Living Isle Flower Essences (LIFE essences)
In 2003 Don Dennis (Director of the International Flower Essence Repertoire) decided to relocate IFER on the Isle of Gigha in the west of Scotland. IFER has been importing the very best flower essences we could find from around the world since 1995, and also has developed its own line of the Living Tree Orchid Essences (LTOE) since 1998. Gigha is itself stunningly beautiful (and with a population of about 150) but Achamore House is also set in the middle of a 52 acre garden which these days belongs to the community here on Gigha. Achamore Gardens was chiefly created in the late 1940's, 1950's and 1960's by Col. Sir James Horlick, and was designed by his lover Kitty Lloyd-Jones prior to their splitting up in the mid-1950's. The garden features their passion for rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias, with a focus on the rhododendrons.
Achamore Gardens has many species of rhododendrons as well as hybrids, many which were created by Sir James Horlick. To walk around the gardens anytime between early April and the middle of June is a magical experience, while May is the usual peak these days of their flowering. While Don's chief interest over the past decade has been (and continues to be) the tropical orchids he grows in the greenhouse next to Achamore House, yet he also has found himself drawn to make essences with some of the flowers of this amazing and wonderful garden which is right on his doorstep.
To distinguish these essences from the Living Tree Orchid Essences, this nascent line has been called the Living Isle Flower Essences (LIFE, for short). At this point the line consists of just two essences: RH Griffithianum, and RH Brocade Plus. In the coming few years we expect to add a few more.
The rhododendrons appear to work primarily on one's heart chakra, even though there is a great deal of variety amongst just those here in Achamore Gardens. Should anyone wish to visit the gardens, it is well worth considering staying at Achamore House, which is also run as a lovely and peaceful B&B. But if coming to Gigha isn't possible, then at least now we can post a bit of the wonderful energies of the gardens to you...
Please note: all of our essences are made using a non-cutting method. With the rhododendrons this consists usually of placing a bowl of water just underneath some blooms for some hours, and then at the end, pouring a bit of the water over the blooms back into the bowl. Many of the rhododendrons are over 50 years old now, and so Don usually has to place the bowl on a high stool or chair, in order to reach the blooms which are at their peak. We do not object to making flower essences with the traditional cutting methods, it is simply that for us this approach seems to produce the most vibrant essences.