Rommel told me off!

I confess I’m not very good at responding to all you lovely people who comment on my posts. It isn’t rudeness or even laziness, it’s just pure overload, full time work, study blah, blah, blah! Now Rommel is an absolute treasure and he pointed out that I asked a question but didn’t listen to the answers so now I’m going to.

2013 Aug 20_7067_     These are the berries from  a Guelder Rose, or Viburnum Opulum. The bush likes moist soil to grow in and I saw this one beside a village pond in Hampshire. The berries are a good source of Vitamin C but they have to be cooked and apparently they need a lot of sugar to make them palatable.  2013 Aug 20_7077_
These are elderberries, and not good to eat. Many, many years ago I picked bucketfuls to make wine. It was a rich, dark and syrupy drink that wasn’t really sweet enough for me, a bit like cough medicine. I prefer the light summery flavour of elderflower champagne, made from the delicate sprays of creamy white flowers. I’ve never tried making it because I worry about the little creatures that feast on the berries. If the flowers are all picked there wouldn’t be any would there? But it doesn’t make sense to simple Gypsy, because some people DO make it and there are still plenty of berries, perhaps they’ve done the maths.

This is a Cotoneaster, a common garden shrub that hugs a fence or wall and provides food for birds in winter and attract butterflies and bees. They are poisonous and would give you a very bad stomach.


Blackcurrants! Pretty and very shiny, but straight from the bush they are an acquired taste. They make delicious jam or jelly and are cooked with apples in a pie. The best possible use in my eyes is in a certain blackcurrant drink, full of Vitamin C that begins with R and ends with A!


Raspberries are one of my many favourite fruits and of course they are lovely in jam, and all sorts of desserts, especially with my dark chocolate brownies. But I prefer them straight from the cane, I never wash them just pick, blow away any lingering bugs and pop tehm right in my mouth.

So Rommel, am I forgiven?

If you don’t know him you should go and visit him, he’s been missing for a while but he’s back now and I’m so glad, he’s an absolute star.