Corbett WI medicinal wildflowers for the menopause Tour of Beckenham Place Park. Summer in the city; following joining the local Women’s Institute committee this time last year, I realised that I was unable to commit to the regular monthly meetings and whilst enabling the group to set up, I instead offered to teach a herbs for hormones foraging walkshop in Beckenham place park, this year. The whole area has recently undergone quite a makeover transformation with largely a great transformation of the pleasure gardens with new flowers blooming with only a few teething troubles in the swimming lake area (lifeguards need to be present, surely?!)
At 10.30am, armed with copies of the new National Park City community newspaper and map, our group met up at the delightful mansion house and I gave an introduction to the wild herb safety guidelines, then looked around at the humble plants which grew beneath the sign post by the car park. Here we found dead nettle, garlic mustard and yarrow. We began a slow paced walk around the field side on the main side of the house, finding stinging nettles which we carefully chewed and plantain (plantago major). The plantain was useful as an aid to reduce insect bite irritation.
On the left, walking downhill, were several yew trees with the odd red berry, containing their poisonous pip. Followed by a few majestic lime trees which have recently been in blossom but are now dry and forming seeds. cutting across the grass walking barefoot and we follow the path around to the sweet chestnut trees to find an Elder whose berries are just ripening from green to burgundy. This will be a huge crop waiting to support the respiratory tract with vitamin c rich juice. The white clover spreads widely across the lawns and we didn’t spot any redclover to support oestrogen balance on this day.
Thank you to Lotte for organising this activity and all those taking part on the day.
On the way home, I stopped off to speak to a neighbour whose house I’d noticed on the way into Beckenham, as it has a huge plum tree growing next door. Collecting (& eating) Fresh plums is one of the summer treats I look forward to the most, since discovering and harvesting them with my dad, at a woods we found nearby. The suns energy for the day had passed and I took off my hat. We shook the tree; more plums fell off and I gathered them all up together in my straw hat, carefully picking additional blackberries along the way. soaking them all in water is the best way to remove any unwanted wildlife; I washed them carefully removing any grubs which may have nestled into a plum setting them free into the garden. The plums taste divine; reminding us that the sun’s energy is with us, here in the northern hemisphere, now! Fast becoming one of my favourite fresh fruits; what’s not to love? It enriches us with all the goodness of the summer and sets us up for the winter months ahead with rations of vitamins C &D.
Our annual Further Green Road street party was held yesterday afternoon; for 50 residents, with music and laughter filling the air and our stall encouraging all ages ways to be creative with nature. My space involved Making rowan berry bead jewellery and sewing them together, with the expert help of the children; both boys and girls. Helping one another, each child delightfully took the needle, (though we threaded it many times!)and skillfully sewed the berries from tip to bottom through the core, onto the pieces of thread. After counting to 20 ‘beads’ the bracelets were ready and placing the garland around each child’s wrist tied it up at the end. Due to their nature, These ‘beads’ only remain fresh and colourful for a few days after picking until they dry when they can be planted into the garden, to grow their own tree!