This is an overgrown patch of city council land, just across the road from us.
I got so excited yesterday when I was walking past it and suddenly saw - in amongst all the usual puha and onionweed and nasturtium and chickweed and black nightshade and hemlock - that single, little nettle plant.
To spot it you'll probably have to click on the pic to make it big. (And if by any chance you think I've misidentified it, and it's not an Urtica at all, but just a dead-nettle or something like that ... do let me know, but break it to me gently!)
On our wild foraging email list there's been some talk of nettles, and one member's enthusiasm for their nutritional and medicinal qualities is catching. I've been hoping for a few weeks to find some growing wild, but couldn't recall ever seeing any in my neighbourhood. Then suddenly - there it was.
Here it is close up. Now what shall I do with it ...? Cook up some leaves for our dinner? Gather some and dry them for tea? Take cuttings and try and grow some more in our back yard?
It's a lot to ask of one little plant. Perhaps I'll just let it be for a few days while I think about it. (And wait to see if anyone pulls the rug out from under my feet and tells me it's not a real nettle at all ...)