|Elderberries in April. A heavy late winter pruning removes dead wood|
and helps contain the shrubs' size, as well as encouraging new growth and fruiting.
This cold is a bit worse than the last. I feel really tired and dragged out. I've popped garlic in my mouth. Drunk ginger, lemon and honey tea. Taken doses of echinacea tincture and lemon balm tincture. Drunk tea made with elder flowers, peppermint and yarrow. And I just finished eating a small bowl of elderberry jam -- as the berries possess anti-viral properties. It also is a great comfort food and quite tasty.
|White flowers (not the daisies) are yarrow.|
I make lots of elderberry jam each year and usually finish eating it all before the next year's berries are ready. Because they ripen in August, when I have a bazillion other things to process and preserve, this past year I froze all my elder berries and made them into jam when things were a bit quieter. I let the frozen berries thaw, processed out the seeds and then cooked the pulpy juice into jam.
|Fairies appear beneath elders even in winter time.|
Elder shrubs sucker rampantly, that is, they send out underground runners that pop up shoots along their length. I have seen shoots pop up many feet from the parent plant. This occurs most frequently in the spring, so I spend a lot of time in April cutting back shoots. You can dig these and transplant if you want to start another stand elsewhere.
|Butterfly on yarrow flowers.|
Now I am thinking about that elderberry wine in the pantry. Perhaps I should have a bit... strictly for medicinal purposes, of course.
|Elderberry shrubs in full summer bloom.|