Friday, May 7, 2010

Elder trees

We have a lovely Elder tree growing in our garden. lots of lovely white flowers loved by us and the birds.
Did you know that the  flowers from elderberry trees must be cooked before eating. They can be used to flavour cooked fruit and jam and desserts. Elderflower contains natural yeast which is key to making elderflower champagne.
The flour heads can be combined with citric acid to make cordial, which in turn makes a useful ingredient for adding to sauces and jellies.

Steeped in boiling water and strained the white flowers make a good skin tonic suitable for most skins.

When I bought my tree it was very small and I had no idea how large it would grow.  Perhaps our good soil and plenty of water have helped it.  it is a wonderful tree for the birds who roost in in at night and are in and out of its foleage all day.
The elder tree itself has been known as the "witch's tree" and has been both seen as a protection against witchcraft and a favourite form that a witch may take. Perhaps and ideal plant for the cyberwitch's garden?

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