Saturday, 27 July 2013

Trip to Weleda #2: The Bio-dynamic gardens



This is my second post about my trip to the Weleda UK Headquarters in Derbyshire, if you missed the first instalment (click here), I started off by writing about the skincare but the gardens were my absolute favourite part of the day. The growing in the UK gardens is primarily for the production of the anthroposophic medicines and remedies as the skincare production mainly happens in the German Weleda plant and other European locations. The biodynamic gardens in the UK are wonderful, and it was a real joy to look around.

Set in the Derbyshire countryside the Weleda gardens are comprised of 15 acres of beautiful land. We were split into two groups for a tour, my group was shown around by Michael Bate who has been working at Weleda for over 30 years and has a wealth of experience and knowledge not just about the plants in the gardens but also the company itself.


The term biodynamic refers to Rudolph Steiner's agricultural philosophies, in addition to be being organic the gardens are grown taking into account the balance of the whole site, what likes to grow together and creating resistance to disease. Even details such as what is in the neighbouring area and the light and air available are important. Cultivation takes place based on the movement of the planets and the constellations (stellar calendar) and this dictates optimum times for harvesting and sewing crops. These agricultural methods emphasize a sustainable approach to growing in line with Weleda's general ethos.


The gardens are set in an idyllic countryside location, it was incredibly peaceful.

As the gardens are organic and biodynamic they promote wildlife and biodiversity, not all of the plants in the gardens are for medicinal use but many add nitrogen to the soil or grow wild. The crops are rotated to avoid depletion of vitamins and minerals from the soil and promote optimum growing conditions. 




The gardens grow between 150-200 different types of plants for medicinal use at any one time, but many of the species used in medicines are also used in skincare. 

 Echinacea Pallida also known as pale purple cone flower. Echinacea is commonly used in medicines to stimulate the immune system. 

Beautiful calendula (marigold) flowers which are the basis of the Weleda baby range and is one of my favourite ingredients, known for it's soothing and healing properties. It is also one of the most visually stunning plants I have ever seen with it's sunny orange colour. The calendula flowers close in the afternoon and go to sleep which is a lovely way of life!

Borage also known as evening primrose, I learnt that the flowers are a great addition to a glass of Pimms which is a great tip! The oils are particularly good taken internally or in skincare as they have a high content of omega oils. 

There were so many interesting and beautiful species of plants, I took lot's more photos and I learnt so much about the gardens and plants in general. Michaels knowledge really was impressive and it was a wonderful day. After the tour of the gardens we learnt how to make a tincture with the calendula flowers: 


You start with your calendula flowers which are roughly chopped, we followed this formula for quantity of flowers to alcohol, it was all very scientific. The final product would be left to macerate in the alcohol for a few weeks and you would be left with a tincture that could then be used in skincare or homeopathic medicines. Ethanol alcohol was used for this tincture for the demonstration.


If you ever get the chance I would highly recommend you visit Weleda it was such a magical place. You can find more information on the gardens on the Weleda UK website.



Ana x

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12 comments

  1. Looks so lovely<3 Thanks for sharing:) x

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    1. No problem, glad you enjoyed the post :) Xx

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  2. This looks fab! This would have been the part of the day I'd have enjoyed the most x

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    1. You would love the gardens, so beautiful! Xx

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  3. I would love to visit these gardens, it looks like a beautiful place to spend an afternoon :) x

    Evelyn @ We Were Raised By Wolves

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    1. It was lot's of fun. you should definitely look out for an open day! :) Xx

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  4. Gorgeous post, I'd love to visit here! Thanks for sharing this Ana - Weleda is one of my faves so it's nice to see behind the scenes like this!

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    1. Glad you liked it, I really do recommend you go if you get the chance, I had such a wonderful day! Xx

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  5. Amazing!! I love weleda and i 'd defo make a visit in their gardens :)

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    1. Really beautiful, highly recommended! Xx

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  6. Oh beautiful! I have heard a lot about planting to the stellar calendar and it is great to actually see photos of a 'garden' which works to this idea x

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    1. The thing that struck me was that everything seems so harmonious it all just works together, the gardeners were incredibly talented! :) Xx

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