Blossom Tree Medicine Garden

by Charlotte Johnston in Totnes, Devon, United Kingdom

Total raised £3,920

raised so far



To create a Medicine Garden of Chinese herbs on the Dartington Estate - a space to enjoy and be surrounded by beautiful healing plants.

by Charlotte Johnston in Totnes, Devon, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 6th December 2022 we'd raised £3,870 with 97 supporters in 28 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

We have a vision!

We want to transform a patch of grass and weeds in a quiet cor1667209991_fddf982b-42d2-4d0b-8e91-a3a945409404.jpegner of the Dartington Estate into a glorious medicine garden full of colour, scents and healing power. We want to create a beautiful space for residents and visitors to relax in and enjoy. It will also be a place to learn about herbal plants and experience the medicine of our land. With the blessing of the Dartington Estate, we have taken the first crucial steps of preparing the site and now we need funding to transform it into a herbal oasis.

We have already secured £2,668 from the National Gardening Scheme!
However we need to raise another £10,832 to make the garden a reality.

Why grow a Chinese Medicine garden here and will it work?!

We want to grow some of the most useful and potent plants used in C1667210014_69bd8645-2c85-4fb7-9767-a9cd62ed0a51.jpeghinese Medicine. We share a similar climate to much of China and many of the plants we will grow are common to our own native gardens. It is our passion to bring awareness to the healing secrets of these plants that we are already surrounded by.

The garden will include plants we are familiar with like sage, honeysuckle, magnolia, chrysanthemum, forsythia, and goji berries, as well as other more unusual plants from the Materia Medica.

The garden will be a precious resource to support the mental health and wellbeing of our fellow tenants and local residents and visitors. It will provide a place to be in nature, take time our from busy lives and connect with others. It will have two seating areas - a single seat for personal reflection and a group seating area. In our clinics we support people with a wide range of mental and physical conditions and we feel it will be particular supportive as place to go after a treatment.

Our approach

We will adopt the forest garden design approach; choosing perennial plants situated in their most optimum position and utilising the beneficial inter-relationships of different plants. In order to preserve the mycorrhizal network and the soil quality we will adopt the ‘no-dig’ method.  

The design

Below is the preliminary garden design.


Project Stages

Phase 1 : May 2022 - Lay a groundcover of mypex and wood-chi1667211492_e7f491fc-b4e6-4d32-afd6-7af263476b28.jpegp to kill off the grass and weeds. This 'No dig' method keeps the mycorrhizal network intact, maintains soil quality and does not disturb the dormant weed seed bank. This will ensure less weeding in the garden in the future, and provide an intact soil ecosystem for the new plants to thrive.


Phase 2: Spring 2023 - Infrastructure preparation including making the gate, arches, and rabbit-proof fence. Sourcing and ordering plants.

Phase 3: Autumn 2023 - Remove the wood-chip and mypex, lay the path1667210051_14946cf9-67d5-4817-b2cf-bb88dba7c712.jpegs and sanctuary areas, install the gate, arches and rabbit-proof fence, add new soil to the existing soil to curate the best conditions for a range of biodiverse planting. Return all the wood-chip on top of the new beds, and plant shrubs & dwarf blossom trees.

Phase 4: Spring 2024 - Plant the perennials.

Phase 5: Enjoy the new garden! Ongoing care and maintenance.

Other initiatives in the garden

Once the garden is established we will be offering:

  • Community harvesting and garden maintenance days
  • Herb discovery workshops to teach people about the medicinal plants and how to use them to support their own and family health.
  • Medicine-making workshops - we will teaching how to make herbal tinctures, salves and linaments.

About us

We are three practitioners of Chinese Me1667376920_mim&charlotte190922_pp2_2296_lr.jpgdicine, two acupuncturists Charlotte Johnston and Mim Lilley, and a herbalist Mark Shanagher.
We work from the Blossom Tree clinic in Chimmels on the Dartington Estate.Mark is also a gardener with a Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and 20 years experience gardening, focusing for the last 10 years on Forest Gardens and Medicine Gardens.

Together, we share a passion for Chinese Medicine and a love for plants. Our vision is to bring on board the local community; those who live and work nearby, those who have an interest in healing plants, and gardening enthusiasts.


Just outside our clinic between Chimmels and Blacklers building ( behind Park School). We are dreaming of the smell of herbs wafting through the clinic on a summer’s day!

