About The Essential Garden

Alasdair and Fiona Scott (Fe and Al) are passionate about herbs and their magical properties. The path towards this herbal appetite has been quite different for both of them.

Alasdair’s sweet blood made him as easy and regular target for mosquitos, midges, sand-flies and fleas. For years he would lather himself in all manner of chemical repellents in an effort to avoid their itchy calling cards. When the chemicals were less than successful, the itchy swelling would last for days, drawing blood from his incessant scratching. His eureka moment came when watching ethno-botanist James Wong’s TV programme “Grow Your Own Drugs”. Wong recommended the common herb Plantain (Plantago major) to relieve the itching of insect bites and stings.

As soon as Alasdair realised the “weed” he had been trying to kill for years was actually a useful remedy for his insect bites, it triggered the beginning of a fascinating journey of learning and sharing his knowledge about the power of herbs. Alasdair now uses Plantain to make his own line of insect relief cream.

Fiona’s journey originated from her creativity as she has been an art teacher for over 15 years. She started making plant labels and ceramic art and selling them at the local Puhoi market. Fiona noticed the clay and glazes were having a drying effect on her skin resulting in a higher than average use of moisturising creams.

About the same time Alasdair began toying with recipes for his anti-itch cream, Fiona put in her order for some herb-inspired moisturising cream. This then led to face creams, cleansing oils and toners and she now espouses natural ingredients in her cosmetic range where possible.

Fiona and Alasdair run exciting workshops and tours at the Essential Garden on their lifestyle block in the Upper Waiwera Valley with their constant companions, Airedale Terriers, Inca and Ruby. They love sharing their piece of paradise with family and friends and are often found tending and enjoying the gardens.