Sunday, September 14, 2008

Then there is drink

Golden hops, Humulus lupulus 'aureus' is gorgeous, prolific and fast growing. It covers an entire fence in the first few weeks of spring with chartreuse trilobed leaves; it will wind its tendrils around all its neighbors if you do not keep a watchful eye. Towards mid-summer, the "hops" - blossoms looking like soft, greenish yellow pine cones which hang lantern-like, light up the already bright summer days. The plant thrives in full sun to part shade.

It will also make you beer. (Sorry, I cannot provide recipes, not being a drinker - my system lacks the enzyme that processes injested alcohol. My appreciation for the plant is purely aesthetic.) A German acquaintance once told me about hop harvesting season in his hometown, when friends gather for brewing parties. I think he was pulling my leg.

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