How the money will be used 

The money we raise will pay for:

  • Trees, Shrubs and plants
  • Manure, compost, sand1667387728_1667387726984.png
  • Logs for path borders
  • Mypex for paths
  • Archways
  • Hand- carved welcome sign, jig, character punches and copper labels
  • Stakes and rubber ties for trees and shrubs
  • A Bench
  • Rabbit proof fencing

Plants we want to grow

Weeping Forsythia
White Mulberry
Goji Berry
Chinese Privet
Persian Silk Tree
Tree Peony
White Peony
Red Peony
Chinese Motherwort
Chinese Skullcap
Balloon Flower
Chinese Clematis


This project offered rewards

£500 or more

Sponsor a tree

Make a big impact on the garden by sponsoring one of the three small trees planned for in the garden. In recognition of your contribution sponsorship includes a dedication. These will be planted in Autumn 2023.

£12 or more

Biodanza Dance Class

Joyful dance and connection using Biodanza, led by Geoff Green on the Dartington Estate.  Full information at

£12 or more

Family Dance with Leela Fisk & Asher Levin

Movement for Life brings Sunday morning dances for families who love to dance freely or want to try. 10.30-12pm at Dartington Hex. Both leaders are dance facilitators & experienced primary teachers. December 4th, 2022 For 1 adult plus own kids

£18 or more

An Evening Woodlands and Forests of the Dart Walk

A summer’s evening group walk looking at the history, the ecology and the importance of the woodlands that fringe the Dart ,with Jez Ralph, Woodland and Forestry expert. Your guide will explore how they've evolved into what they are now and what they might be in the future. The walk will take place early evening on 14th June 2023.

£22 or more

dōTERRA Peppermint Essential Oil

dōTERRA 15ml Peppermint Essential Oil.

£25 or more

Medicine Garden Planning & Planting Experience Day

Join us for a day on the land to find out more the medicine garden and get stuck in with planting up the garden. A bit like a Work Day but taken at a more gentle pace with an intro from Mark about the creative process & practical considerations for the garden design. After a morning of gardening we will break for a delicious home-made lunch and continue planting in the afternoon with time to talk about the herb’s medicinal uses. Autumn 2023, tbc

£30 or more

DōTERRA Orange and Rosemary Essential oils

A pack of two dōTERRA essential oils, containing 1 Orange and 1 Rosemary 15ml essential oils.

£42 or more

Children’s Acupuncture Consultation and Treatment

An initial consultation and treatment (up to an hour) for a baby, child or teenager in the Blossom Tree Children’s Clinic. A low-cost children’s clinic with an emphasis on creating a friendly, relaxed atmosphere for families. We use many different modalities - as well as ultra fine needles, we use cups, Medical Massage, low-level laser and Moxa, so fear of needles need not be a barrier to treatment.

£45 or more

Herbal Remedies: First Aid for the Family Workshop

Learn how to use simple herbal home remedies for acute illnesses with herbalist Annie Gardner, on Saturday 4th February. We will discuss common first aid issues and acute illnesses you or your family experience and herbs that can be used to address them. The workshops will include making poultices, compresses and a comfrey balm to take home with you. You will get to taste, touch and smell a range of herbal preparations and learn how to use them.

£50 or more

Bespoke Herbal Tea Blend & Consultation

A luxury herbal tea blend created just for you using medicinal herbs grown in Dartington, gathered and processed with care by Sensory Herbalist, Hayley Anderson. You will be asked to complete and return a consultation form by email. You will receive a uniquely blended herbal tea to meet your current needs with an accompanying treatment plan telling you how to work with your herbs and some further recommendations to support your healing.

£50 or more

Superfood Starter Pack from Detox Trading

Improve your overall health and daily nutritional intake with this amazing superfood starter pack. Includes:  250g of organic ashwagandha powder: stress-busting adaptogen.
 250g of organic spirulina powder: protein and iron-rich green powder. 250g of organic raw cacao powder: simply the best! 500ml of organic coconut oil: cook with it, use on skin and hair. 250g of organic maca powder: mood-boosting, energising and harmonising.

£60 or more

Chinese Medicine (TCM) Consultation with Mark

TCM is based on the observation and examination of living systems and their complex, mutually dependent interactions. It is a tradition that has been refined by doctors and for hundreds of generations. We seek to return the patient to good health, by going to the ‘root’ of the imbalance. TCM excels in preventing and treating illnesses. Uniquely crafted herbal formulas prepared for each person (herbs not included in price).

£70 or more

dōTERRA Essential Oils Yoga Collection

A sumptious collection of 5ml essential oils for energy and relaxation, includes three special blends - Anchor, Align and Arise.

