Have you ever wanted your own medicinal, aromatic or culinary herb garden? I can help you!
“I doubt it would have got off the ground without your expertise. I had no idea where to start and it was quite daunting being faced with a patch of bare earth…”
My knowledge of horticulture and medicinal plants means that I am able to design a herb and wild flower garden to suit your individual needs, regardless of space, and location. Some of the herb garden design options open to you are:
- Personalised Medicinal – matched to your health needs.
- Traditional Medieval – designed by general body-system type.
- Aromatic and bee-friendly – to attract our beloved pollinators.
- “Yarden” – herb garden in your back yard.
- Tea Garden – make fresh herbal tea straight from your garden.
How much will it cost and what can you expect?
The first step is for us to have a chat on the phone or Skype, to discuss what you would like. This is completely free of charge. After this, I’ll need to see the area, so we’ll arrange a suitable time between us for me to visit. This allows me to check the soil, take measurements and look at aspects you might want to incorporate into your garden, such as large pots and features.
After this I’ll go home, and create an easy-to-understand, hand-drawn garden plan for you to work from to create your garden. This will include where to site the herbs and wild flowers I suggest, an idea as to colour-scheme, and indications as to where you can source the plants from (if I don’t grow them myself).
The cost depends on the size of the area that you want designing, and how much help you want in creating it (such as sourcing plants, for example). Prices start from £40. This price also includes 12 months worth of email support (where you can ask questions about any aspect of your garden and the herbs and wild flowers I’ve suggested. I’ll always give you an idea of the price when we have our initial chat, prior to me visiting.
Where my interest in herb gardening came from…
As my interest in herbal medicine grew, before I trained as a herbalist, so did my interest in growing medicinal plants in my own garden. This knowledge grew further whilst studying, thanks to the access to award-winning RHS Tatton Park “Living Medicine” garden which was transplanted to the University of Lincoln in 2008. A contemporary garden inspired by medieval monastic gardens, and designed by Susan Jones and Jules Miller, this provided further inspiration for my own growing experiences, in addition to the wonderful opportunity to have access to the living, growing examples that were used within the training clinic.
Medicine gardens, apothecary gardens and physic gardens (just some of the names they were known as), played a vast role in the health of local communities, prior to the discovery and creation of modern medical compounds. Many still exist today, including Chelsea Physic Garden in London (founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries), De Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam (where Linnaeus, the father of plant taxonomy, spent many years studying) and various monastic gardens around the UK and Europe, including Buckfast Abbey in Devon.
Native British herbs and wild flowers bring great colour, vibrancy and scent to a garden, in addition to their general easiness to grow and the fact that many different species of bees and butterflies are attracted to them.
But it’s not just the visual and nature-attracting aspect that makes growing them worthwhile; by growing our own herbs and wild flowers, we can effectively have a safe and easy to access garden to benefit our health, as well as learning to use them within the kitchen for different culinary uses.
If you buy peppermint tea bags in the supermarket for example, and then you try making a cup of fresh peppermint tea from your garden, there really is no comparison. The fresh tea tastes far nicer, more vibrant and if you’ve grown it yourself, you’ve watched it grow; you know that you’ve let it grow naturally, without pesticides, and you can reap the benefits of what you’ve sown… and it’s free!
Similarly, if you use sage and rosemary in your cooking, and you use the dried herbs that come supplied in convenient glass pots in shops, it’s great that you’re including herbs in your food, but using them fresh out of your garden makes for a tastier culinary dish, and again, they’re free and you just need to pick a few leaves whenever you need them.
As plant medicines used to be picked, or foraged from peoples our own gardens, community gardens, and the wild, our grandparents and ancestors would know what to pick to assist with certain minor ailments, but as the years have gone by, this knowledge has been slowly lost and forgotten, and for many, the idea of herbal medicine is a bottle of pre-made tablets or capsules from an unknown source, or a bottle of brown liquid. As a herbalist, I’m fortunate to known where my medicines are grown and made, if I don’t make them myself, but I believe there is a great benefit to the understanding of what you take, if you recognise and grow some of the herbs that you prescribe.
So why not take the exciting step of growing your own medicinal plants today!