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Issue 42 - Agardener'sworld(HilaryLamont-Linkwood)

Whisky Magazine Issue 42
September 2004

 

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Agardener'sworld(HilaryLamont-Linkwood)

Inanewserieslookingatdifferentdistillerycareers,RichardJonestalkstoHilaryLamont–distillerygardeneratLinkwood

There'sreallynosuchthingasatypicalday,”beginsHilaryLamont,gardeneratLinkwooddistillery.“Asanygardenerwilltellyou,yourworkisdictatedbytheseasonandtheweather.Youmighthaveaplanforaparticularday,butthentheheavensopenandyouhavetochangewhatyouweregoingtodo.

Onceitstarts,youcan'tjustturnthetapsoff.Consideringitslocation,Elginactuallyhasanextremelymildclimate.Asoneofthenurserymenatmypreviousjobsaid,‘Ifyoucan'tgrowanythinginMorayshire,don'tbothertryinganywhereelse.'”

BorninAberdeenbutbroughtupinLondonformuchofherchildhood,HilaryLamonthastendedthegreeneryatLinkwooddistilleryformorethan25years.

Sheisoneofthelastofadyingbreed.“AsfarasI'maware,I'mtheonlypersonintheindustrystillemployedasafull-timegardener.HistoricallythegardensatLinkwoodneededspecialattentionbecauseitwasclosetothecompanyofficesinElgin.

Therewasn'tmuchfreespaceattheheadquarters,sotheywantedthedistillerytolookpristineforhospitalityevents,meetingsandthelike.

“TheLinkwoodgroundscover10acres,andclosetothedistillerythegardensarequitehighmaintenanceandcosmetic.

“EveryyearIplantseedsforbetween8,000and9,000beddingplants,andthesameforwallflowers.Inthissectionthegrassismanicuredandcutshort.

“Butasyoumoveawayfromthedistillery,themorenaturalisedeverythingisallowedtobecome.Here,Iseemyjobmoreasaconservationistthanatraditionalgardener.Althoughwhiskyisanindustry,itisvitallyimportantthatwerespectandcareforourlocalenvironment.Thesiteis
dividedintoeightdistincthabitats,andeachencouragesandsupportsadifferentrangeofspeci...

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