Echoes of the Garden

Without the Broom, You’ve Got the Furze

Given our Noble Interest’s apparent desire to take over the world, it seems to be curiously averse to being in the kitchen. It was used in at least one recipe for pickled buds in the 17th century. However, given its medicinal action on the heart and blood pressure perhaps this recipe  which uses saffron to approximate the cheery color of the Genista blossoms is a […]

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Genista in the Garden

Our Noble Interest this week is from a family surrounded by controversy and confusion. “Broom” is the common name. There is Common broom, French Broom, and Scotch Broom. There is Spanish Broom, Dyer’s Broom and Sweet Broom. The plant I had in mind is Planta Genista, the badge of the royal Plantagenet family. Genista is a lovely shrub and has admirers in the ornamental trade. […]

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Broom

Broom

Genista spp and Cytisus spp. This is a new plant for me so I’ll be learning as I write this week. Please feel free to help me along if you have any experience with this shrub. More about this topic: Without the Broom, You’ve Got the Furze … Genista in the Garden … Broom … Wes Thu Hál …

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Wes Thu Hál

Almost all of the snow is melted and it’s been warming considerably here. I took a walk today and the first of the coltsfoot is up and I found a couple of garlic mustard plants along the way. My comfrey has sent shoots up, as well. There are crocus blooming in the garden. I don’t know why, but the first crocuses are always the yellow […]

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The Art of Dowsing

One of the things that kept coming up during my research this week was the (apparently) erroneous belief that everyone in the Middle Ages drank beer and never touched water as the water supply was contaminated. It made me start thinking about the demand for water in Medieval days. How did they get it? What did they use it for? I thought to check on […]

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A Hopping Good Time.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s medieval society or modern, is there anything that symbolizes “social” more than beer? People have been brewing beer since 7000 BCE in the East and 3500 BCE in the West. Hops have been being added to beer since at least the 9th century. The practice began in Germany and spread west from there. If you’d like to try your hand […]

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Hop Into Bed

For a plant that’s been around for a long time, there are remarkably few older references to it. I have searched all of my usual herbals and haven’t found mention of this herb under any name for it that I am familiar with in many of them. As with yesterday’s post, I believe that I haven’t yet found the name it was known by to […]

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A Hopping Good Meal

There are a fair number of uses for our Noble Interest in the kitchen. I must state that I have spent the better part of a day trying to find older recipes (medieval and before) and have been utterly unable to do so. I am quite certain that it’s because I don’t know what the plant was called at those times. I know that Pliny […]

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Hops in Leaps and Bounds

In his book Five Hundred Points Of Husbandrie, Thomas Tusser gives these instructions. March drie or wet,hop ground go set.Yoong rootes well drestproove ever * best.Grant hop great hillto growe at will.From hop long gutaway go cut. According to the old calendar, now is the time to see to your hops. Hops are a beautiful plant. They are vigorous growers sometimes gaining a foot a […]

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Hop

Hop

Humulus lupulus Mention hops and the conversation usually jumps straight to beer with good reason. But there’s so much more to the hop plant than that. It’s a plant that I greatly admire and I’m ready to delve into why. I’ll meet you in the garden. More about this topic: A Hopping Good Time. … Hop Into Bed … A Hopping Good Meal … Hops […]

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