The last few days have been glorious sunshine. Even today, although raining, felt warm and spring-like. This is sometimes hard to comprehend when some of the forecast temperatures are still quite low. It may sound strange, but I think this may have much to do with the growing light. Certainly, the effect of the growing days has a significant influence on awakening the developing plants just like the increase in temperature. It is these influences that cause a stir in me to start looking about at what is coming up.....and inspires me to make my first, usually excessive, purchase at a garden centre. It has also brought me to the idea that I would like to share these developments with you.
The Green Man.....In The Field, is the beginning of a new series whereby, I hope to be able to get out and document for you, in picture and in word, some of the developments that are happening in the plant world....and to give some information about the plants presented.
Although the title of the new series includes In The Field, I will start out In The Garden....because it contains the sheltered spaces that often see developments ahead of those in the surrounding countryside (although, the countryside too has its own sheltered places of trapped warmth).
After the great loss of plants at my allotment to last winter's rains...I decided to keep many plants close to home in pots to weather the season. This is not to say that some things were not planted to weather the extremes in the open...but I kept back representatives 2 by 2 in a Noah like fashion just in case not everyone made it. Of course, the home bodies have their post-winter scraggle look (my word I think) but they are showing solid promise of growth at the base.
One of the first impressive herbs to visually impact the countryside is the primrose. The paler yellow flower of this herb reflects the gentle intensity of the sun at this time of year, later to be replaced by the intense yellow of the dandelion.
Primrose has many properties but, perhaps, its two best known functions are as a sedative and an expectorant.
When the days start to get warmer few of us concern ourselves with colds. However, spring is a time when the body will detox itself from the accumulations of winter. This may present as a cold with much phlegm. Cowslip can help to remove this from the respiratory system. Furthermore, its sedative properties can induce sleep during the period of recovery.
Last year, I noticed an increased presence in mullein. The little chaps seemed to be popping up all over the place. As I have said many times, I believe things grow when and where they are needed...and in the quantity we need them in. Paying heed to my own philosophy I cultivated many of them in pots and in my allotment. Although they have not come out of their dormant phase yet, they will soon begin to put on leaf that I can harvest for cold conditions where there is phlegm involved.
The velvety leaves suggest a signature that would support the work of the cilia in the respiratory system.
Later on in its second season, mullein will produce its lovely yellow flowers that are used in ear conditions. In fact, these flowers remind you of the entrance to the outer ear.
Many inflammatory conditions of the ear develop as a result of a build up catarrh in the ear. When the body is toxic, especially after winter, it will use various vehicles to expel this waste or, where the condition is chronic, to store it. Certain dietary excesses seem to correlate with a build up in the ear, dairy consumption being one of the most noticeable.
Mullein thrive on sunny, well drained, locations which makes it sympathetic to dry inflammatory states.
Often we think of our interaction with plants as a summer event. Yet, if we wish to weave herbs into the fabric of our life, we need to be outside, where we live, all year round. This allows us to build up our knowledge of the local habitats and map where the various herbs are growing. This helps us to cultivate a relationship with the place where we live, both on a practical and spiritual level. It is my wish that this series will help to guide you in achieving that.
Health and Happiness.
The Green Man