Madeleine's Herb Garden

Spring Back to the Fields

On March 20, 2012, at precisely 1:14 A.M. the Sun will cross directly over the Earth's equator. This moment of the vernal or Spring equinox begins our yearly Floral Dance...

First Herb Walk of the year with Ben Fairlight Edwards (
The Barefoot Herbalist: discovering wild food and medicine in the fields and hedgerows around Madeleine's Cream HQ in Sussex England.
Thursday, March 22nd 2012

News from Ben's kitchen
"Want some fresh Spring greens? Go to nature's supermarket - the super outdoors! But you won't need a shopping trolley - just a clean plastic bag. I've just been to the woods to pick a small handful of Ramsons for my lunch: 6 leaves are enough to mix with a salad of grated carrot & beetroot to make a tasty, vitamin C and flavonoid and spring cleaning-rich meal. If you add some freshly squeezed lemon and olive oil, you'll ensure you also absorb all the vitamin A, D & E too.
Come to our first Herb Walk of the year to experience the plants that get their flowers out before the woods get their leaves out and how some freshly picked Ramsons can deepen your breathing, clear your head, and chase away the Winter cold."
If you'd like to receive our quarterly newsletter with details of Herb Walks and all sorts of fascinating things happening at Madeleine's Cream HQ, please email Madeleine at: 

New Year/New Website

Happy New Year!

We're delighted to be able to open our new website this month, with a fully searchable catalogue of all our products, so you can find what you want more easily. Thanks to Benno White for the wonderful photos!

The site will also feature a weekly blog from me, Madeleine, full of nuggets about MC-related issues. I'll mostly be sharing information about the plants in the garden and fields surrounding our Sussex headquarters, many of them ingredients in Madeleine's Creams and Ointments.

Just a tiny precautionary note about identifying plants in the wild: if you're not sure what it is, don't touch or eat it. If you want to know more about a particular plant you could refer to our quarterly herbal newsletters, which are full of detailed information and clear colour pictures. Here's a link to the archive:

A few brave orange Calendula flowers are still blooming in the garden, offering their healing juices for the creams and ointments. They provide anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties, and are soooo soothing for all sorts of skin complaints. They beautify and enrich winter salads too. Calendula must be one of the most generous of all herbs to grow: it flowers all summer and autumn and beyond, will glow rich gold colour all over the place, and can be put in sandwiches, salads, and tinctures; in the bath to soothe and heal; and in water for cats, dogs, and chickens! Calendula will self-seed which makes my heart sing every spring.

Talking of seeds, there is a seed swap and sale happening in nearby Forest Row on Saturday 4th February and Saturday 3rd March 10am to 1pm, at the Riverview Cafe, Station Road, RH18 5DW. For more information on the event visit And for more information on seeds  and swapping visit 

Clusters of young cleavers are already appearing in the south-facing hedge, the fresh new green looks and tastes delicious. They offer a good helping of two vital partners: flavanoids and Vitamin C.

Tender feathery fronds of the young Yarrow can be seen in the fields at this time of year, just outside my garden gate where I carefully imported it last year. Also known as Millifolium - a thousand leaves - it is a potent first-aid herb. For a field-dressing, pick some and rub the leaves into a mixture with your spit - then apply!

And Dandelions are appearing in the lawn. These familiar leaves and flowers are great in salads and sandwiches. Here's something to try: make one salad with torn leaves and another with cut. After about three minutes the torn leaves should taste better than the cut. Why? If you come back and read next month's blog I might tell you...

Madeleine x