As you can see the Calendula flowers (left) have germinated - you can see both the cotyledons and the true leaves. These will be planted out on my plot soon. To the right are fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) seeds which are germinating. I want to grow fennel as I love eating it - my partner makes a lovely fennel and red pepper soup. I also want to grow fennel for its medicinal properties: the seeds make an excellent infusion for relieving bloating in the stomach and for settling the digestive system (do not exceed the recommended dose). Fennel is also a galactagogue which means that it promotes the production of breast milk (the bulb can be roasted and eaten).
A short video about Galium aparine (Cleavers). Cleavers is a common hedgerow plant that is abundant in spring. For more information have a look at the Cleavers page on my website.
As always when gathering ensure that you pick plants away from the path away from where dogs can wee, and if in doubt about the plants identity consult a plant finder book or go on a plant walk with a medical herbalist.
Well it's May and my culinary/medicinal plot is underway. So far I've layed paths and planted the following:
- garden peas
- broad beans
- Calendula officinalis
- Achillea millefolium
- Lavendula angustifolia
- Salvia officinalis
- Thymus vulgaris
- Apple mint
- and some pretty flowers which I can neither eat or use medicinally.
Left - lettuce and rocket.
Middle - stone circle planted with marigolds (Calendula officinalis)
Right - shallots
My peas (left and middle) and broad beans (right).
I've planted peas as they are high in protein and vitamin C (as well as delicious)
My garden peas are supported by a cane structure. I've added small branches around the base for the peas to climb up - the branches were pushed into the ground close to the pea plants.
My broad beans were planted approx 9 inches apart and staked with pea sticks. I then tied string around their perimeter to provide extra support.
Veda West BA BSc MNIMH