Smallgarden Botanicals

Artisan botanical soaps and skincare

What’s Behind The Name? Linnet’s Moss

‘How I found the inspiration for my soap names’


Today, I’m talking about the soap names in my natural soap collection, and how I go about creating them.



Giving them a name, and an identity, is the easiest way. I could call them after their ingredients, their essential oils, colours, what the patterns look like, (although the patterns are always changing).

The natural world, and the tiny part of it that is my garden, is my creative space and is really important to me. All of my creative ideas come from plants, flowers, birds, and poetry. In particular the poetry of John Clare, who was born in Helpston, Northamptonshire in 1793, where he was known as the ‘Northamptonshire peasant poet’. A nature poet, John Clare’s themes are his day-to-day experiences in his small village and the common ground and farmer’s land surrounding it. Rambling, as those of us in the countryside as children were free to do, his poems mostly look back on the idyllic childhood he remembers  (and laments the loss of), before enclosures and adulthood.

John Clare gives such a rich and evocative picture of an 18th early 17th-century village. His records of the wildlife and flora and fauna are detailed, informative, and described with love.

Inspired by John Clare’s poems, I have named my soaps after excerpts from his poems. My designs and colours are evocative of his beautiful descriptions of nature.



Linnet’s Moss; Collecting the ideas

Linnet's _ Moss_ Artisan_ Soap_with_ Observers_ Book_ of_ Birds_ and_ Dog_ Rose

From ‘Childhood’ 

‘And oer the first Bumbarrels nest

We wondered at the spell

That birds who served no prenticeship

Could build their nests so well

And finding Linnets moss was green

And buntings chusing grey

And every buntings nest alike

Our wits was all away      



John Clare’s poems conjure up for me the beauties of a now fast-disappearing landscape and the wonder of childhood. Linnets since John Clare’s time have been in decline. It is impossible to escape the sad fact of the loss of their habitat. The loss of hedgerows, which provide nesting sites and food sources for the linnet, has had a detrimental impact on its numbers. Additionally, the intensification of agriculture and the increased use of pesticides has reduced the availability of seeds and insects, which are essential food sources for the linnet.

The Linnet has a place in myth and folklore as a symbol of freedom, song, and melody. These are the highlights of its own unique nature. Living as it does on scrub and heath, abundant in John Clare’s time, its sweet, melodious song is represented in poetry and literature as a metaphor for artistic expression.

The soaps and skincare that I make are as ethical and natural as possible. Made with a delight in beauty. I gather ingredients like the Linnet gathers moss for its nest. I use green and yellow clay to create the wild patterns of moss, a sunlit shadow falling across the eggs, and the flash of a wing.

The names of my soap reflect my love of nature’s diversity and colour. Intricately woven each batch is handcrafted afresh. To find out more about Linnet’s Moss Soap, click here.





Linnet's_ Moss_ Artisan_ Soap_ Observer_ Book_ of_  Birds_  Dog_ Rose
Artisan-Real-Soap Orange-Patchouli-Lavender-Linnet's-Moss


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