often unwanted garden lodgers into welcome ingredients for wholesome recipes and remedies.

Please do let me know if you have any questions or comments about this piece! With this weeks rain the weeds are sure to be thriving, so happy weeding everyone!!!

Love Ash x

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