• Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Willow   Willows are a type of tree in the family Salicaceae. They’re deciduous, meaning they lose their leaves towards winter, and they love both moisture and sunlight. Striking weeping willows are often seen trailing their leaves across the surface of streams, while fluffy goat willow or pussy willow brightens up the spring with its soft catkins. While only the largest of gardens will enjoy a willow tree of their own, many people will have a green area or park they can visit to find one of the many species of willow which grow all across the northern hemisphere. Find your own favourite willow creek or…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Cherries   I’m inspired to write about cherries because of my next door neighbour. They have a huge cherry tree that hangs over into our garden. We don’t mind. In fact, we love it. Not only is it a beautiful tree, with strong, thick limbs and richly coloured bark, it encourages all kinds of wildlife. Just this afternoon, we all sat enraptured in the kitchen as a squirrel hopped around the back garden munching on the fallen cherries. They’re just starting to ripen as we leave the summer solstice behind, and the windfalls attract all manner of birds and small mammals. There are actually over 50…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary Special: Five Antiviral Plants to Eat at Home     *Disclaimer: Eating any amount of plants and herbs cannot protect you entirely from catching any sort of illness. Healthy eating is great and boosts your immune system but should complement, not replace, good hygiene, prescribed medication, and safe social distancing measures where appropriate. Take a holistic approach to your well-being and always follow guidelines from medical practitioners and qualified experts. Stay safe!   Even prior to the current pandemic, there has been a lot of scientific research into what sort of plants might have significant antiviral properties. Antiviral plants are plants which help boost your body’s…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Jack by the Hedge I don’t get a huge amount of time to spend keeping my garden super tidy, but that’s ok, because I like it to run a little wild. Because of that, we get plants that come in from outside the garden, often spread by birds and small animals, or simply by seeds blown in on the wind. Once such plant which is a star of British verges and hedgerows is this lovely plant, pictured. It has many names, but my favourite one is Jack by the Hedge, Latin name Alliaria Petiolata. Jack by the Hedge is also called Garlic Mustard, or even Poor…

  • Reviews & Interviews

    Book Review – The Witch’s Herbal Apothecary: Rituals & Recipes for a Year of Earth Magick and Sacred Medicine Making by Marysia Miernowska

    Book Review The Witch’s Herbal Apothecary Rituals & Recipes for a Year of Earth Magick and Sacred Medicine Making by Marysia Miernowska 224 Pages     If you want to learn to love the land and feel Earth love you back, “The Witch’s Herbal Apothecary: Rituals & Recipes for a Year of Earth Magick and Sacred Medicine Making” is a must read. It doesn’t take long to realize Marysia Miernowska regards Earth as Lover and nature as the Beloved, and that everything is sacred. In a gentle, wise manner, she offers practices, rituals and recipes to ride the regenerative currents of nature following the Wheel of the Year, starting with…

  • Reviews & Interviews

    Book Review – The Witch’s Herbal Apothecary: Rituals & Recipes for a Year of Earth Magick and Sacred Medicine Making by Marysia Miernowska

    Book Review The Witch’s Herbal Apothecary Rituals & Recipes for a Year of Earth Magick and Sacred Medicine Making by Marysia Miernowska 224 Pages     If you want to learn to love the land and feel Earth love you back, “The Witch’s Herbal Apothecary: Rituals & Recipes for a Year of Earth Magick and Sacred Medicine Making” is a must read. It doesn’t take long to realize Marysia Miernowska regards Earth as Lover and nature as the Beloved, and that everything is sacred. In a gentle, wise manner, she offers practices, rituals and recipes to ride the regenerative currents of nature following the Wheel of the Year, starting with…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Celery     Celery (Apium Graveolens) is an easily recognisable vegetable, available in most supermarkets or grocery stores. It’s a relative of carrots and parsley, part of the apiaceae family. It’s loved by dieters thanks to its high water content and low calorie content, plus it’s amazing for dipping into hummus or salsa. But is celery a medicinal or magical plant? Let’s take a look.   The Kitchen Garden Celery can be grown from seed and in fact can be planted at this time of year (February-March-April) as long as it’s kept warm until frost has gone. It needs to be kept moist so is ideal…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: Cow Parsley     Anthriscus Sylvestris or cow parsley is a member of the Apiaceae family, just like the carrot and hemlock. It has tall, hollow stems topped with a flurry of delicate white flowers. In Europe it is a common hedgerow plant, and a familiar sight to walkers and foragers. It’s one of the first flowers to appear by the roadside in spring. With many common names including the grand “Queen Anne’s Lace” and the morbid “Mother Die”, this plant is a piece of living history and an intriguing part of the British countryside.   The Kitchen Garden Encouraging cow parsley into the garden would…

  • Monthly Columns

    Notes from the Apothecary

    Notes from the Apothecary: The Christmas Tree     Straight away, I know many of you will be wondering why I’m bringing Christmas to the table, when most of us are looking forward to Yule or the Winter Solstice. Well, it’s because I absolutely adore the tradition of the Christmas tree. And, despite what many people think, it’s not an inherently Pagan symbol, although there are definite Pagan roots, pardon the pun. Christmas trees are so popular today that they are grown in all 50 American states, including even Hawaii, and most other places in the world. From candlelit trees in Germany in the 1800s to fiber optic light shows…