Nettle With Male Flowers
Nettle With Male Flowers

This gentleman, standing by the bridge over the beck, is looking a little forlorn. There isn’t a lady in sight, just this bunch of guys, leaning on the railings alone with their fantasies, watching the water as it flows under the road, off and away – to who knows where? You can’t help but feel a little sorry for them. Nettles come in two kinds, much like the sheep and the cows, like you and I. Here, we have the guys all standing in a little self-conscious knot, while over on the other side of the road, the girl Nettles are all dancing together round their handbags.

The main trouble with Nettles is they are too fussy. You see, long before Flax and Hemp turned up – they’d been loafing around in warmer climes – we made all our best clothes out of Nettles, and very nice they were too. Nettles can be made into finer cloth than either of those young upstarts. Even the coarser Nettle cloth was harder wearing than either Flax or Hemp produced. So what happened? It all boils down to economics.

During World War One, (The Great War) Germany ran short of cloth for soldiers uniforms. They resorted to making it from Nettles. The first year they went out and collected all the nettles they could find growing wild. It was such a success that they decided to plant them and harvest them like any other crop. They hit a snag straight away, you see Nettles will only grow in the very best of soils – those usually used for food crops.

As I said, they’re just too fussy.

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