Tender Roots: Jordan Scott & Estate of Health
Nestled in the heart of Kingsville, this summer we were lucky enough to make our way to the serene gardens of the Estate of Health. Known in the community as a wellness centre, a place to find reprieve and step away from the daily grind, these grounds offer peace of mind, physical rejuvenation and spiritual vitality.
Jordan Scott, the Estate of Health Director, Holistic Health practitioner and self-proclaimed Herbal enthusiast was nothing short of humble and kind when touring us around the 3 acres of sacred land. A house built in 1856, Colonel James King, the founder of Kingsville once called this place home, the Kingsholme Estate in fact. With the purchase of the manor, came beautiful century-old trees that are towering the property, not native to the area, much thought went into the species and placement which makes this piece of history even more sacred.
The Garden Story
Acquiring this land back in 2019, the Scott’s decision to revamp the landscaping was no small feat– a project they have been working on for 2 years, and will be continuously expanding upon. With planting starting last year, Jordan explained that most plants and gardens are in the baby stage, so some plants are very little and are just becoming established. Starting in the front garden closest to the property line and parking lot...
“This is actually a really interesting section because we have a lot of natives in this area, so the first thing in spring to come out are the trout lilies, all underneath where the ferns are right now and then we get trilliums, and we have a few milkweed. It's kind of fun, under here we also have Jack and the Pulpit and Solomon Seal.
When visiting the Estate of Health property you will spot many Hydrangeas, Hosta, Lavender, Sedum, Astilbe, Irises, Coneflowers, beautiful Daises and native plants like ferns, sweet woodruff. The list goes on and on...
Throughout the garden tour, there were so many private nooks that looked so peaceful - places to swing, sit, or walk and take in a different view of the property. With the pace of life seeming to move so quickly these days, having these soft places to land to simply catch our breathe, and sink a little deeper into the present moment is something that we truly appreciate and can treasure when visiting!
"A lot of the garden design was we want people to slowly meander so that they don't even have to think, they can just be present and let the plants guide them. Having a nice balance between native and non-native.
So when people come, they are invited to wander - anyone who is here for a class or treatment they are welcome to relax in the gardens, anywhere on the grounds and then beyond the gated area that's our day spa, so people can come and it is an additional service that they can pay for and it allows them access to our pool the sauna, the hot tub our relaxation lounges, the salt scrub outdoor showers and then they get a robe and locker for the days so its a really nice way to actually take a day to just relax and unwind."
"I really love this little walking path - we didn't really touch this area because it was pretty perfect the way it was. These ferns are so beautiful and huge and are called Fiddlehead ferns, we harvest them in the springtime to eat and they are so delicious."
Jordan explained her love of working with plants and making teas- it became clear that this was where the plant passion sparked. Her eyes lit up at the mention of herbs and natural remedies, and it was amazing to hear just how much we can do with so many plants in our garden. With the goal of growing as many of the plants that she uses in the teas on the property as possible, you will see that mostly on the west side of the gardens, near her home are where the medicinal plants can be found.
"I get a lot of our herbs for our fresh water and teas from this garden bed here. The mulch and compost that we create here are what we use with the herbs and everything seems to be loving it which makes me feel so good because it's so cool to go like "we made this compost" it's exciting!"
"This is still in progress but it is an outdoor healing space. We are planning on putting trellising to go up around the sides and then we will put drapery around and train the wisteria across the front of it. Then we will be able to do treatments outside here which I think will be so nice for reiki and shamanic healing- modalities where you want to be as connected to nature as possible."
An Interview with Jordan Scott of Estate of Health:
What does gardening mean to you?
What type of garden do you have?
Fruit/Vegetable/Herb & Perennial/Annual
How would you describe your garden?
I currently reside and work at a large estate wherein I redesigned the gardens with my mother to be a refuge for any in need of healing, inspiration or empowerment. We have many beds that have interesting features, various heights, shapes and colours with a continuous flow from one bed to another. We developed our gardens to encourage people to wander slowly, pausing at moments for awe or reflection, and to discover new spaces and perspectives. This garden was created with love, and it fills the hearts of all who enter it.
How has Anna’s been apart of your garden story?
How did you get into gardening?
Well, I got into gardening at a very young age actually but it wasn't the most romantic intro to gardening because I was pretty much a weed picker for my parents because we had a very long driveway of interlocking brick. It was like every weekend we had to pick weeds which, you know, wasn't very fun at that age at least, now I love picking weeds. My parents did have a pretty extensive garden at the time - my mom did have a little vegetable patch so you know I was starting to get more interested in it as I grew a little bit older but it wasn't until I was maybe 12 that I actually really started to enjoy gardening and being more curious about plants.
Do you have any resources for helping to make your garden succeed and where do you draw inspiration? (Books, podcasts, people. etc. )
So I have studied plants at University and in College and when I was in college in San Diego I started this plant connection class and it was probably one of the biggest inspirations for me - the philosophy about it was learning from the plants themselves can go a long way. It helped me to work with my intuition which I am very comfortable with, so a lot of my inspiration and understanding of plants just comes from observing them and listening to them but I do use some other resources too.
Online I really like The Spruce - it's a great source I feel like they know about every plant that I want to explore. How to grow it, what its conditions are, when to harvest, all those things. Also The Farmer's Almanac online, I use that as well to help guide me.
