Phytology is a great botanical project opening our minds to plants which are commonly labelled as weeds. Their website explains that the project “brings artists and botanists together to explore the medicinal properties of plants that are common to derelict urban environments… (and) aims to challenge ideas of use, value, resilience and the function of wildness within our urban ecosystem”.
The team (including Dr. Peter Giovannini, the International Projects Officer for Kew Royal Botanic Gardens) are busily preparing for the opening of a medicinal field in late April at the Bethnal Green site. Visitors will be able to explore the field, learn about the plants and harvest them for medicine and food. Here are a few of the plants that will be found on site.
Wild Garlic, which can be used:
- As treatment of colds and bronchitis1
- As treatment for indigestion and as anthelminthic1
- Can reduce high blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels
- It is often used to treat bronchitis1 and sore throat
- Decoction of the Marsh Mallow roots is traditionally used for pharyngitis
- The leaves are used for urinary tract infections
St Johns Wart:
- Minor wounds and burns
- Symptomatic relief of mild gastrointestinal problems
- The treatment of anxiety, low mood, and ‘to strengthen the nerves
- To treat fevers
- To treat skin disease and wounds
- To treat digestive complaints
- In Arabian countries is used as anti-scorbutic, diuretic, and antispasmodic
Illustrations by Talya Baldwin. Be sure to check out their website and Facebook page.
I dream sometimes of having my own gardening show, wouldn’t that be cool? One of the shows I’m inspired by is the BBC’s The Edible Garden. In this program, horticulturalist, journalist and author Alys Fowler attempts to live a more sustainable life by transforming her Victorian terrace backyard into a beautiful edible garden. She delivers growing tips, recipes and interviews with other likeminded gardeners.
My ideal garden would be one like Alys’s where almost everything is edible, with flowers and foliage for cutting filling up the spaces in between. Her wild design is also a much admired aesthetic. Check out episode one of The Edible Garden below.
Cute use of flowers by Laila Gohar at Sunday Supper. I will be copying the clover ice cubes.
All photographs by Sunday Supper.