March 2011

Our March meeting was well attended and members enjoyed the talk by Julie Dore on Hedgerow Herbs. Julie is a medical herbalist with clinics in Girton, Royston and St Ives. Her illustrated lecture gave us a most interesting insight into the many ways plants can keep us healthy, and have done for generations – poor people in the past did not have prescriptions! She said it was extremely important when using herbs as medicine that people only self treat for very simple things, and that they make sure any herbalist they consult is properly qualified – it takes four years of study. Hedgerow plants should be picked from eye level, leaving higher leaves and berries for birds and ignoring those at ground level and beside roads which could be contaminated.

Also check for signs of farming sprays and do not take anything which might be rare or endangered. Among the plants which can be used in different ways are hawthorn, nettle, viburnum, dog rose, elderflower, self heal, cleavers and dandelion. Julie brought samples to try of herbal teas, a delicious rose hip syrup and one made of elderberries.

The competition for five daffodils/narcissi was won by Brenda Wood. Next month (7 April) the competition is for a vase of spring flowers. Our speaker will be Roy Nunn on Hardy Geraniums, and our Easter Raffle in aid of “Perennial”, the garden charity we support.

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