Lavender gifts with that personal touch
Lavender is still one of our most popular aromatic plants, and gifts made from it are always lovely to receive, even better when you know that they were made by the person who grew them.
Wendy Spencer runs Lavenders and Herbs, a business that has grown from her garden nursery in Weymouth. A specialist lavender grower who offers around 20 varieties, she produces a range of gifts including hand made soaps, handwash and bath salts, lavender bags in colourful Indian silk and others that are delicately embroidered. Gift sets are also available.
Ilminster woman helps bring acclaimed research to gardeners
Gardeners across the world can now tap into the unique horticultural research papers of Andrew Chatto – the late husband of famous plantswoman Beth Chatto – thanks in part to a woman from Ilminster.
Jenny Hawksley, from Ashill near Ilminster, volunteered to help out in this historically-important and time consuming project to transfer Andrew’s research notes from paper to the internet, answering an advert appealing for skilled copy- typists familiar with scientific plant naming. As one of only eight chosen, she spent two months transcribing the meticulous research notes, many of which had been written over 30 years ago. They can now be found on line at www.bethchatto.co.uk
and look set to be used by gardening fans everywhere.
Jenny said: “I saw an article in the Hardy Plant Society newsletter asking for volunteers to type up the notes Andrew Chatto made following his numerous trips overseas to study plant habitats. Being a native of East Anglia and having a mother who was equally fascinated by plants, I had visited Beth Chatto’s garden in Essex in the 1960s, so the thought of being involved in this project was very exciting.
The unique horticultural research papers of Andrew Chatto
“The timing was fortuitous as I was about to embark on a three-year course at Hestercombe on Heritage Horticulture and Garden History, an important part of which was the plant hunters and the plants they brought back from all parts of the world. I thoroughly enjoyed typing up the notes as the subject matter was so fascinating. It was an honour to be part of such an important project and I was thrilled to receive a personal letter of thanks from Beth Chatto.”
Lavender - still one of our most popular aromatic plants
Lavenders and Herbs also sell tea lights, aromatherapy products and massage oils. Lavender sleep stones are available, small stones that are put into a dish and when aromatherapy oils are added, give a relaxing fragrance that induces restful sleep.
They can be used as an alternative to pot-pourri, the oil topped up occasionally and the fragrance given off when touched gently by hand.
Plants that are not only pleasing to the eye but have other uses have always appealed to Wendy, leading to the expansion of the lavender side of her business and the expansion of the gift range she can offer to customers.
Wendy welcomes phone enquiries on 01305 814676, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
The gift line is also available through her ebay shop. Visit the website www.lavendersandherbs.co.uk
to find out more.
Beth Chatto, one of the most influential gardeners of the last half-century, was a pioneer of the idea that garden plants thrive best in situations similar to their original natural environment. She started her garden at Elmstead Market in Essex in 1960 and produced classic books including The Damp Garden, The Dry Garden and The Shade Garden.
She relied heavily on her late husband Andrew’s knowledge of plant ecology. He researched the writings of plant hunters, travellers, scientists – in French and German, and was self-taught in Russian to read the literature on the plant ecological associations of the vast Russian-ruled USSR, home of many good garden plants.
Now, thanks to the Internet, and some enthusiastic typists, we can all read his papers. When he died in 1990 he left behind some half a million words on plant ecology around most of the temperate world, eloquently, at times poetically.
The uploaded papers could be the basis of a Wiki-project, continuing the research into the natural homes of plants enabling us to give them the conditions to which they have become adapted, especially with global warming in mind.
Autumn Fest and ‘Seedy Sunday’ at Holt Farm’s organic garden October, with seed swaps, demonstrations, the Heritage Seed Library and a talk
Visit the organic garden at Holt Farm and see it in all its autumn glory on Sunday, 30th
by Garden Organic. The day, which is being organised with Garden Organic, starts at 11am and ends at 4pm. The demonstrations on seed cleaning and saving will be by Seed Guardians.
Specialist nurseries will be trading including Pennard Plants, Special Plants and Thomas Etty. The Organic Gardening Catalogue will be bringing books and ideas for eco-style Christmas presents as well as their Chase Garden Organic Seeds. Local honey, jams and chutneys will be for sale. Lunches and teas available. For tickets, £5 in advance, call The Organic Garden on 01761 461650. The Organic Garden at Holt Farm, Bath Road, Blagdon, Bristol BS40 7SQ. Telephone: 01761 461650. Email: email@example.com
or visit the website www.theorganicgardens.co.uk
Country Gardener 7
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