Three-Cornered Garlic / Leeks

Three-cornered Garlic/Leeks growing

Three-cornered Garlic or Three-cornered Leeks, as they’re also referred to, are a Spring-flowering bulb with white flowers that grow in a bell-like shape. The plant is thought to have originally been introduced to Ireland around three-hundred years ago, with it since becoming naturalised in many counties. It is part of the Daffodil or Amaryllidaceae family. 

The stems are three-sided and grow to a height of approximately 30 cm. A thin green line runs along the center of each flower petal, while between 3-15 flowers grow in a drooping, one-sided umbel, similar to that of a Bluebell. The leaves are angled, with each flower possessing three.

These beautiful edible plants can be found through sight and scent, growing along roadsides, in hedges, banks and other areas that experience large amounts of shade.

The first time I discovered it growing was in a grassy location close to a beach in Co. Waterford but I’ve also seen it growing abundantly along roadsides. You will most likely smell it before you see it, if seeking it out. It has an incredibly pungent and alluring aroma.

Such a potent scent lead to the plant being given a reputation for keeping away vampires! It was hung over windows and doors in the past to keep evil spirits at bay. Anicent Egyptians who built the pyramids thought it more useful to consume the wild and edible plant as part of their diet.

In the late 19th century, Louis Pasteur made observations in relation to its antibacterial properties. Such observations led to its use as a natural measure for the prevention of gangarene during both World Wars. It is still used as a natural remedy for the common cold.

Three-cornered Garlic/Leeks can be used as an ingredient in an array of dishes. Blanching the leaves before use will make their scent and taste less potent when using as a salad ingredient or in pesto. I’ve used them as an ingredient in vegetarian tray bakes in place of regular garlic and onions but they are also beautiful when added to risottos and pasta dishes.

Every piece of the plant can be eaten, including the bulb, stem and the delicate flower.

They’re pretty, they taste wonderful and they’re not easily confused with other wild plants, making them a beginner forager’s delight.

Information taken from: www.wildflowersofireland.net

Exploring Nature for Wellbeing

Take a walk. Walk in the early morning, when there’s no one about, except you. Enjoy the sound of your footsteps, appreciating every step that you get to take and every moment that you are fortunate enough to experience on this earth.

Take a walk at night, when the buzz of the day is receding and allow a wave of peace to wash over you. Know that a new day awaits you tomorrow.

On your walk, take in your surroundings and appreciate the small details which you may have overlooked before. While these details may be small and previously insignificant, they can be incredibly impactful and thought-provoking.

During Winter, notice the snap of branches beneath your feet, the crunch of frozen grass. Feel the crisp air against your skin, the cold breeze making you feel alive.

During Autumn, become aware of vibrant leaves falling to the path laid out before you. Hues of brown, orange, yellow, red and green – all presenting their beauty to you, adding a pop of colour to your day.

While in Spring, notice the birdsong, the soft colouring of newly blossoming flowers as they prepare for their awakening – another wondrous opportunity to bloom – both for them and you.

Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin during Summer and allow it to fill you with happiness and gratitude. Allow it to warm your heart.

On your walk, know that you are a part of nature. You are the earth and the earth is you.

Ballyvooney Cove, Co.Waterford photographed by Loren O’Brien

Yoga for Mindfulness & Wellbeing

Photo by Bekir Dönmez on Unsplash

When I truly began to take an interest in the environment and about the things that I could change in my life that would have less of an impact on the earth, I felt as if I needed more focus. It was as if I couldn’t fully invest myself in the present moment, as my mind was busy with a traffic jam of thoughts. It was chaos in there.

In order to become more focused, I began exercising regularly and eating well. A while ago, I ended up beginning a two hour daily commute for work. I allowed myself to fall into a habit of neglecting exercise and not eating as well as I should have. When I would return home from work I would make up excuses as to why I wouldn’t exercise, blaming the commute for how tired I felt, instead opting to lie on the couch, munching on treats and indulging in mindless tv.

Realistically, it was when lockdown occurred that I took a step back and wondered what I had been doing for a year. I had been treating my job as if it was the only thing that mattered, as if it was on a pedestal above all else. I would tire myself out in work, and even further on the commute home. At no stage did I even consider that my physical and mental health might be suffering, the two being interlinked. When Covid happened, even though I was still working as normal, I realised it was imperative that I make some changes in my life. These didn’t need to be changes that required a massive commitment, but ones that I could insert easily into my lifestyle and daily routine and that I wouldn’t dread doing.

I began by going on a 20-30 minute run after work nearby my home, in order to increase my energy levels for the rest of the night after the commute. I soon realised how unfit I had become, which actually motivated me to increase my fitness level. Feeling very adventurous, after a week or so, I introduced a 20 minute daily yoga session. Since beginning my yoga journey, I feel much more focused, clear-minded and calm. I am definitely a person who gets stressed quite easily, so I find that practicing yoga definitely helps me.

My experience with yoga has been a positive one. After time, you’ll become much more flexible and at ease during your yoga practice. At the beginning, I was stretching in ways I never thought possible. My utter confusion at being instructed to go into the ‘downward facing dog’ was no doubt plastered across my face (luckily nobody was present to see). I soon learned that ‘child’s pose’ would be my favourite (my inner laziness strikes again).

When beginning my yoga journey, I was lucky enough to have stumbled across Boho Beautiful – a yoga channel on Youtube which is perfect for beginner yogi’s and which is free and accessible here. Juliana is a wonderful yoga and meditation teacher and her practices are incredibly relaxing and peaceful. I’ve tried numerous yoga channels on Youtube, with this one being by far my favourite.

If you haven’t already introduced yoga into your daily routine, I promise that you can only benefit from doing so. All you need is yourself, a yoga mat and 20 minutes out of your day. A small commitment for something that’s both good for your body and mind.

Namaste ❤