Once upon a time, I read that if you ask permission to
gather the nettles, then the nettles will be appeased and will not sting you.
Right. I had to cut back the mugwort and the nettles in the area between the
old meadow and Eurasia in the Herb Garden. This was to make the area look not
so much like a jungle, and allow me the chance to rake up the leaves from the
oaks and elm trees. This also allows the plants to look just a little more
“refined”. If you were in the garden that day, you might have heard me. You may
not have seen me, I was crouched between the bush honeysuckle and the Otogirasu
– and I was wearing a camouflage sweatshirt and those gloves that have the
rubber palms, but woven backs. You might have thought I was speaking to a live
animal and might have given me a wide berth. The one-sided conversation went
something like this:
“Ouch! That is NOT nice. Don’t bite-I have to trim you back
so you will grow big and strong and bushy.”
“Dad-gum-it! Wow! That HURTS! I am sorry, I have to do this,
this is my job!”
“Ow, ow, OW! Stop it! I promise – you will be gorgeous and
bushy, now let me DO this!”
eventually arrived and my stinging knuckles and fingers could have a small
break. I met my friend for lunch and she
pointed out that maybe the plants didn’t want to be big and bushy (?) Maybe they
wanted to be pretty?
So I tried again:
“STOP THAT! DON’T BITE, be nice! Really, you want me to do
this. If I cut you back you will come back beautiful, pretty, and strong. People
will stop and sigh in admiration and all will want to grow you in their
Yup! I kept on beguiling and beseeching and begging and just
darn stating the facts to the nettle and it just bit and stung with impunity.
Maybe it will allow you if you are going to use the plant to make a tea, or
food, or whatever instead of cutting it back and tossing into the compost. And,
then, maybe the person who wrote that wears nice leather gloves when she cuts
back her nettles!
**Nettles nettle me! What nettles you?
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We are located at:
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Memphis, TN 38117
(Between Park & Southern)