It was the beginning of September 2016 and I was lucky enough to enjoy one of the last summer workshops organised by Hackney Arts. I remember that end of summer as a very stressful time for me. The moving into the new home wasn’t finished yet and a change of role in my job also contributed to draining a great part of my energy. In these times of adjustments in both my private and professional life, spending a few hours with nature was exactly what I needed.
Walking into the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve I couldn’t believe my eyes. Their garden, situated in the middle of the city, is a gem of tranquility and peace (and open to the public each Saturday from May till September). Molly, who is experienced in the clinical use of plants for medical conditions, walked us around and showed us the many different varieties of plants growing in the garden: Yarrow, White Dead-Nettle, Common Mallow, Marsh Mallow, Ribwort Plantain, Dandelion, Red Clover, Feverfew, Chamomile, Cowslip, Comfrey and Common Nettle. She also taught us how to harvest them in order to make a fresh tea. We learned the traditional and modern uses of common herbs and made our own natural body balm made from herbs – we harvested- from the garden.
I personally didn’t know much about common plants’ properties until this workshop, lead by the Phy.tol.o.gy team, who not only provided me with a vast insight into this topic but also allowed me to discover a hidden part of Hackney where the community is able to interact with nature in all of its beauty.
A huge thanks goes to Sophie Thompson for aiding my discovery of Hackney Arts. Visit and follow their platform as I’m sure it will surprise you as it did me! The next workshop I’d love to take part in is ‘Spring Wild Food Foraging with James Wood.’ Click on it and thank me later!
Hackney Arts – http://www.hackneyarts.com/
Phy.tol.o.gy – http://phytology.org.uk