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By Peanuts

Surrey, United Kingdom Gb

last plant id please. Any ideas what this is? It is growing like mad and looks like its going to need to be kept under control. Any ideas ? thank you.

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Elder. You can make lovely elderflower cordial from the flowers.

17 Jun, 2013


Smell the leaves, quite a rank smell, but I love it as it's a plant of my childhood, in our hedges.

17 Jun, 2013


Great, thank you. Would never have got that. Hmm now how to keep it under control, and learn how to make elderflower cordial !

17 Jun, 2013


Google it Peanuts I keep meaning to make it but never get to pick the flowers in time. It's lovely with sparkling water - elderflower champagne!

17 Jun, 2013


You can make elderflower tea as well - one flower head to about a pint of boiling water. Leave to infuse a few minutes and strain. Enjoy! I look forward to this every year.

17 Jun, 2013


Or, if you miss the flowers but have the patience to wait for the berries (and then can get them before the birds do!) there's a good sauce you can make with them... called Pontack (ponteack?) sauce I think (supposedly after the chef involved) - I haven't checked but I guess it'll be on Google. It's hard to collect enough fruit, quickly enough (before the aforementioned birds!) but you can strip them off with a fork and freeze them for a short while, till you go on the next foraging trip.

If making the "real" (alcoholic) elderflower champagne, beware: I used to do this from an old traditional recipe (delicious!), till one year when a bottle exploded! - result, very sticky storage space... luckily no-one was around when it happened. Apparently, you're supposed to bury the bottles till you need them, to minimise this - I'm sure I would end up forgetting WHERE I'd buried them...

Good luck with the cordial! (it too is v. nice...)

18 Jun, 2013


You are all being so nice about the elder I feel really guilty. We have so much of it and pull it up by the bucketful! Once you have one plant the birds eat the berries, sit in the trees and hey presto! You have hundreds of them springing up everywhere with tenacious roots if you don't get them early enough.
Having said that I have the black cut leaf variety and the golden one which I love!

18 Jun, 2013

How do I say thanks?

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