The Ecological Herbalist
Meet Natalie DeNormandie, the maker of all things fragrant and designer of all things natural. This glowing soul's love of nature flows through from her garden design to the beautiful hand blended oils that she creates. If ever there were a wood nymph then she would be it. She's like a real life Flower Fairy!
I first met Natalie in Boston. She wafted into the room with the smell of fresh flowers around her and a smile that lit up the room. I commented on the fabulous scent and she told me she made the oil herself and she offered to make me my own. She asked me what three words I'd like to focus on and then set to work. Being pregnant at the time I chose the words that I felt I wanted the next few months to be 'infused' with. The oil that she made, came complete with a description of all the various fragrances that had gone into it, and having the words on the side of the small blue bottle reminded me of what we do with Mindful Apparel. Each time I wear the oil, whether on a plane, before I go to bed or if I'm feeling run down, knowing the thought and intention that went into making it makes it all the more special.
So not only are we going to start making Natalie's custom oils available to buy, but we are going to share her insights with you. From gardens, to fragrances and recipes we can't wait to see what tales she tells.
"If there were a thread woven through my life, it would be plants. And the thread that weaves a flowing fabric with my love of plants is pattern. Ecological patterns at scales large and small have always fascinated me. These two, plants and pattern, create a broad tapestry of interest. I pull them together into a practice I call Ecological Herbalism, where I design gardens with my clients to support optimal health for body and soul."
Natalie studied botany and finished her undergraduate work in landscape architecture and environmental planning at Utah State University, followed by work in Canada on large-scale forest ecology and with First Nation tribes, designing an interpretive landscape at a winery. She then moved to Massachusetts, where she studied native plants at the New England Wild Flower Society and completed graduate studies in landscape architecture and ecology at the Harvard Design School.
She started her practice, SegoDesign, in 2005 with a focus on edible gardens –
"I found that real, lasting, and deep engagement with a landscape was easy to encourage if it involves berries – and deep engagement is what I am after. In 2009, I contracted Lyme Disease and became increasingly interested in health. I studied herbalism at the Boston School of Herbal Studies and continued to learn how to weave plants even more fully into my life."
You can follow Natalie at @ecoherbalist on twitter.