Celebrating scented pelargoniums with Cath Kidston

Known best as the founder of the British home furnishing retail company, but few may know that Cath Kidston is also a talented gardener and avid collector of scented pelargoniums.

The most delicate of blooms on the charming Species P. Trifidum Pelargonium
credit: Fibrex Nurseries

Catherine Kidston Padgham MBE has an ever expanding collection of scented geraniums, growing in her Gloucestershire greenhouse. Drawn to the extensive breadth of fragrances in their leaves, the beauty of the plants and their healing properties, Kidston set up a new company called C.Atherley, which specialises in natural body care with products made only from distinctive pelargonium fragrances.

The concept behind C.Atherley is that each fragrance matches back to a particular plant – from greenhouse to bottle. The first one selected was the Radens variety, which became Geranium No.1. The British brand is formulated and bottled in the countryside, with its origins set in the Cotswolds. Products are produced in small batches for optimum freshness, while fragrance is developed by a master perfumer in nearby Somerset.

For those whom are potty about pelargoniums, Kidston and her scented pelargoniums will be part of two related events held in Oxfordshire – along with experts from Fibrex nurseries, Whichford Pottery, Chippy Flower Farm and Burford Garden Company. Fibrex nursery are renowned growers of pelargoniums and is run by current owners Ed Boers and Laura Whiley who grow a diverse array of exquisite scented varieties.

Festival of Scented Geraniums: Chippy Flower Farm

The charity sale, Pellymania will be held on Saturday the 8th of June, from 10:30 – 15:00 at the Chippy Flower Farm in Little Tew, Oxfordshire. Kidston will be bringing some of her favourite varieties of pelargoniums, which she has been nurturing in her own greenhouse for the sale. Sale proceeds will go to the Simon Rivett-Carnac Trust – a grant giving charitable trust, funding small charity project for mental health.

Fibrex nurseries will be in attendance with a range of pelargoniums, as will Sophie Conran’s nursery garden team from Salthrop. Whichford Pottery will be on hand with a range of their pottery wares and a further array of stalls will be present providing local food & beverages.

Scented Pelargonium Weekend: Burford Garden Company

The special Scented Pelargonium Weekend, held on the 22nd – 23rd of June, from 11:00-16:00 at the Burford Garden Company.

Sharing their expertise, Ed Boers and Laura Whiley of Fibrex nurseries will be in attendance, along with over 20 varieties of scented pelargoniums, from Fibrex Nurseries. Kidston will be present on the Sunday, sharing her knowledge of pelargoniums, growing guidance and starting a special collection.