Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Merry Month of May

Well, here we go, another month has begun - what will it hold.

stinging nettles
Folklore states that nettle leaves should be picked before May Day because after that the Devil uses the leaves to make his shirts.
 While some people believed that elder protected them against witchcraft (especially on May Day when the leaves were particularly powerful) and were happy to have it in the gardens, other thought it was a wicked plant (it was known as the 'Devil's wood' in Derbyshire) and wanted nothing to do with it.

maypole dancing
Traditionally, a day of great celebration and festivities, including Morris dancing, crowning a May Queen and Maypole dancing.  Seeding had been completed by this date so it was convenient to give farm workers the day off.

mead - made by fermenting honey and water
Mead was drunk, this is a potent alcoholic drink made by fermenting honey and water, and all over the   world people have been getting drunk on it for centuries.


  1. I love the folklore. Happy May to you.

  2. Intersting, but I think I'll keep picking (or rather weeding!) my nettles anyway else they'll win the battle!

  3. In olden days in Ireland fires were lit on all the hills. Must have been a fabulous sight. Happy Bealtaine!

  4. When my brother formed a gang (as a boy I should add) the initiation rite was to roll through a patch of nettles wearing just trunks. Needless to say I decided against joining his silly gang. (Just thought I'd share that with you - you're top photo brought it to mind). Happy may Day + 1. Dave

  5. I keep coming across nettle recipes... except that I don't grow them. Yours are very healthy looking!

  6. I use nettle in teas. I like all the information you provided about this important herb.

  7. Nettles make wonderful plant food. just steep them in water and use the liquid to water on as a plant food. Here people eat nettles whn they're young and make risotto with them. Christina

  8. Wish I'd read that about the nettles before today, I found a small patch of them this morning. Oh dear.