A good year for sloes in Meerbusch

A little tip to anyone living in or around Meerbusch. It seems to be a very good year for sloes. These are a native form of wild plum, quite bitter, but when combined with gin and sugar makes a magical concoction called sloe gin.

Sloes growing in a Meerbusch hedgerow

The German term for the bush is Schwarzdorn, so called because in spring the flowers appear before the leaves, so the bushes are black prickly twigs covered with white flowers.

A walk in the Meerbusch woods

Meerbusch boasts a fantastic Stadtwald or public forest which is open to everyone to walk in. It is a mixed forest with quite a variety of deciduous (beech, oak, sycamore) and evergreen (pine) trees.

Sadly Meerbusch has been suffering, like so much of Germany, with a combination of extreme weather and airborne disease which in particular is affecting the pines. Wherever you look it seems that the evergreens are dying off.

Meerbusch forest with dead pines

Let’s hope that enough survive to provide the foundation of new growth in the future.