And they do exist - the herbalists and guardians of special places. If they are still Irish, they have a special magic in them. That's what happened to me in Wicklow with Mary White and her husband Robert. For me, a magical place in Ireland with the sacred plants of the Celts.
Do you know that, if you believe that the other person can recognize all the stress, insecurity and hectic rush. So clear that it's almost a bit embarrassing? That's what happened to me when I visited Mary White in Ireland. She has that look as she turns her deep blue eyes on me. Totally stressed I came to her, had a small car accident on the way to her and the feeling as if she would say the same: "Your aura has somehow slipped." Whether she has seen it or not, her secret remains, first she cooked me a tea - of course from herbs in their garden.
Whether it's the garden or the lemon balm in tea, I can not say any more now, in any case, sudden relaxation sets in with me and I take this wonderful place only now true true: a haunted stone house, in France maybe even as a small Chatêau would go through with an equal, park-like garden. Even a lake with a rowing boat belongs to her estate in Killedmond in the county of Carlow.
In the footsteps of the Celts
A real place to dream and live with nature. And that is precisely what the politician, who has always made in her profession for the environment, wanted. She wanted to create a place with her husband Robert to walk and to search in the footsteps of the ancient Celtic knowledge of trees, medicinal herbs and co. Under the name " Blackstairs ", they offer not only tours of the world of sacred Celtic trees, but also wild-herb and mushroom walks. For each herb they have a story ready - and somehow it seems as if you can use everything that makes him grow their garden. After tea, we go to a small tour of the area.
Mary White does not get far. She stops in the middle of the grass and bends down to ribwort. I already know that you can make a cough syrup from the leaves, but of course she knows more and picks a flower: "Try it and tell me what it tastes like," she asks me. Slowly I let this spike melt in my mouth and think.
What does it remind me of, bread? Yeast? "Champignon", Robert helps me on the jumps. "Ribwort plant blossoms taste great in the salad and have a mushroom note." He is right. That's what I did not come for. While I'm still chewing on it, Mary White already rubs margarita leaves in her hand: "You can use them as spices, they are edible and taste like oregano. And the buds taste slightly sweet and are good in pickles. "
A meadow to eat full
Next, Robert picks a plant whose big brother has come to discredit something: Bärenklau. But the Wiesenbärenklau is an ancient medicinal plant and can not be compared or even confused with the Giant Bear Claw. "The blossom I eat like broccoli, the green seeds taste like cardamom," says Mary White and tells that she likes to make cookies from the seeds. She tells me in passing that there are 100 varieties of dandelions and that she puts pine needles in oil and consumes them as a specialty. From the seeds of the ash she makes pickles and cloves used as a spice in the curry. She picks a leaf of hawthorn and says, "Hawthorn is the fairy tree. He is very revered with us. Leaves, flowers and fruits are good for the heart. "
The fronds of ostrich fern fry them in butter in spring and is pleased that they taste a bit like asparagus. Of course, Giersch also uses them as spinach or as a lemonade and the petals of the Borrest freeze them in ice cubes and is delighted with the pretty decoration of the drinks. The wild garlic is harvested almost all winter and then we come to butterbur, whose leaves are not only excellent as Toiltettenpapier, but have served mainly as a transport container for the butter when there was no butter paper or plastic. "I always harvest the elderflowers at noon, because their sugar content is highest. Then I make wonderful buffers or dry them for tea. "Mary White is a phenomenon full of tips.
Your husband no less. He has that Irish nonsense that I like so much, you do not know if it will not be a nice joke the next moment. But right now he is fully absorbed in the world of trees. On the 16-square-meter piece of land that belongs to them, the two have planted thousands of oaks and other trees and thus carried out a very private reforestation. "We want to do our part to make the earth a bit more liveable," says Mary White and shows me the Jungeichen collection, a huge meadow full of small trees. "At some point this will be a forest, we urgently need more in Ireland." The country, which was one of the most heavily forested in Europe 2,000 years ago, is today one of the forest poorest. I did not notice that when I crossed the country there in the spring, but it's true. I did not see any forests, only hedges and fields.
Sacred plants of the Celts
"2000 years ago, trees had a very different meaning for humans," says Robert White, who does not think much of plant mystification. "They were simply lifeless for humans. They made bows and arrows out of the yew, the hazel with its bendy branches was important to them, as well as its nuts were valuable food for the winter, "he explains and leads me on a tour through the tree world of his garden. Here they grow, the 21 sacred plants of the Celts. They include birch, rowan, alder, willow, ash, hawthorn, oak, tinned, hazel, crab apple, pine, grapevine, ivy, reed, blackthorn, elder, fir, gorse, heather, aspen and yew. Trees that the Celts not only used, but also perpetuates, in the Celtic alphabet, the Ogham. These are special characters from ancient Ireland, which today are also used like runes.
Mary White, however, sees this more pragmatically: "It's a written >
Druid rods and boatwood
For the yew, he says Harry Potter's wand was made of it, Druid staffs anyway. The ash was worshiped not only as a world tree, but also their wood important for boats and houses. It is also fascinating what he says about the oak: "An oak needs 300 years to grow, 300 years to live and 300 years to die," Robert says, pensively brushing the leaves in his garden. "We have lost the connection with nature. It is high time we regained it. "
Mary and Robert have come up with a lot for us to do that. Not only the walks to the trees, but also cooking classes and forest education, to inspire even the little ones for nature. At the latest, Mary White proves that it tastes good with her tea, which she has just plucked off the path and served with a strong onion and herb soup. Not at all meadow or herbaceous-strange, but spicy and very fine tuned. Mary White smiles. "That's exactly what I want to show people here." And then she shows me her new purchase: Circus car as accommodation for guests who want to stay longer. I would like to move in here for a few days and make myself comfortable. But maybe I'll be back.
The trip was supported by Ireland Tourism , the Irish tourist office in Germany - thanks for that.
Incidentally, I like herbs and herbal walks very much, here there is still a hike in the Harz.