Monday, 9 May 2011

The heady fragrance of wild garlic and muddy dogs ........

    As far as the eye can see in the Charing Alder Beds this last two weeks, wild garlic, wild garlic and more wild garlic - each starbright flower gleaming white in the dappled shade.

Wild garlic, fully into bloom

  It's almost as if the snow is back, giving us a late sprinkling - and the scent as you approach over the wild flower meadow and dive under the shade of the coppiced alders and taller ash and oak trunks is quite overpowering. Like bluebells, these plants are all set to blossom before the leaves on the trees above are fully out. As soon as the leaf cover is dense, and its share of sunlight is gone, the garlic will set seed and both leaf and flower will disappear again until next spring.

   Muddypond likes to add the garlic to her hedgerow cooking pots - the leaves, wilted in soups, or with the starry flowers fresh in salads with a handful of baby sorrel - and then the seeds, green or black - very strong - to flavour bread or savoury jelllies.
Of course, wild garlic must have damp soil, so the alder beds here, with their natural springs and streams criss-crossing the woods are perfect -   perfect also for Faery Guard and Companion Martin - who likes nothing better than to wade chest high into the rich, black mud and nose for sticks!

Faery Guard and Companion Martin, who is supposed to have white legs  -
likes to be chest high in cooling mud amongst the garlic!

  There are recipes for wild garlic on my website cooking pages here - - -
and may I recommend to you this cookery book -  'The Wild Garlic Book' by Peggy Tolleson, not simply  about garlic, but a travelogue, unusual cookery book and memories of bygone days in one, and all beautifully illustrated.

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