Around 20 people came to the walk around the Loughborough Estate on Saturday 23rd May. We started off at Wyck Gardens and the people who were lost or late caught up with us. All of the bamboo sticks with drawings on that I’d put in place for the Artangel conference were still there, so I left them there.
The leaves on the Lime tree in Wyck Gardens seemed less sticky and the flowers were closer to flowering. Last year, I found it impossible to find lime flowers that were decent enough to make tea with, they were all manky and brown.
The comfrey had grown massive amounts with loads of purple flowers everyone. Some flowers were bluish. I couldn’t see any white ones but I’m sure there were white ones last year.
We discovered a chamomile related plant growing in the path over to the herb garden. It’s the same plant that’s growing in the cracks between the concrete slabs behind my block of flats. We found it in the books and identified it as Pineappleweed. It has a pineapply-chamomile-sweet smell. One walk participant, Darren, was going to try it as tea. I tried it later on at home and found it a bit tasteless.
The lemon balm was very busy/bushy in the herb garden and someone noticed some fennel growing there. What a pleasure that garden is. I still want to plant some wild rocket there. Darren mentioned a place in Bermondsey where a species of rocket grows that is only found in london, London Rocket.
We walked over to the Library House social centre which was having an open day and where we had cooking facilities to cook up some elderflower fritters and Tim Graves cooked a rocket puff pasty bake with goats cheese. We cracked open some nettle beer from the May15th batch and supped in the sun.
There were two mums with babies under one. I really enjoyed all cooking together, picking insects off the elderflowers, making the batter, making the tea from the herbs. I fried up the fritters with Emma’s help. I’ve only fried fritters once before but I knew that the oil swells up the first time you put an elderflower head in and I didn’t want to risk any accidents. The kitchen was a bit busy but I warned people to move back. It was fine though. We had an open window we could pass the fried elderflowers through to a mass of people waiting for them outside, to squeeze lemon and dab icing sugar on them
Thanks all for coming. Please add any comments or reflections.
Photos by Melanie Clifford (melanie.clifford(at)gmail.com)