Keep it Neat and Tidy but don't disturb the wildlife
Hanging basket watering

Flowering Elder

This is the time of year when the Elder is flowering in the Hedgerows, and if you're organised, you can pick the flowers to make Cordial. I've been reminded by a friend (thanks Fiona) that there is a good recipe for Elder flower cordial in the River Cottage Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall (page 471).  Elder(Sambucus) is a large tree that has a great foliage,  but if you have a small garden, you could always use one of the purple leaved forms, such as Sambucus Guincho Purple which don't overtake and produce pink tinged flowers.

Unfortunately most gardens that we've visited in the last couple of weeks have another kind of flowering Elder, - Ground Elder.  This is a creeping perennial weed, that if allowed to take hold can smoother all the other plants in its way.  At this time of year when it is growing at its fastest, and particularly if it is flowering, just rip the green growth off, and don't compost it.  you will need to do this 3 or 4 times in a season to decrease its virulence, and then you need to get out the roots to get rid of it completely.- Even if you don't have time to get it all out, - go round and rip off the flowering heads, - Ground Elder will grow enough through its spreading roots, you don't need it seeding as well!

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