Diary - 04/04
Diary - Apr 2004
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April 2004


The initial weeding and tidying up of the Cotswold herb garden took place over the Easter break. Thankfully the weather wasn’t wet and we were able to dig up the thousands of feverfew seedling covering the ground. The prickly barbery bushes were consigned to a safer place in the hedge and the agnus castus bush was transplanted to the top fence where it would have space to grow into a tree and not take up all the nutrients in the main herb garden.

Woad plants were another problem. I enjoy their beautiful yellow flowers, but as I don’t have time to learn how to dye, nor the need to turn all my clothes into navy blue, there isn’t much I can do with them. I potted up a dozen plants to donate to the Druid herbgarden in the Matineau Gardens in Edgbaston, dug a bed for another dozen plants near a gap in the hedge underneath one of the four hundred year old oak trees and steeled myself to throw any other stray seedlings onto the compost heap beyond the nettle bank. The cleared space was needed to plant new herbs just arrived from Poyntzfield Herb nursery in Scotland – wood betony, agrimony, alecost, solomon’s seal, purple sage, some more black cohosh and two different kinds of liquorish.

On Easter Sunday we had a visit from “The Bee Man”. I’d offered some excess herbs to members of an email group last autumn and one of the participants had subsequently telephoned me for more details. “One of my dreams is to have bees near my herb garden” I’d told her. “Funny you should say that,” she replied, “My husband keeps bees and he’s looking for land to keep his hives on during the summer.”

So he visited the farm and agreed to put a plinth underneath the ancient ash tree in the corner of the field where the bees wouldn’t be disturbed. It was too cold for them to be brought over for the next week or so and I sent him home with woad and motherwort plants for his wife, who was starting one of the herbal medicine correspondence courses.


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