A Swedish Summer Bouquet

The benefits of taking walks with a sleepy baby, living in the countryside and being blessed with Swedish soil under the feet, are countless. But one of them is that you do not need to shop for your weekly flowers, at least not during summertime.

I like to have flowers on the kitchen table at all times just because it makes life better, flowers make me happy – seeing them, smelling them, or just picking them and finding out new things and species. It can definitely become a passion if one does it regularly.

The other day I decided to pick up some beauties instead of purchasing – purchased flowers last literally 3 days, probably filled with chemical water and transported from gods know where from…once they make it to your table, they’re already be puffed down.

What can you pick in central Sweden during summer?

Actually quite many things, but let’s see what my own bouquet ended up having.

  1. Musk Mallow: Ornamental plant, with a sweet scent that has been introduced to Scandinavia and naturalised here. It is also edible, both seeds and leaves/flowers. Edible.
  2. Blue Lettuce: There are many types but this one particularly is native to Eurasia as well. It contains white latex (latin name is Lactuca, meaning milky) and lactucarium (used in ancient Egypt, as an opium a pain relief, sleep aid, sedative and hypnotic) that needs to be used with caution.
  3. Everlasting Pea: Finally a native to Europe, requires good amounts of sun, unfortunately considered ”a weed” in the gardening world as it’s quite difficult to remove once spread. I personally find it quite attractive and would love to have it growing in the garden! They are also bumblebee friendly, which is a plus. Poisonous.
  4. Yellow Loosestrife: Native to the Caucasus and South Eastern Europe, usually on damp places and introduced in gardens, so most likely this one just made it somehow outside of a garden – but the field was filled with it as there were nearby gardens. The leaves of some of this species can be used for tea (women’s bowel health).
  5. Cow Wheat: Native to the North, are considered a hemiparasites, living on other plants taking their water and nutrients. It is also part of the Slavic Midsummer traditions and in past times it was the plant that would ensure a baby boy for a pregnant woman. They’re also spread throughout the British Islands and Ireland. The herb has been used in traditional Austrian medicine internally as tea and externally as pillow filling to treat rheumatism and calcification of blood vessels.
Just another angle of the bouquet.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and if you happen to live in Sweden take advantage of the beauty and use of these flowers and plants as long summer lasts. This season is short but taking walks and collecting flowers is one of its joys.