from derelict humdinger to
positive potions hq
A beautiful, four-acre walled garden on Anglesey that stood derelict for over fifty years. Kew apparently visited, to get some tips on glasshouse building in the late 19th Century. So it must have been really something.
But the door had been shut. There was a forest in there! Even ‘lost’ buildings, hidden in the undergrowth. Heligan? This was Heligan with bells on.
Now, ten years on, the garden has been
reincarnated as the HQ of Positive Potions
My husband’s great-great-grandfather, clearly fond of champagne, had buried his empties neck-down in the soil to make a ‘champagne border’. I discovered this one day, with the help of some bypass loppers. I idly thought: how about a cocktail border, to carry on the theme?
I quit sugar four years ago (never felt better, FYI), and rarely drink. And started noticing: there was nothing out there for me. Rad green juices have their place in my life in the morning. Ditto herbal tea. Fermented drinks are great but usually sugar-packed (I make my own, to solve that one).
CUE DEAFENING SILENCE.
And I am a great believer in the wisdom of Gandhi: ‘be the change you want to see in the world’. Added to Field of Dreams’ definitive: ‘If you build it, they will come.’ Isn’t that how all businesses begin? If there’s something you want, and it’s not there, then you’ve got to make it yourself.
So that’s what we did. ‘We’ being me, my three brilliant children, and a lovely lady called Fiona who now goes by the grown-up title of Production Manager.
We gathered herbs by the armful and started to have fun. We brewed. We distilled. We mushed, steeped and macerated. We generally monkeyed around until we came up with about thirty different flavours. These we narrowed down to four. Checked them with our expert consultant, Jane Wallwork-Gush, The Exmoor Herbalist. Started trying them out on friends – also on complete strangers.
Four small, pocket-sized bottles that can make a big difference to your health. And six months on, the originals have been joined by four new flavours. All of them packed with anti-oxidant, immune-boosting botanical power. No sugar, sweeteners, junk or alcohol. Just the incredible benefits of super-charged herbs, flowers and roots. They taste delicious, too.
a positive paradise
It is still an impossible project. Where previous generations had forty gardeners, we have two and a half. Where they had their own gas works (seriously) and daily deliveries of coal from Liverpool, we have good compost and solar panels. Where they relied on a round-the-clock workforce, we rely on permaculture and moon planting.
But it is paradise*, and we love it. And that makes the whole thing sing. It is life, when before there was dereliction. It is the change I wanted to see. It is Positive Potions.
and it's all about the garden
Candida Meyrick / Founder
*paradise means literally ‘within the walls’, from the Persian ’Pairidaeza’