The Hedgerow in August.

In Cooking, Foraging., sustainable living on August 21, 2011 at 10:02 pm

The Blackberries have started to swell in the hedgerows. Hopefully we will get some sunny days to help them along. The picking of Blackberries is one of my cherished childhood memories. My Mother would turn them into jam to keep us supplied through the Winter. Today it is a tradition I still follow. Foraging is second nature and something I get deep satisfaction from.

Blackberry and Apple jam is delicious and the apples provide the pectin the Blackberries lack.  Mixed with Elderberry, another free fruit, they make a great chutney. Then of course there’s cordial, great for Winter colds or just as a nice drink, full of vitamin C.

The sloe is also filling out, this bitter fruit is the ancestor of all cultivated and wild plums. So bitter is it that one could possibly wonder what use it would have.  It however, has several uses when ripe. Usually picked after first frosts, which softens the by then black skins, sloes make a lovely claret coloured jelly, a very fine wine and added with sugar to gin or vodka make a very nice liquer.

 The Hogweed, alas, has no value to the forager, being inedible. It is however a useful plant for wildlife. The large heads are made up of hundreds of small flowers which attract Bees, Soldier Beetles and Hoverflies. Spiders spin their webs between the stems hoping to trap a Bluebottle or other insect to dine on.

The variety of wild grasses on the lane never ceases to amaze. They are at their best right now having reached their full height and developed seedheads.

This one lit up by the setting sun is gorgeous and to my eyes fit to grace any garden. I’m sure all these grasses have individual names but I don’t know them. I am happy, on my daily walks, to admire their variety and beauty.

  1. […] up, a reminder from Arigna Gardener that the hedgerows are swollen with goodies as we move through August, blackberries, elderberries […]

  2. Clicked on all your images to enlarge to savour the hedgerow in your lovely rural spot. Picking blackberries is a fave childhood memory – stained fingers, struggling through stingers, minding the thorns and the best berries always just out of reach. We need more sun to ripen them this year.

  3. I love hedgerows and struggle to pass them without stopping to admire the diverse flora. I’m glad to find others with a similar affliction – I was recently described as ‘nerdish’ when I stopped to admire and phtograph wild carrot! How rude!

  4. I missed the Blackberries up at the cottage this summer, but we did have a great harvest of Black Raspberries. Check out this post for some recipes that can use any of several types of berries: Enjoy!

  5. My raspberries are just beginning to ripen. This is my first plant, and I am so looking forward to harvesting them. Your wandering photos are lovely.

  6. I, like you, have been doing a bit of wandering to see what is about, as there isn’t as much to see and talk about in the garden.

  7. Our golden rods are in bloom….autumn is on her way.
    Jane x

  8. Bridget,
    Blackberries are so tasty, hope you make lots of jam with them. Our blackberries are done they bloomed in April the bees here missed the nectar as we got the bees in May. Next year…

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