stinging nettle
nettle puff pillows
chicken of the woods
wild strawberry
wild strawberry crosses, by Kim Hendrickson

June: Love is in the Earth

No price is set on the lavish summer
June may be had by the poorest comer

James Russell Lowell

In June we celebrate the invisible light of love. Like the sun, Earth loves her children without exception. Halfway around the calendar from Christmas, summer solstice crowns the season. Berries reaching ripeness, clover dotting the meadow, elder blossomming over streams.

“What is a weed?” asks Emerson.  “A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” Or rather, one whose virtues are not sold in stores. A weed is a plant that grows where people want something else. A gift forsaken, its love goes unrequitted. But weeds are humans' idea, not nature’s.

“The idea of a weed was born with the invention of the ‘crop’ some 10,000 years ago, as a plant that interfered with agriculture.” Of the twenty plants most despised by men (see Holm, The World’s Worst Weeds), more than half are edible, including chickweed, dandelion, lambsquarter, and the queen of tough love, stinging nettle.

The sun loves you... just as the rose
He never scorned you for a weed, he knows

The green-gold flies rest on you and are glad

It’s only cross old gardeners find you bad

Gertrude Hall, “To a Weed,” 1896