Of Nettles & Admirals
There is a patch of Nettles right outside my door. It was not an accident, they were lovingly planted there by me. A contractor came to our home one day and stopped and paused to look at it, and then said to me, “You are the first person I ever saw with a Nettle patch by their door.” He knew what they were because his mother was an herbalist. I can still see the look on his face.
Although people may think it strange, there are reasons it is there, growing along with some roses.
- Firstly, I happen to like Nettles. Eating the greens in the spring is a treat and it is so convenient to the kitchen there.
- Secondly, because I visit them when my hands and wrists are hurting for a little urtification – the best thing I have ever found for the pain.
- And lastly, the spot it is in, is surrounded by the house, the porch, a sidewalk, and a driveway. They try to escape from time to time, but it is the perfect spot for them to stay just a little civilized.
And now, thanks to a dear herbalist friend, who pointed it out at her house, I discovered that they are a host plant for Red Admiral Butterflies! The pupae roll a Nettle leaf up to make a nice little home to develop in before launching into the world. (As if I needed another reason to like Nettles!)
I can’t wait to see them this summer!