Tendrils - Two hedgerow edibles: nettles (L) and garlic mustard (R)

Hello and welcome to an Earth Day 2017 edition of Tendrils! The Earth Day theme this year is Environmental & Climate Literacy, which I will once more explore through the medium of plants and gardening 😉

We’ll begin in the soil, with the (unsurprising) revelation that earthworms are more important than pandas, if you want to save the planet.

Street trees can also have a positive effect on the planet, as we’ve discussed before. The Woodland Trust is starting their Street Trees Project by offering free Street Tree Celebration Packs to residents in areas of Leeds, Wrexham or Glasgow. The idea of the project is to help build community relations, ensure that street trees are valued by everyone and celebrate these precious members of society.

One plant I didn’t realise was edible is lesser celandine, which you might consider adding to a perennial patch or forest garden.

For funsies, I put lesser celandine into POWO, Kew’s newly launched Plants of the World Online database. It doesn’t have a lot to say about this particular species, but there’s a nice map of its distribution. It’s early days for POWO, which should become an invaluable resource:

“We are in active development and are continually making improvements and introducing new features. Future developments will include display of genetic information and phylogenetic trees, identification keys, data downloads, and data visualisation.

By 2020, POWO will provide authoritative information on all of the world’s known seed-bearing plants. So next time you need information on plants, try POWO and let us know what you think.”

Tendrils: Suttons free seed tin offer

Hendricks Gin want us all to celebrate World Cucumber Day by growing our own cucumbers (or adopting one of their virtual plants). Once your seedling begins to grow, they want you to “initiate a relationship, to share your feelings, expose it to literature, express your truest self and so forth”. This all sounds lovely, but the culmination of this experiment, on June 14th, World Cucumber Day, involves bidding farewell to your friend by joining in a ‘harvest-and-garnish ceremony’. Fortunately it involves a hefty dose of gin in which to drown your sorrows!

Whilst we’re on the topic of booze, here are some lovely cocktail recipes involving scented geraniums. These will come in handy, since I have (finally) potted up my scented geranium cuttings, which had languished on the windowsill for over a year. My gosh, they’re drought tolerant!

Lubera have been exploring the different kinds of Persimmon, Japanese Kaki, which grow surprisingly well in the UK, whilst Mother Earth News has a fascinating article from forager Leda Meredith on How to harvest and prepare edible bark without harming the tree.

Earth Eats have an intriguing recipe for Leekchi, made in the style of kimchi, but with leeks. Which would be a good thing to try if, like me, you’re left with a few leeks to harvest before they start to flower.

If that sounds like too much effot, you can feast your eyes instead on cakes iced with amazing cacti and succulents. They look too good to eat, but I would be happy to give them a try!

Enjoy your weeked 🙂