Cosmetics giant Jo Malone backs new project

Redhall's Deirdre Macdonald and Robert Sless flank trainee gardener Gavin Watt. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
Redhall's Deirdre Macdonald and Robert Sless flank trainee gardener Gavin Watt. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
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IT is a high-end fragrance company boasting the likes of Kate Middleton, Jennifer Lopez and Dannii Minogue among its devotees.

But cosmetic giant Jo Malone London is getting back to basics by pumping thousands of pounds into restoring a community garden in the Capital.

The global brand has funded two projects at Redhall Walled Garden on Lanark Road – the restoration of its roundhouse and the creation of a herb garden – while helping vulnerable people run them.

Rachel Baker, the company’s general manager, said: “Working at Redhall has been a real journey, an incredible one.From identifying the scented ingredients which inspire both us in our fragrances, and Redhall in their planting, through to our days of volunteering and digging together, and finally to the opening.”

The company first visited the site in January 2013, identifying a need to restore the crumbling roundhouse and create a purpose-built herb garden, before work began some six months later. This week the ribbon was officially cut as Jo Malone London and SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) showed off the fruits of their labour to the general public.

The project is the latest in a similar line of ventures for the fragrance company, which sees gardens as “the heart of its charity work” and a “constant source of inspiration”.

Although plants grown at Redhall will not be used in Jo Malone London products, varieties such as basil and mandarin – featured in one of the company’s signature scents – will be grown on site.

Ms Baker said: “Not only are gardens a constant source of inspiration for fragrances, they are also proven to be good for the soul. We are proud to support charities with the creation of beautiful, scented gardens. Our gardens are life changing to those involved and scented havens open to everyone.”

Redhall Walled Garden is maintained by trainee gardeners who attend as a result of mental ill health. SAMH provides horticulture and conservation training, helping them rebuild their lives.

One volunteer, John, 46, was referred to the project after becoming ill with Crohn’s disease. After eight months in hospital, and the end of his 26-year career in insurance, he was both depressed and anxious. He said: “At this time I had never even planted a seed or cut a blade of grass.

“I didn’t think it would be my thing, but I went along anyway and it’s been all up from then – people have even said I look ten years younger than I did a few years ago.”

The Redhall Herb Garden is supported through the sale of Jo Malone London Limited Edition Home Candles.

It was reported Kate Middleton had Jo Malone candles in Westminster Abbey on her wedding day, while Dannii Minogue is thought to like them in her dressing room.