Thursday 13 October 2011

St Bernard's Well, Medicinal Garden

This morning, a small group of volunteers from Water of Leith Conservation Trust gathered by St Bernard's Well to weed and plant the old medicinal garden. The weather was beautiful, mild and dry. The weeding was easy and we then had a tea break (with nice biscuits!) before starting on the planting. Robins were singing around us and a beautiful female mute swan swam slowly past on the river as we worked. We also had good views of a dipper, busily looking for food in the river.

This photo gives some idea of how the area looked to start with, pretty overgrown.

This is how it looked after we had done all the weeding (the area in the background to the right had already been planted with medicinal herbs).

And this is how it looked when we had finished!

We planted species such as sneezewort, teasels (not strictly speaking medicinal, but used in making dyes), purple loosestrife, tansy and St John's Wort. Then we planted some daffodils in a long trail in the shape of a serpent (which is the symbol of health).

It was very enjoyable to be involved in the work and I really look forward to seeing the garden develop and bloom!

As ever, text in red contains hyperlinks, which take you to other websites, where you can find out more!


The Weaver of Grass said...

Isn't is satisfying to work in a group like that and really make a difference.

WildBill said...

Wonderful plant choices with the exception of purple loosestrife. It is illegal in many places in the States because it is so invasive and displaces native plants, especially in wetlands. Is there a problem with it in Scotland. It is native to Eurasia.

Pomona said...

Wonderful work! I did a university course on medicinal plants last year and found the whole thing quite fascinating. Gabrielle Hatfield has written some very interesting books on the subject.

Pomona x

RG said...

That's a great post - looks about like work parties I get out on here! It's just our breaks are not usually tea and biscuits - we mostly have coffee, muffins and sweet rolls, veggies, and well, yes, hot water for tea or cocoa!

bunnits said...

Looks great. What a neat idea to plant a medicinal garden there.

Oh said...

love the before and after pictures. Such a rich feeling to work with the earth, non? Gardneing is like giving the earth a massage, somehow.
And St John's wort? I hear so much about it - must look it up.

Anonymous said...

A job well done - really love the look and the idea of the medicinal garden.

Ash said...

How interesting! Lovely photos too.

Carver said...

What a great project. I love community gardens and a great idea to have a medicinal one.

Kristine Ong Muslim said...

Juliet, I love your mention of certain medicinal herbs. Tansy is certainly new to me. You have awaken my love of growing herbs/spices in small containers.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Weaver - it is indeed!

WildBill - purple loosestrife is native here and though it grows quiet profusely, it's not considered a problem!

Pomona - sounds an interesting course! I'll look out for Gabrielle Hatfield's books,

Rabbits Guy - sounds like your work parties get better fed than ours!

Bunnits - it fits in nicely with the (alleged) medicianl properties of the water in the St Bernard's Well

Oh - there's a link in the text where you can find out more about St John's Wort.

Gabrielle, Ash, Carver, Kristine - thanks