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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 134

Here’s a photo that Youko took and kindly sent to me. It was taken beside the railway at Muiderpoort, Oost Amsterdam. An Elder (Sambucus nigra) in fruit, the berries just ripening.

Elder and Sugar Plant Cuttings

Elder cuttings after about one month

How are you’re Elder babies getting on? Did they survive the dark wet weather and then the recent heat wave? It’s almost a month, since we snipped them from their parent bushes on Hugo de Vrieslaan and I know some have had a tough time. But be confident and don’t give them up for . . . → Read More: Elder and Sugar Plant Cuttings

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

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

Let’s Grow Elder Babies!

Elderflower with creamy-yellow stamens

Elder (Sambucus nigra) is arguably the most useful herb that grows wild in Western Europe. It is used for many remedies, is steeped in folklore and history and on top of that the flowers taste great and the berries are delicious when cooked! It is a native hedgerow shrub here in Amsterdam, some areas . . . → Read More: Let’s Grow Elder Babies!

365 Frankendael day 47

Cleavers gallium aparine

Firstly today, fragrant and edible flowers of the urban prolific Rosa rugosa. It is much used by urban landscapers and I think, underused by urban foragers. To be used as any other rose, ensure they are clean and unsprayed as ever. Next is Cleavers (Galium aparine), still looking fresh and cleansing in the Volkstuin . . . → Read More: 365 Frankendael day 47

Urban Herb Love

Scallops coriander lime ginger elderflower

Yesterday was our seventh anniversary, here is what we cooked: Scallops, marinated in the juice of half a lime, a sprig of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped and a small nugget of fresh ginger, squeezed. After cooking in the marinade, the scallops and sauce were laid on wilted spinach and Elderflowers were sprinkled on . . . → Read More: Urban Herb Love

365 Frankendael day 45

Garlic mustard living in a Willow Tree Frankendael

It has rained all day and it although I got soaked through, it was a real pleasure to be out photographing and foraging this Full Moon morning when hardly anyone else was about in Park Frankendael.  I managed to harvest some gorgeous Elderflowers, Ribwort, Red Clover and Mugwort, without anyone casting me a glance of . . . → Read More: 365 Frankendael day 45

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


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