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The contribution of Florence Boot, businesswoman and benefactor, to the welfare of Nottingham people is being remembered this month with a real ale, 'Florence Boot', and the naming of a memorial garden at the Embankment, Trent Bridge.

The wife of Jesse Boot, Florence is remembered as the joint creator of the company that bears her name to this day.

The Florence Boot Garden at The Embankment pub has been set up to reflect those plants, and particularly herbs, that are important to this day in the treatment of ailments from a headache to athletes’ foot.  Set up with the assistance of the BBC Radio Nottingham gardener, John Stirland, the beds already include the familiar lavender and several like honeysuckle that some people may not realise have curative uses.

“Others are wild flowers with names that reflect their traditional use,” says John.  “I have also tried to pick plants with ornamental qualities in late summer as well as being remedial.  There are hops – vital in beer and known for their antiseptic and calming qualities.

“And in recognition of Florence Boot’s work and compassion in the treatment of women-only health issues, there are plants like white dead nettle and catmint to reflect this,” he says.

(l-r)     Embankment landlord, James Johnson with John Stirland and Castle Rock Brewery director, Vicki Saxby

(l-r) Embankment landlord, James Johnson with John Stirland and Castle Rock Brewery director, Vicki Saxby

The Embankment landlord, James Johnson, says: “John’s help and encouragement has created a garden that will surely become a major talking point with the many family customers who have already made the Florence Boot Garden their own,” he says.

The beer garden launch on Thursday 6 October was toasted in ‘Florence Boot’, the fourth Castle Rock Nottinghamian Celebration ale of 2016.   The series is named to honour and celebrate the contribution made to the city and county by native and adopted daughters and sons.

‘Florence Boot’ is a 4.2 per cent ABV amber ale.  In line with the Boot couple’s pioneering spirit, it was brewed using the experimental hop variety CF127 developed in Worcestershire under the Charles Faram hop development programme.   Castle Rock’s Lewis Townsend says: “Hops are dioecious with both male and female varieties.  CF127 is the granddaughter of the popular Cascade hop and the daughter of Jester, two varieties known for their punchy citrus character.  As expected CF127 gives this beer a real tangerine bite.”

‘Florence Boot’ ale is on sale at pubs across the East Midlands and Yorkshire for around three months.

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