The Story of Our Orchard

Cotswold Orchard Herbs has been set up by Renate and Dylan at an old orchard near Stow-on- the-Wold. This orchard has some history with our family and has always been a very special place. Dylan’s Grandfather Harold Bagust bought the garden cottage and some land in 1963, he went on to live here for many years and in the late 60’s and early 70’s created one of the biggest Geranium Nurseries in Europe – going on to become a leading light in the world of Geraniums travelling the world to impart his knowledge.

Dylan grew up here and although the Geranium Nursery closed (that’s another story) the Bagust clans continued to earn their livings here, his father and mother making and selling placemats and his grandfather running a printing works. Caravan living, house building and many moves and years later Dylan’s father became the principal landowner and after many deals and counter deals became the proud owner of The Orchard – a dark, scary and lonely little corner that as kids we were always to scared to go into – full of old bent and gnarled trees, wild brambles and dense patches of stinging nettles.

The early nineties saw Dylan’s parents’ business change and the family home had to be sold and after 30 odd years the Bagust family left their beloved hill – well almost. The Orchard stayed in their possession and although they had moved only up the road to Stow-on-the-Wold – Dylan’s father started to tame the wild orchard and over time it became a favourite family venue for BBQ’s and get togethers, a few legendary parties and even a wedding for Dylan & Renate’s eldest daughter Dimity.

As the years rolled by the Orchard became quite a task for Dylan’s father and Dylan and Renate were asked if they could take over the stewardship, they did this on a part time basis as at the time they were both involved in running a very busy construction company.

At the end of 2021 – Through circumstances beyond their control they took the not too difficult decision to shut their construction company and to start a new venture or should we say adventure into the wilderness.

The Orchard has now become their whole life, from pond refurbishments, polytunnels, raised beds, pruning, clearing, nurturing, and cultivating. Those old bent and gnarled trees and wild brambles and dense patches of stinging nettles have gone from being ‘a dark, scary and lonely little corner’ into cherished and much appreciated produce.

This little corner is a wonderfully wild and bountiful place, and we are very proud and privileged to be looking after it!

Much love
Renate and Dylan