Ever since its founding in 1921, gardens with healing plants have been a huge part of what Weleda does. Those gardens both grow the plants that help make the brand’s products work for skin, but they also help people understand where ingredients come from, and reaffirm Weleda’s philosophy of being in harmony with nature.
One of the brand’s most beloved gardens is the one in Derbyshire, with its orange calendula fields that get their most vivid in the summer months. The path through the Derbyshire garden runs along those calendula fields, and to humble plots with medicinal plants growing in rich soil. Thanks to the high amounts of rain, that soil gets wet and heavy, which doesn’t tend to be the best environment for medicinal plants. But, Weleda has developed a biodynamic cultivation process that transforms the soil.
Compost management is a big part of that biodynamic cultivation, mixing cow manure with nourishing herbs like dandelion and valerian, both of which help increase the fertility of the soil. Weleda also never uses pesticides or any other toxic substances to help their gardens grow – what isn’t used is just as important as what is. These two practices help maintain the standards the brand strives for in all of their products.
As with all of Weleda’s gardens, the one in Derbyshire is alive with natural activity, and makes an excellent natural habitat for every member of the ecosystem. Hedges make ideal homes for insects, which help the garden regulate itself and minimise the spread of pests and disease. Plant diversity is important, too, to help maintain the stability of the gardens, particularly in the way of healthy supplies of pollen and nectar for the insects coexisting with the plants.
If you’d like to visit Weleda’s Derbyshire garden, they do have a public opening every July, but now that we’re later into summer, there are still lots of options to get a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the garden. There are plant study days, soil workshops and educational sessions with their plant experts, where you can both learn about what the garden grows and how biodynamic gardening works. The next Plant Study Day is on September 15, and you can click here to register for a day of observing, learning and sketching the beautiful landscape Weleda calls home in Derbyshire.
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Written by - Tara MacInnis