And for my love of herbs which is a big part of why I work with plants in the first place, probably my all-star herbalist crush is Rosemary Gladstar. She is a wonderful wealth of knowledge and just a beautiful person with a great perspective on how to work with plants and their multiple uses and how to take it from growing/harvesting and then actually making products that are going to heal you and others.
In the back gardens Jordan pointed out wild raspberries, golden currants, blackberries, rhubarb and little blueberry plants- all which bordered the raised beds filled with homemade compost, where cucumber, dill and fennel plants (to name a few) were thriving!
"We have oregano, calendula (good for the lymphatic system- oil/save or in tea), and astragalus plant (management of stress) - a lot of these plants we won't harvest just yet so we can let them establish their roots. Tarragon, Sage, Thai Basil, Chamomile, and then that crazy big plant back there is clary sage. There are also Dandelions, Lemon balm, Hyssop, Mint, Horehound (good for lungs, phlegm, cough/cold), Russian sage."
What is your favourite thing to grow and why?
I would say my favourite class of plants to grow are herbs - for sure, I love growing herbs, you know, they last so long. From the birth of the plant, you plant the seed and you are just full of hope about it, and then they grow and there are so many opportunities to harvest, so many different times of the year to harvest too with herbs because it can vary. You can do spring things for like flowers, and you can do all summer for leaves and stems and then autumn brings you roots and then I store a lot of those in dried forms too so I'm always able to keep working with herbs all throughout the year so I think that's my favourite and most useful thing to grow for sure. I also like berries too, it's just such a rewarding thing to grow berries.
"We did want to make the property accessible, it was one of our main goals when we took it over, so this is one of our accessible garden meditation spots."
Pictured above is the Woodland Garden are of the property..."In front of the manor we put in a bunch of azalea and rhododendrons and sprinkled in some natives - three little Monks hoods, little flowers in the spring! Some different heights of phlox. The row of apple trees is where our property ends so it's a fun little shaded area - Lily of the valley will fill in, azalea will get larger and make it feel more woodland-ish, that's the goal"
What does gardening bring to your life?
So much joy. I think that is the simplest way to put it. Anytime that I feel myself being stressed or upset or I start to lose my balance I walk out into the garden and within the first 3 steps, I'm starting to find more ease, more peace and just joy.
How would you describe your gardening style?
Here it is kind of unique because these gardens are a culmination of myself and my mom, both of our styles coming together to create this space. I tend to be very much enamoured with the English garden style, where things are allowed to grow towards and touch other things - multiple heights, and shapes and colour pallets that really compliment each other and blend, almost the easiest way of gardening too because things will fill in and shade out the weeds and things like that. I am really inspired by restoration agriculture and permaculture so I try to integrate those types of methods in so that I'm saving myself time and the work I don't have to do but I'm also trying to create less impact so if I can use less water by having things fill in nicely then that is ideal so I love the English Country style.
I am also a huge fan of forest gardening you know, looking at and taking more of a permaculture approach. So this space as it is right now, this is like a dream come true in terms of creating serenity in the garden for the purpose of healing. But I also have a big space in my heart for living in amongst the trees and just doing multiple different levels of gardening through the forest and figuring that out because that's a big challenge too. I'm kind of torn in both directions.
What is your favourite month and time of day in your garden?
I love the mornings any time of the year, mornings in the garden are just magical right, the first birds starting to sing at 5:30 in the morning, it's just so beautiful, I mean Robins get me up at 3:30 but you know! That early ...when there is still dew on everything is just magical, it's quiet in the world, all you hear is the wind and the birds, you know, it's the time when you can feel so connected to nature.
And then the time of the year, I feel like this time is very inspirational, like, middle of July into the beginning of August, the energy is so abundant right, everything is in full bloom - it's trying to show it's off its best to the world which is really fun.
I also really love Spring though, all the first things to show up, just restoring that hope that we're getting to warmer months again, you know, you'll be out with the sun on your skin soon. I love that too, so it's a hard question.
What inspires your choices for your garden?
I think the plants do, I want to learn my best how to support them. So when I'm choosing a plant for a particular spot I make sure that I know as much as I can about that plant so that I am able to provide it with the right conditions. In this space here we have a lot of different conditions because we have lots of shade trees and then we have areas that are completely open, there are dips in the land where it will be more humid or drier so I definitely want to create a palette that is really pleasing on the eye and you know, looks aesthetically beautiful so that may be a starting point but then it's like okay what are the conditions here and how can I help the plants to thrive and that will be why I choose which ones I choose.
What are your dreams for your garden?
I want to teach here! I want to have people here who are passionate about gardens and who want to learn about gardening and I'd love to do workshops on how to create your own compost and mulch which we are doing here and how to work with companion planting and how to listen to the plants - everything from planting to harvesting and all the stuff in between. I really want this space to become an educational opportunity for people as well as a healing environment. So I feel like we are already, just the fact that we have these protective trees and all the plants that are already here I feel like we're already leaning into or supporting people in their healing process but I'm really excited to start teaching.
What would you say you do best in your garden?
Play! Does that count? Because it's so inspiring I just sometimes I just want to roll in the grass like he is right now - the pooch over there and just enjoy it, so yah, I think it inspires me to just relax, and play and take it in!