Mehmet Demirci
5 minutes

Linden trees do not grow in the mountain village where I spent my childhood. There are mostly oak trees. Oak is durable, the handles of pick and shovel are made from smooth oak branches. Its wood is also good and gives plenty of heat.

I remember mostly apples and pears as fruit trees in our village. There were also great walnut trees. We also had a few cherry and plum trees.

Ahlat grows spontaneously even on infertile soils in the countryside. Such plants are called hudai nabit (God’s plants). Ahlat is a type of wild pear, with abundant seeds and very little fruit (in the village we called it eten). The plot of Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “Ahlat Agaci” is pessimistic and negative. It must have gotten its name from the barrenness of the ahlat.

Our main topic was linden. I first recognized the flower of the linden. Boiled and drunk, it is good for colds and sore throats. I like the smell. If it is prepared in consistency, it is easy and enjoyable to drink.

Many years ago, I went to visit my nephew who worked for a wholesale honey trading and export company in Konya. He offered me linden with honey. I liked it, it used strained honey as a sweetener. Later, I started to drink linden with honey from time to time at home.

I looked on the internet and there is more than one way to prepare linden. I remember Ender Saraç’s words “boil it for a stone” when describing how to prepare herbal tea, and that’s what I do. Sometimes I add a small amount of licorice. Licorice is a very good sweetener and has a pleasant aroma.

Ihlamur ağacını çok sonraları gördüm. 60’yılların ilk yarısında İstanbul Beşiktaş’taki Ihlamur semtine gittiğimi ve bol gölgeli ağaçları hatırlıyorum. Ama o yıllarda özel bir merakım olmadığı için, onların ıhlamur ağacı olduğunu bilmiyordum. Oradaki Ihlamur Kasrı meşhurdur. Halide Edip Adıvar’ın çocukluk yıllarını anlattığı Mor Salkımlı Ev kitabı, galiba bu Ihlamur semtindeydi. Oralardaki aşırı yapılaşma sebebiyle, şimdilerde ne Ihlamur Deresi ne de ıhlamur ağaçları kalmıştır.

One holiday my wife bought me linden cologne. It’s a bit expensive, but I love the smell. Paşabahçe Stores is outsourcing it to Rebul. When I wear this cologne, my wife calls me “my linden-scented half”.


My late friend Ali Yardım, who had a good understanding of people and trees, planted permanent trees in the garden of our Faculty in Izmir. Two sycamore saplings have now grown into towering trees with dark shade. Mr. Ali had also planted two linden saplings. I learned from him that linden likes wetlands. These saplings have grown into two huge linden trees. The saplings grew and started to bloom. The scent of linden flowers blooming in June is intoxicating.

When I was planting things in the garden of the apartment we bought after I retired, I planted two lemon and one linden sapling. The lemons didn’t like their place and were stunted. Linden continues to grow. I planted it right in the corner. When it got a little bigger, I realized that it was too close to the two walls next to it and that the walls were preventing the tree from growing. It is growing in height, it will develop better after overcoming walls close to two meters.

I take good care of my linden tree. A tree that loves water. It’s a bit laborious, but I pour a lot of water on the bottom in summer.

Our linden has been blooming for three years. On those days, a wonderful smell permeates the environment. I missed it the first year, but for the last two years I have been picking linden flowers. I looked online to find out when and how to collect it.

Picking linden flowers is a bit laborious. High branches can be accessed by ladder. The flower ends on a stalk emerging from the center of the leaf. After picking, I separate it from the leaf. The flowers should be spread on a cloth and dried in the shade for 4-5 days. All this is a pleasurable endeavor, not to mention the smell.

The limes sold in herbalists are mostly loose-leaved. I don’t know if the leaf is also useful when boiled. Collecting and drying linden during the season, which does not last long, is quite a laborious task. That is why it is expensive. But no matter, this fragrant medicinal linden is worth the price.

I believe that the healing power of plants is learned through experience over time. There is a belief that some saints, who were friends of God and lived in ancient times, were told about the plants that were good for which diseases while walking in the countryside, and that the saint would boil them and give them to people to drink as a healing. For whatever reason, it is good to be friends with nature, plants, flowers, birds, insects.

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