Sunday, 23 April 2017
Where we cleared the bracken and brambles to coppice a section of hedge, a flurry of little blue flowers with purplish-red foliage has appeared. In shady places the leaves stay green.
This is Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea). It's not related to ivy so it's old-fashioned name of Gill is perhaps better.
It was used to flavour bitter ale before hops were introduced to England in the 16th century. Gill tea was sold as a cough remedy into the 19th century. It was made by infusing the slightly minty leaves in boiling water and adding honey.