Signs of spring! 

 The first signs of spring in the asifbeemagic garden happened over night! After a little bit of sun, suddenly the garden sprang into life, demonstrated beautifully here by my pear tree!   

 My chives, which I thought I had lost over winter have sprung back up, dangling their spindly legs over the sleepers bordering the raised beds! They didn’t flower last year, so I’m hoping they manage to this year! I used a lot of fresh chives last year in various salads and cooked meals. There is something so much nicer about using fresh herbs in cookery.  

  My Angelica hiding the lovely lemon balm underneath! My Angelica was severely attacked by larvae last year, I think it was Cabbage White butterflies as they were fluttering around my garden like blossom being tossed around by the wind. The large umbrella leaves of the Angelica spread like angel wings across the garden, suggesting it is protective and gentle. It is known to be used as a muscle relaxant, being a gentle digestive tonic, as well as anti fungal and antibacterial, and clearly delicious to butterflies! 

Lemon balm makes the most soothing tea. Just a gentle rub of the leaves releases the most wonderful lemony smell that seems to instantly calm the senses and soothes the mind! It is known to relieve anxiety. Perhaps instead of breathing into a paper bag during an anxiety attack, or pumping our bodies full of synthetic medicines, we should sit and sip a delightful cup of lemon balm tea and see how much better we feel!  

Ella who????? This is what my partner said when I told him what it was! Elecampane, my garden’s triffid, went from next to nothing to this in a few days! I made elecampane honey at the end of last year, by washing and chopping some root before leaving it to dry off and adding it to a jar of honey. Elecampane root when eaten tastes very strong and camphor like. It is perhaps due to this that it is used to alleviate coughs and other lung complaints such as bronchitis. I found that eating some of the root having left it in the honey, it had a slightly more palatable taste. I had used runny honey and noted that this had become more runny after I had added the root. I have used the honey in drinks during the winter to help ward off colds ( I haven’t been ill at all this past winter and usually I would get at least one cough!) I also found that it was surprisingly tasty in porridge!!! 

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