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Japanese Quince

Japanese quince

Japanese quince

At first glance it may seem that these early spring weeks are quite dark and dull. But look a little closer and you will see that there are a lot of beautiful flowers around at the moment. Here is one of my Imbolc favourites: Japanese quince (Chaenomeles japonica) Japanse sierkwee.

This plant has edible . . . → Read More: Japanese Quince

Autumn Street Treats and Tricks

Turkish Hazelnut Case

The past few weeks have seen a bounty of free street food falling from trees in Amsterdam. I’ve been enjoying Hazelnuts, Hawthorn berries & Sloes (plucked rather than fallen) and Sweet chestnuts – all absolutely delicious when prepared! The nuts and fruit are still there for the taking in many places but if you have . . . → Read More: Autumn Street Treats and Tricks

Love your Elders!


Love Your Elders – Plant Your Elders! Sunday 7th April 11.00-12.30

Time to join me to either plant your Elder cuttings from last year, or to learn how to take cuttings and propagate this medicine chest of the European hedgerow. Native Elder (Sambucus nigra, NL:Vlier) grows easily and offers familiar flowers and berries each . . . → Read More: Love your Elders!

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 115

RoutRipe Elderberries

I’ve been to Proef in Westerpark today to have a look at their organic garden, which City Plot tend. It is another inspiring example of how to grow lots of food and herbs without a garden. The site is next to the old gas factory storage tanks and hence the soil is deemed unsuitable . . . → Read More: 365 Frankendael day 115

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

How to Make Elder Babies


This morning a group Urban Herbies gathered alongside a park hedgerow and took cuttings of a wonderful herb shrub – Elder (Sambucus nigra). We are going to look after the cuttings for as long as it takes for them to find their feet and be mature enough to survive planted out, in another Amsterdam . . . → Read More: How to Make Elder Babies

Eat Roses

Watergraafsmeer Roses

These blousey roses are growing up the side of a house, close to mine. Every time I walk past them I want to eat them! Rose petal time has finally arrived in Amsterdam, there are walls covered in them all over town.

If you haven’t started including rose petals into your diet then . . . → Read More: Eat Roses

365 Frankendael day 42

Elder in flower Sambucus nigra

Today a post about one plant, my favourite, Elder (Sambucus nigra).

This wonderful ancient healing plant, which has been steeped in mysticism and folklore for millennia, is producing flowers that cheer up almost every hedgerow in town, right now.

Where you find one Elder shrub, you are likely to find others close . . . → Read More: 365 Frankendael day 42

365 Fraendael day 38

Poppy Frankendael

The weather is unusually warm again today, which has causes Chickweed to shrivel up and die and Poppies (not edible, but poisonous, a historically useful medicinal herb) to flower.

Here is Ribwort (Plantago lanceolata), discretely in flower amongst long grass.

Poisonous White Bryony, looking as though it fancies strangling the Juniper bush.

. . . → Read More: 365 Fraendael day 38


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