Mandrake shoots, tea blends and SPRING!!!

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to fit in time in the garden whenever the weather is good enough (which isn’t very often, I can tell you – those of you who are familiar with British weather will fully understand that our weather is delightfully unpredictable, especially at this time of year, and yes I use the word ‘delightful’ very loosely!)   There are snowdrops absolutely everywhere at the moment, all through the village, along with masses of brilliant yellow aconites and buds appearing on all the trees.  In the fields there are plenty of interesting developments with the new grain crops, which don’t come without a sting in the tail unfortunately – namely the bird scarer that scares the bejeezus out of me everytime it goes off when I walk past it.  I have taken to passing the silly thing at a shambling sort of run or at least a very fast walk, with my fingers in my ears.  I’m unsure quite why loud noises make me jump so badly but there’s nothing quite like the adrenaline rush caused by a sudden BANG!! from the bird scarer as you scurry past it.  One is seriously not amused.

Hazel catkins
Gold on the trees... pretty!

On the plus side, I now have THREE Mandrake seedlings, each sporting two long, skinny, bright green leaves.   I’m tempted to give them names, though I am not entirely sure what.   Of course, commenting on the aforementioned Mandrake seedlings has brought plenty of comments from friends who have told me that they are not Mandrakes, they are Boydrakes.  I countered with them being Infantdrakes.  After all, this is not gender specific in this politically correct day and age.  Mind you, going by that parameter, perhaps we should rename the Mandrake, and call them Persondrake instead, so as not to offend we members of the fairer sex who are offended by any word or name containing the gender specific word ‘man’!   Persondrake really doesn’t have the same ring as ‘Mandrake’ though, does it?   I’ve been told I have to carry out a health and safety check and equip anyone dealing with the Infantdrakes with a pair of earmuffs.   This is not Hogwarts, nor is it Greenhouse Four, people – you’re more likely to be deafened by my loud music than by my delightful little Infantdrakes and their screaming, honest!  Maybe I need to feed them better…?

This has been an eventful and very busy week!  I’ve had my first article published in ‘Hedgewytch’ magazine, and am currently writing another article for the next issue of this magazine, and a third article on herbs and protective charms for the Magical Times.   Free time has officially become a myth – though in all honesty it would have done before much longer anyway with spring heading our way at full tilt.   Just to make absolutely sure I don’t have free time to do anything more than cook, clean and sleep, I’m going to be beginning work on a book of herbal fairytales and folklore in the near future, as well as writing more articles, developing a first aid kit and booklet for my shop, and working on yet more tea blends.   Today’s blends are called Luscious and Luminous – one has flowers in and the other is green and earthy with mint, fennel and other good things.  Guess which is which. 😛

Tomorrow I am going to find time to go out and take photographs of the snowdrops and aconites.  I am determined.  Mind you, it’s supposed to rain, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Great British February puts paid to that plan.

2 thoughts on “Mandrake shoots, tea blends and SPRING!!!

  1. Your idea for a book sounds wonderful Ali… I shall be awaiting it with baited breath.
    I’ve never tried to grow mandrakes, do post some pictures of them at some point.
    I’m guessing Luscious is the flowery one as nothing is as Luminous as bright young green things x

    1. got it in one! They both worked out quite well actually so I’ll be adding them to my shop next week all being well. I’m going to try and get some pictures of my mandrake infants next time we get a sunny day and will definitely be posting pictures – I’ll probably keep taking pictures as they get bigger as well actually, just for the fun of it!

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