Last month I did a call out for questions on my instagram after I received so many messages asking to hear more about what I do and who I am. If you're not part of our little gardening insta community I would definitely recommend joining in! If you missed this Q&A and have any questions then don't worry, I'm sure I'll do another one. You are more than welcome to message me on Instagram if you are really curious...although plant based questions may receive preference because to be honest...I could talk about plants forever.
Where are you from?
A tiny little village outside Doncaster in South Yorkshire in the middle. of. nowhere.
How old are you?
In my twenties.
What is your job?
To keep this simple I'm talking about my 'day job'!
I'm a qualified Personal Trainer but I now only offer consultation sessions because I'm quite busy at the moment trying to run two business at once...The Herbalists UK (www.theherbalists.co.uk) and Your Organic Soap Co. My partner and I have one store in Doncaster Town Centre and a studio just outside where we work from too so managing that work load often takes priority. Things are quite busy and somewhere in-between I'm studying Herbal Medicine...gardening helps with the stress and it helps that I love what I do!
What got you into this field of work?
Partly passion, partly hard work, partly coincidence...and I was inspired by the right people at the right time.
What is your hair routine?
I'm going to do a long post about this. I'll go through my routine step by step...because it is a long answer and also my most asked question be far!
What is your favourite hobby?
Wild swimming, weightlifting, gardening, reading, learning, walking through woods...don't make me choose.
Do you have children?
Not yet. I currently have too many animals, herb babies and a marginally feral boyfriend to look after.
What is your favourite plant?
Borage, Borago officinalis (starflower)
What is your favourite tree?
Either Gingko Biloba or a pink blossom Cherry Tree.
What kind of pumpkins are you growing?
A classic - Jack O'Lantern.
What is the coolest plant you have ever grown?
An apple tree from a pip I spat out as a child...thoroughly blew my little mind at the time.
Do you use pesticides?
Not artificial ones. I will use a natural one if infested. One of my older videos will show you how to make your own natural pesticide out of neem or vegetable oil.
Any pesticide you use whether natural or otherwise is going to kill insects...but there is a big difference in the overall damage artificial pesticides do. Generally natural ones are biodegradable, they aren't harmful to you or the rest of your garden, they are cheaper and far less potent often acting more as a deterrent than as a 'kills everything in sight' spray. This is a preference for me...but the more we understand and talk about soil health I think we will hear more about the disadvantages of specifically artificial pesticides.
What weed killer do you use?
I pull them out or just leave them there to be honest. Wildflower varieties that are now considered weeds are often the most useful for our gardens and for our environment. If they grow where I don't want them then I dig them up and add them to the compost heap. Nettle and Comfrey for example are superb compost activators and rich in nitrate and potassium so really 'give back' to our soil. So I try not to kill them if possible.
Can you bring back ivy once most of it is dead?
Yes. How good are you instincts and plant knowledge? If you get the PH, light, heat balance PERFECT then you absolutely can bring most plants back from the almost dead...but you'll be caring for that plant constantly until it is well.
It's much easier to buy a new one if you're not sentimental!
How much land do you have?
I work on about a quarter acre plot.
Where do you get all your dungarees from?
New Look have some cracking ones in at the moment that wash really well and go over your normal clothes. But otherwise you have to just keep an eye out as and when they come into stores (I don't internet shop very often). Charity shops are always a great place to start looking though...I find you can pick up more quality made clothes at bargain prices!
Are you a Vegan?
No. I've tried a lot of diets...Paleo, Vegan, Keto, Candida (I found this one brutal!) etc. I will probably always advocate moderation as the healthiest general diet. From everything that I have been taught so far the general consensus among Medical Herbalists is that we should be trying to expand rather than restrict our diets; unless of course for a specific recovery.
I do want to be clear though, my diet is basically paleo...only with a bit of cake from time to time...I try to eat exceptionally well...I don't really eat junk food, I eat little meat, I barely drink alcohol. I stick to local, fresh, unprocessed foods wherever possible...and I am continually expanding my diet through growing my own food and foraging.
...and the cake...because everyone needs a 'little bit' of cake in their life.