Friday 22 September 2023

The Victorian Head And Shoulders Plant Shampoo.

 Thanks for all your views folks yesterday.  I am getting over 1700 views a day at the moment. So my gardening posts must be popular.   Thank you also for your comments. I always appreciate them.


Soapwort sometimes called Soap Weed.

Another one of my perennials that is in flower this month.   It's  also seen in the wild and a garden escapee.

Some gardeners call it a nuisance with its pernicious rhizomes like roots that can invade the garden like Twitch and Nettles.
I don't mind it and I always leave a clump of it growing in the veg plot.  I even have some growing in the new polytunnel.   I often dig it up and put it in a plant pot.  If you visited my smallholding I would give you some for free.

The Victorian gardeners often made a soap from the plant.  Even today fine fabrics and tapestries are washed with homemade Soapwort soap.

Here's one of my favourite television series using Soapwort:

 I have watched all the different series  down the agesand  even got a book about the Wartime Farm.  I think I would have liked to have been a Victorian farmer if I had lived in those times.  Probably at a big country estate in Dorset working in a walled kitchen garden and there were be horses and carts and thatched cottages and even a cut flower garden.  What about you? 

Soapwort also makes a nice cut flower for your vase or vaze.


  1. There is something quite magical about walled kitchen gardens. I really admire those people who take them on and restore them. I have watched all the series too and they are fascinating.

  2. Totally agree with you Tracy. Walled kitchen gardens are magical. The block the sight of the dung heaps from the big house and they create a unique microclimate for growing fruit and vegetables. Heligan in Cornwall and Glin Castle in Limerick are two such gardens that I have visited. The flowers at Glin were at least three weeks in bloom ahead of mine. I would love to help restore a walled kitchen garden. Thanks for commenting Tracy.

  3. I had a friend who rented a Garden Cottage on an estate in Monmouthshire..luckily it came with the walled garden!
    I used to enjoy helping them ..two polytunnels, apple trees galore, walnuts, cherries, grape vines....and chooks...

  4. Sounds like Heaven and a beautiful part of Blighty GZ. I could live anywhere in the West country. Gloucestershire had some great countryside and ancient buildings when I visited Stroud and Slad recently on my travels. I think we get far too much rain here in West Cork. Thanks.

  5. There's a book about the Wartime Farm? I would love to read it, could you give us the title and author please?
    I first read about soapwort in a fiction novel about Cave Men days when the roots and plant matter were crushed between rocks then rubbed through the hair and rinsed off in the running river water. I'll have to see if I can grow some here.

  6. Wartime Farm: Rediscovering The Skills And Spirit Of World War 11. By Alex Langlands.

    It's a pretty herbaceous perennial River and like lots of other plants it got beneficial uses like soap and shampoo.

    1. Thank you. I'll see if I can track down a copy.

    2. Abe Books may have it River. They are very good for sourcing books.

  7. I have walked around a few walled gardens when visiting some of the big houses around England. Lovely spaces, beautiful plants and always so calm and peaceful.
    I am not sure I would have the patience to try soapwort as a shampoo. I just like to "wash and go". I wonder if there are any of those organic shampoo bars made from it?

  8. The gardeners bothy at The Lost Gardens Of Heligan was very poignant with theirs names scrawled on the walls and many who went to France and fight in the Great War and never returned to work there JayCee. I agree they are very calm and peaceful places to visit. There's lots of organic soaps and shampoos available on line that contain Soapwort. Thanks.

  9. I did not know about soap wort. I love the idea of using it on old tapestries, etc. Sometimes I would love to grow useful herbs, but sadly no garden.

  10. Thanks for commenting Tom. Plants and their uses fascinate me. Perhaps I should do an Herbalist course online? The monks and nuns use to grow plants for eating and for healing medical conditions. You could grow Soapwort in a plant pot. Never thought of renting an allotment? I use to rent them when I lived in England. Great camaraderie and craic and you learn so much from other fellow growers. Much less isolated than living on a smallholding in the countryside next to the sea.


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