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Bones, Bites and Bali

Bali lily and water cabbage

As some of you know, I fell from my bike in November and was out of action for quite some time. In short, I broke my cheek bone in several places, took quite a hit on my bum and was rather shaken up. Illness is one of the greatest teachers so naturally lessons were learned. . . . → Read More: Bones, Bites and Bali

Rose petal and Mugwort Elixir

Photo credit: Van Gogh Museum

This morning was an Oak Apprenticeship meeting and this afternoon, a walking-cooking magazine interview. Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) was a welcome participant at both gatherings. This common urban herb offers a plethora of uses and is currently flowering here in Amsterdam.

Mugwort has a strong aromatic taste and is not the easiest herb to eat . . . → Read More: Rose petal and Mugwort Elixir

Putting my feet up


About 8 weeks ago I strained my foot, lugging a heavy suitcase upstairs, in worn out shoes. Clearly not a good idea as I’ve been annoyed by a sore foot since then. I gave in and headed for the doctor on Friday, suspecting something worse than a strain. Thankfully nothing else seems to . . . → Read More: Putting my feet up

365 Frankendael day 184


The Amsterdam marathon is taking place as I write this. We caught a glimpse of the leading group as they sped along Hugo de Vrieslaan this morning.

Tomorrow morning I shall be up before the lark, to join the English Breakfast Radio show in Amsterdam. Presenter Cathy joined one of my September herb walks. . . . → Read More: 365 Frankendael day 184

365 Frankendael day 150

Elderberry and honey syrup

Thank you to the group of Urban Herbies who joined me For the Elder Workshop today. We harvested Elderberries, Elder leaves and Elder branches. We learned about and concocted Elderberry syrup and numerous other Elder based remedies. I had a lot of fun with you all, and the plants!

I was so busy enjoying the . . . → Read More: 365 Frankendael day 150

365 Frankendael day 149

Elder at foot of old tree

I’ve been busy preparing for the Elder workshop tomorrow and enjoyed a little walk in the park looking for ingredients for ghee based Elder ointment.  Elder leaves are very medicinal but contain a chemical which, when digested by the human body, turns into cyanide so it’s obviously not a good idea to eat it.  The . . . → Read More: 365 Frankendael day 149

Herbs & Honey Workshop


I’m running one more workshop this summer. It’s about ways to use honey with herbs, in simple, unusual and delicious ways.

There are two spaces left and as ever, the maximum number of participants is small.

Cost €15, upon booking (but fully refundable upto 24 hours before) Tuesday 14th August, Oost Watergraafsmeer 14:00-16:00

If . . . → Read More: Herbs & Honey Workshop

Herb by Herb part 4 – Elder

Ripening elderberries

My favourite herb, it grows as happily in cities as it does in the country. Generally overlooked, this herbal treasure chest is steeped in ancient folklore and has a long long history of use. You can use parts of it, harvested at certain times, to make simple safe remedies for the whole family.

. . . → Read More: Herb by Herb part 4 – Elder

Aloe Omelette Shampoo

A little while ago Frida Ahrlin, who co-runs a good blog called (literally, make yourself sustainable), joined one of my herb walks. I don’t usually take much notice of my walkers hair condition but Frida’s is quite wonderful and when the topic of Aloe vera arose in conversation and she told me that . . . → Read More: Aloe Omelette Shampoo

365 Frankendael day 59

Mugwort and wormwood harvest for workshop

Today was the first Urban Herbology Herb-by-Herb workshop, introducing Mugwort to a small group and helping them to experiment with making tinctures, infused oils and other herbal preparations. So my photo for today is simply of the remains of our Mugwort (and Wormwood) harvest!

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) which is dark green on the . . . → Read More: 365 Frankendael day 59


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