A rare view: all windows are open….

I like to imagine my garden as a future forest garden around the veg patch and a lovely picturesque cottage garden around the house – and note that I did write future…

Because as much as I like the ideas of having a splendid cottage garden with tons of pastel colored flowers I am more inclined to enjoy these rare sunny days lying in the garden with a good book and a cool drink rather than working in it in order to have a proper lawn and get rid of weeds and make it photogenic (although I do think it is quite photogenic as it is!) or worth a mention at Chelsea…

book and duvet….

So I live with a semi-wild garden, and have come to appreciate the beauty and usefulness of what some people call weeds.

Somewhere I’ve heard or read that plants are weeds only where you do not want them to grow – and so yes, I do have weeds – like the cordyline palm that I can’t stand and keeps growing back even if I try to cut it down, and the Griselinia trees – but these provide a good wind break – and some unwanted plants keep growing in the vegetable beds – which is not so good for the productivity of it and are therefore weeds…

But the nettles, cleavers, dandelions a and whatever grows in the grass (even docks!)  are here to stay.

There are plenty of reasons to keep them around: nettle tea, nettle feed or spray for plants, dandelions for salads, coffee, and especially bees, or cleavers for deodorant.

I’ve found this recipe in Edible wild plants and herbs. A compendium of recipes and remedies, by Pamela Michael.


Take a handful of cleavers, make a decoction in a pint of water, let cool.  Strain and either dab your armpits with some cotton wool dipped in it or put in a spray bottle and use as you would any other deodorant . It only keeps for a week or so, just make a small batch when you need it.

It does work for me, it’s almost free and available from spring to late autumn! And in the winter one doesn’t sweat as much…

Apart from being good in salads, dandelions are also good for bees: I was watching a video  where Diana Beresford-Kroeger explains why willow catkins and dandelion flowers are essential for bees need to survive as a species – I did smile when she mentions that maybe only in Italy people don’t pull them up.  It was common even in the city to see people collecting dandelions in the parks or green areas –  foraging may be fashionable now but for some people is not a novelty!

But here they even grow on the house wall..


Everyone and everything deserve a rest….


Tools at rest!

This entry was posted in Garden, summer!, wild food and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Summer!

  1. 76sanfermo says:

    I always learn something from your post……..

  2. Never heard of cleavers used like this before….thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. villapina says:

    Ciao Paola…I love the photos ‘a naturale’ and all its included wisdom! I also leave all the weeds in my garden and eat them. Thanks for the tip about the dandelions and the bee connection…Mi piace the beezzzzzzzzzzounds…Love Pina

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