I live in the Stockbridge colonies next to the Water of Leith. In spring the banks of this watercourse are carpeted with nettles and wild garlic, and the aroma of the latter fills the air. I seem to be the only one who harvests this local bounty of nature, and people tend to stop and ask what I am doing. I make soup from both of them and use them both as pizza toppings (just eaten a scrumptious pizza featuring these and sustainably-fished mackerel). Nettles can be regarded as wild spinach (although you need to use gloves to gather them and only the tender new growth should be harvested). I am also making wine from them this year, from a recipe I found in this great book: First Steps in Winemaking. The wine I made from local brambles (known as “blackberries” in England and in anti-Scottish supermarkets!) last year (harvested in my garden and in the environs of Warriston Cemetery) was scrumptious!
By the way, Aileen confided that she grew up eating her mother’s nettle soup – to the extent that she got sick of it! I don’t eat it every day so I think there’s little danger of my being scunnered by mine.