Weighing scented leaf pelargonium….
I am SO EXCITED!
As hinted at in my newsletter last month when I regaled you with my tale of Flowers and Scent… the first batch of BOTANICAL WATER is ready to release!
One of my very favourite plants in the garden here has long been the rose-scented Pelargonium capitatum ‘Attar of Rose’ (usually referred to as Rose Geranium). Many of you will have bought little plants from me here, struck from the original that’s been growing in the Hayshed for what seems like forever. Seemingly drought tolerant, I planted it into the gravel in the early days on a whim and it’s never looked back. I fell for scented leaf pelargoniums a long time ago and remember a lovely story told by a delightful old gardener in Scotland (where I was in swoon mode over a glasshouse filled with pots of them) ‘that they were once planted at the front of flower beds so that when ladies’ full skirts brushed their leaves as they perambulated by, their scent would fill the air!’ How enchanting….(yes I know I’m a hopeless romantic!). But this story is so apt…it conjures beautifully that fleeting moment I so yearn to capture….when the air is momentarily filled with intoxicating scent…and then it’s gone.
And so…the very first BOTANICAL WATER I have to release derives from this very plant, now multiplied in the field. Planted out in the atmospheric summer and grown through the golden days of this past autumn and winter; I picked sturdy stems on a bright ‘sprinter’ morning as the leaves burgeoned and young flower buds were forming…they seemed filled to the brimandready to burst with ‘viriditas’. How I love that word and indeed have named my copper alembic still ‘Hildegarde’ after Hildegarde of Bingen, who coined the (Latin) word in the twelfth century. There are pages and pages attributed to her meaning but in short, whether translated to vitality, fecundity, lushness, verdure or growth, they all describe plants at their peak, seemingly filled with cellular energy or green-ness.
You’ll think I’m bonkers by now….but I do still have my feet firmly on the ground, I promise! You can catch a glimpse of the distillation process as it happened on the day from the field to the beaker here (and yes, I know the word gurgle is spelt with a ‘u’…but you can’t edit the text on insta stories once they’re out in the ether, and my head and heart were in the process, not the spelling!).
Turn the sound on!
So as to spread this first batch: Rose Geranium #D1 among as many of you as possible, I’m releasing it in dear little 10ml amber atomiser bottles. Although I may one day progress to 30ml bottles (when I grow up) even Anthia said ‘oh no…this is the perfect size for a handbag!’ She also called it a ‘pocket-pick-me-up’ and tells me she has been keeping one of my first ‘experimental’ bottles on her desk at the clinic!
As I mentioned too, in the Flowers and Scent newsletter; the water isn’t a perfume to wear, but a mist to spray…to lift your spirits, to make you smile. The true term is Hydrosol. There are no preservatives, no ingredients…it is simply the pure essence of the plant captured as water (which will continue on its transient journey, so it’s best to use, rather than keep).
If you place your order here…(just one per person please as this really is a very limited first edition) I’ll have a hint of the garden here in a bottle, winging its way in your direction!
Catch it briefly on the air while you can…just like life itself.
With very best wishes as always,
ps If you miss out on the first round, please contact me and I’ll begin a list to let you know when the next batch is available (it may be awhile!).
pps You can still catch ‘Inside / Out‘ in the Online Presentation Series this coming Sunday 12 September. What a ‘Garden Journey’ last Sunday was! Thank you again to everyone who participated…and for your enthusiastic responses. I’ll release dates for the Kitchen Gardening presentations very soon.