Monday, May 24, 2010

Strong Women - Adelma Grenier Simmons

I couldn't find a good picture to share of my Strong Woman this week.
Here are Lemon Verbena above and Lavender below to represent a herbalist, Adelma Grenier Simmons.

Adelma Grenier Simmons (December 16, 1903 – December 3, 1997) was one of the leading herbal figures in America in the 20th century. A legend for her knowledge of herbal lore and history, she was also a prolific author and sparked an interest in herb gardening across the country. She owned and operated Caprilands Herb Farm in Coventry, Connecticut for over 55 years.  from Wikipedia

Caprilands Herb Farm was developed as a teaching center and business.
Mrs. Simmons was called "the first lady" of herbs by the International Herb Association.

from the NY Times:
An imposing figure given to wearing a cape, Mrs. Simmons lectured authoritatively but with a touch of humor. ''Silver rosemary is good for mind and memory, in case you have need of that,'' she once told a visiting group. ''It's also good in tea. If you don't like that, you can wash your hair with it. If that doesn't work, you can wash your dog's hair with it.''

Some of her books can still be found on

I was introduced to Adelma Simmons in the 1970's when I became fascinated with herbs.
Caprilands Herb Farm had a great catalogue of beautiful herbs, seeds, and herbal gifts.
I understand that Adelma Simmons was quite a character and I would have loved meeting her.
There were three women in the northeastern part of the US during that time that I was fascinated by.
They were creative and had a passion for their special interests.
The other two women I will share in the next few weeks.

Starbucks was the Bold brew door.
Sorry Nancy!
The winner of the gift certificate is:


Jeanne said...

Oh thank you so very very very much
You are a great friend to me
I adore you
Much love and many thanks
Love Jeanne♥

parTea lady said...

Interesting post. I will have to look up Ms. Simmons books. Thanks for the links.

SE'LAH... said...

Thanks for introducing me to another new soul. I absolutely love herbs...such healing properties.

CindyW said...

It was nice to read about someone I'd never heard of before -- what an interesting woman! Thanks for sharing her story.

Donna and Miss Spenser said...

I "just" found Adelma this past 2009...Well, I actually just figured out how much I adore herbs this past year, so naturally, you herbalist out there know they go to together! A friend of mine, here in Iowa, actually met her and Nancy Reppert's mom too...she has a love place called The Farmhouse...she is my mentor here in the Midwest when it comes to growing herbs.


Sheila said...

I find it interesting that some (not all) of your strong women were considered eccentric.
I find eccentic people to be the most interesting, as it usually means they don't follow the herd, and lead those that will listen into interesting pursuits!
I enjoyed reading about Adelma, she sounds like someone I would have liked too.