U is for …
…uninspired by this letter!
I could say I’m a bit untidy but the last few months I’ve gone de-clutter crazy and become a bit of a neat freak… Unconventional? Perhaps by some people’s standards… I can only think of un- words in a fairly half-hearted ‘not this, not that‘ kind of way so I’ve settled on a U that’s a regular feature of allotment life.
I have mixed feelings about Urtica Dioica, the latin name for the common Nettle.
The growth of nettles on wasteland is said to indicate nutrient rich soil so we tolerate them in swathes round the trees or growing up through our compost areas. If I was gardening in the Middle Ages I’d leave them be too believing they protected against sorcery and marked the dwelling place of elves*!
I have been known to collect the tips to make a herbal brew or use nettles like spinach in lasagne but it’s rather labour intensive. The one place on the plot where nettles are shown no mercy is the strawberry bed where picking fruit has become a bit of an extreme sport and we rarely manage it without much cussing and prickles.
* according to Jekka McVicar’s Complete Herb Book