£95 or more

A Celebration Day for Girls Workshop

A beautiful workshop that prepares you and your girl for her first period (menarche). Positive, empowering, bonding and fun! For girls aged 9-12yrs and their mother/female carer. In South Devon, or by zoom. Run by Nisha Toppin - Women’s Health Coach & Menstrual Educator.

£100 or more

Chinese Medicine Herbal Course of Treatment

Bespoke consultation and 1 month course of Chinese Medicine Herbs with experienced herbalist Mike Potter, who teaches Chinese Medicine at University of Westminster and has been treating for over 40 years. Package includes 2 consultations and 1 months supply of herbs. Appointments are available Fridays and Saturdays in central Totnes.

£2,000 or more

Bespoke bench sponsorship

For an extra special contribution to the creation of the garden,  we offer you the opportunity to sponsor a handcrafted bespoke bench and to have a dedication on the bench.

£5 or more

Inner Seasons Poster

A beautiful poster guiding you through the Inner Seasons of the Menstrual Cycle. Available in medium or large. See for more period health resources. Poster will be posted to you within the UK (or can be collected from the Blossom Tree Clinic). Produced by Nisha Toppin - Women’s Health Coach & Menstrual Educator

£12 or more

Friday Morning Movement group with Adam Griffin

The space awaits you, to drop in to a deeper sense of yourself, time to give yourself the attention you need, a place to stretch out and find the movements your body has been wanting to show you. Light guidance is inspired by nature, with spacious music.  No experience necessary, just curiosity for finding that inner dancer. 10-11.30am, Studio 33, Dartington Estate

£21 or more

dōTERRA Lip balm and Toothpaste

A lovely duo of dōTERRA Onguard toothpaste and herbal lip balm.

£25 or more

Wyse Worts Herb Plants

Choose your own selection of plants from Wyse Worts range of medicinal and culinary herbs and wildflowers. The best selection will be in the Spring, but you can pre-order if you know what you want. Supplied by Melissa Harvey and grown on the Dartington Estate.

£28 or more

dōTERRA Balance Essential Oil

dōTERRA 15ml Balance Essential oil.

£40 or more

Evening Canoe with Storytelling around the fire

Join Winding River Canoe for a magical evening on the River Dart and experience the natural world on the water as it moves from day to night. We set off in daylight and paddle our canoes down river. Pitching up on the river bank, we'll gather around the fire for a river tale from our on-board story-teller with hot chocolate and cake. As the light is fading we'll paddle back to the finish point with minimal speaking.

£45 or more

1hr Voice Exploration Session with Bella Lilley

In a 1-1 session Bella will hold a safe, loving container for you to come into deep relationship with your voice and explore ways of accessing the full potential of your vocal expression.  For anyone who has a voice and would like to feel more freedom, joy and ease in using it.  Bella Lilley is a singer, mother & vocal facilitator who holds space for peoples’ voices and full human expression. Facebook@Arabellavoicemedicine

£50 or more

dōTERRA intro trio kit

A beautiful trio of dōTERRA lemon, lavender and peppermint oils presented in a lovely box with a few instructions on how to use them. Also includes a free online class to watch and a free 15 min consultation with an experienced oil expert.

£60 or more

DeepTime Holistic Massage with Mira Duncan

Experience rhythmical flowing touch the integration and celebration of your body here now - in the present moment with individually tailored Deep Time Massage with Mira Duncan.

£60 or more

Acupuncture Consultation and Treatment with Mim

An initial consultation and treatment for acupuncture with Mim Lilley.

£60 or more

Acupuncture Consultation & Treatment withCharlotte

Initial consultation and acupuncture treatment with Charlotte Johnston.

£120 or more

One Night Bed & Breakfast at Dartington Hall

Remove yourself from the hustle and bustle of modern life, relax and enjoy B&B for 2 people. You’ll stay in rooms overlooking listed medieval gardens with access to over 800 acres of glorious Grade 2 listed gardens, and the best in local and seasonal food and drink. Valid for 1 night for 2 people in a double room. Subject to availability, midweek only, excludes special occassions.

£125 or more

My Amazing Body Workshop With Nisha Toppin

A gentle introduction to growing up for girls aged 6-9 years old and their mothers/ female carers, covering everything a mother needs to know about this stage in her girl’s life and the changes ahead. Full of stories, craft, massage and appreciation of our incredible bodies! Held in South Devon. Read more about it at

Show your support

Payment and personal details are protected