I recently visited a new friend, Molly Sheehan of Green Hope Farm & Essences. She invited me for a visit to her garden which included her massive and majestic thistles - and from these she makes thistle flower essence. Is there no end to the wonders of the thistle?
Molly started her business 30 years ago as a mail order business that grew to become an exceedingly busy and successful online business. She and her team create flower essences harnessing a plant’s individual properties for the benefit of our health. Her orders are shipped out all over the world for both people and animals alike. While the team is busy indoors packing orders, you can find Molly outside caring for her gardens. Molly is a knitter too and a great customer of TWT. She has knitted several Vanilla Fluffs, so much so, it's considered her uniform at work.
Meeting Molly has been a balm to soothe my often worried mind. Seeing her step through her garden while the business bustles on indoors, and hearing her talk about the ups and downs of business, the economy and all other kinds of challenges facing small businesses, helped me regain a better perspective of some of the difficulties we face these days, but even more important, that she's still here 30 years on, as is my hope for The Woolly Thistle and me.
It's so funny when you meet a kindred spirit. You find all kinds of things in common or strange connections like her love for a place called Findhorn, which is just along the water from where my mum lives in Nairn in the Highlands of Scotland. Or that her garden had little gatherings of Lambs Ears, the soft and silvery leaves the shape of lambs ears (!), which we always called Lambs Lugs (Scots for ears) and which my Great Uncle John had in his garden in Inverness. (She kindly brought me some for my garden which are now planted and coming back nicely, see below.)
Lambs Lugs replanted in my garden
Connecting with one another is more important as life goes on, I think. These last 12 months have been some of the most challenging of my life, and through it all, I have loved my knitting and woolly wool, the wonderful people who come to work and make The Woolly Thistle tick every day, and the new friends and garden faeries, who make themselves known at just the right time.
Thistles in Molly’s gardenA big thank you to Molly for welcoming me into your lovely garden! For those wanting to learn more about the great work Molly is doing on Green Hope Farm, be sure to check out their website www.greenhopeessences.com! If you’re interested in learning more you can find resources as well as an order form here. You can also keep up to date with the different blooms by liking them on Facebook or following their Instagram.