Early Spring Frenzy

Our WAWWE class got started on some observations, cleaning, planting, and generally enjoying each other’s presence and the lovely weather outside. We got a bit dirty, planted peonies, sage and mint, learned tool vocabulary and purposed and got some seeds planted for summer. Oh, and dug up piles of dandelions before they take over the universe.

Rosemary

Rosemary is an aromatic plant often used to cook but which can also be used as a medicine. I didn’t know it had medicinal virtues so during the visit of the garden I discovered its  “hidden talent”. Actually, I chose Rosemary because I really appreciate its taste and I sometimes use some for cooking. Moreover, I think Rosemary looks really nice, I like the lovely violet flowers. (Photo and text by Marie).

Rose Bush

I choose a rosebush because it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in the garden. Its flowering period extends from May until the end of October, so it is certainly the last rose of the year. And, to talk about the story of rosebush, originally it is a wild plant and it was first cultivated in the Middle Ages. Its flowers symbolize grace and beauty. (text and photos by Mathilde L.)

Sage (Part 2)

Sage is used in varied ways by different countries. In Italy, sage makes an aromatic addition to rich tomato sauces and pasta dishes, while in France chefs use sage in sausage fillings and pair it with other aromatic herbs like parsley, summer savory, and sweet basil. In the United States and Canada, sage is best known as an ingredient in traditional Thanksgiving stuffings and turkey dishes. One of the best, and most common, pairings for sage is browned butter, which makes for the perfect addition to indulgent pasta dishes or simple chicken and vegetable recipes. (text and photo by Mathilde B).

Here is the recipe for brown butter:

1. Melt the butter: Heat a thick-bottomed skillet on medium heat. Add the butter whisking frequently. Continue to cook the butter.

2. Once melted the butter will foam up a bit, then subside. Watch carefully as lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan. Smell the butter; it should have a nutty aroma. Add some fresh sage leaves to the butter once it has melted.

3. Remove from heat.

Actually, this is the next thing I want to try with the sage I cut last Monday in the Jardin Pontanique.

Health benefits :

Sage provides a fair amount of vitamin K, which is essential for bone health, circulation, and proper blood clotting. It is also a common ingredient in cosmetics that are applied topically as a natural skin care remedy and it’s possible that drinking sage tea provides some of the same benefits. Finally, sage is one of the most popular herbs in dentistry, as it targets pain, inflammation, and bad breath, as well as exerts antibacterial and wound-healing properties.

A Willow

The garden is full of surprising plants like… a willow! I was more expecting an apple tree than a willow in a garden. But the branches of this kind of willow are like wicker : they can be twisted as we want and we can use them directly in the garden, so I found it pretty smart. (text and photo by Enora)

Worms

Worms represent the living of the soil since we have sown and planted things. The worms are the key actor for the soil to “breathe”, they also produce the minerals useful to the development of young plants. (photo and text by Marin)

Sage

Throughout history, sage has been praised for its numerous benefits, and has even been called the “sacred herb”.
The Romans and Gauls used it to help women to give birth and to prevent many diseases. Its use continued throughout the Middle Age until today. Indeed, many kings saw it as a way to extend their life and protect themselves from diseases. Native Americans use it in the smudging ceremony to bless
people and places and to clear out of their bad spirits.
Sage has many medicinal properties. It reduces belly aches, tackles difficult digestion, treats gum infections, calms hot flushes, reduces cholesterol levels, and helps to regulate insulin levels. Some researchers even pointed out in 2003 that it may be useful to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

How to use it:
It can be used in the kitchen to enhance many dishes and sauces thanks to its savory and peppery flavor, when cut into small pieces.
Also, you can boil sages leaves and drink them as an herbal tea for 2 weeks to treat aches. Beware of not consuming too much though, because this triggers hot flushes and headaches (but this is very rare). (photo and text by Inès)

Robin Redbreast

This is Robin redbreast quietly sitting upon a metal fence. He learnt from his last time when he sat upon a thistle, pricked his bum and began to whistle. (Photo and text by Arnaud)

Radishes (Part II)

Here are the radishes we planted a month ago when the sun was shining and we could still believe it was summer. Today it is very cold but our heart is warmed by these small shoots going out from the ground. For the moment they are bit skinny but maybe one day they will be beautiful radishes! (photos and text by Hugo)

Baby radish

This is my favorite picture from my last trip to the garden: it is a baby radish. There were planted at the beginning of October and a week later, we could already see them coming out; I think it is quite rewarding. I also find interesting to see the evolution between this early stage of the growth and the final state of the radish. Fun fact: I tasted it and it already had a bit of taste! – Text and photo by Gabrielle