It would be fair to say that the average garden (say ½ or less than the size of a tennis court) would not really have space to accomodate Elder trees, Sambucus
Jane Powers, writing in her book, The Living Garden, describes the characteristics fairly well: 'A fast growing, disorderly tree, best used in a boundary planting or in a very wild garden', well we tick the boxes there! That doesn’t prepare you for the plants historical status:
From the old Irish saying: 'There are three signs of the cursed and abandoned place: the Elder, the Nettle and the Corncrake'. Thus, Elder is universally held to be an unlucky or malevolent tree, though conversely, possessing such power, it is also regarded to ward off evil if planted near a dwelling. (Niall Mac Coitir, Irish Trees,Myths,legends and folklore)
None of the above makes any reference to the qualities that are present in profusion in spring and autumn: The cymes of creamy blossom, safely captured in bottled cordial for the months ahead and the early autumn bounty of shiny black berries that are part of the early procession of berry crops in the hedgerows.
|2 Male Blackcaps in the mixed hedgerow|