The Buzz

What Nettles You?


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!”  

Fortunately,  lunch 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 gardens!”

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?  

Posted by sherri mccalla at 7:00 AM


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