I’ve been enjoying the tasks of late-winter/early-spring. Our vegetable garden is filled with Kale, over-wintered spinach, with arugula, mache, and cilantro as the dominent “weeds”, which we love. Nettles are always there at the edges for a good green in pesto, soup, or for tea. In March one group of 5th graders at IslandWood made me a beautiful pitcher of nettle tea, infused with fresh ginger, lemon grass, and a little honey. It was yummy, and made me feel healthy and warm on a cold, damp day.
Now I’m trying to stay on top of limb sorting, which is always a challenge for me. But thanks to my sweetie, who harvested for me, and drove all the limbs to my studio, it’s done, and I’m starting to use the small limbs in my ribbed weaving projects since they are half-dry, and perfectly flexible. My favorite colorful limbs to use are a yellow willow, green Hazelnut shoots, and a purple ornamental plum.
He really does it best, and I never turn down his generous offers to help.
I have another young willow patch growing in our garden valley back from the road. Those willow starts are from Dunbar Gardens, near Mt Vernon, Washington. Hopefully next year they will be larger with more shoots so I’ll have even more colors to choose from.
The new straight shoots of the Hazelnut Tree are particularly useful. Prune to the ground in winter, before the leaf buds begin to swell. I like to use them with the bark on. If you prune the new shoots each year, you will get more next year. New grow from the previous year provide a plentiful renewable resource. Not shown here, but not to be forgotten are the fruit tree prunings, apple being my favorite.
Left to right, favorite limbs: green Hazelnut, yellow willow, another willow, purple ornamental plum