30/06/2015

A day at Weleda

Weleda have long been a firm favourite in my bathroom for years, so when I was offered the chance to spend a day at their UK headquarters to see their amazing plant gardens and learn more about the brand, I jumped at the chance.

If you’ve not come across the brand before, they have a staggering amount of products, which are all created using completely natural ingredients. Whether it’s hair care, skincare, baby products and even medicines, you’ll find them all from Weleda. They were founded back in 1921 and have been creating organically grown products ever since.

At their UK site just outside Derby, they have over 13 acres of gardens where they grow the hundreds of types of plants they need to create their range of medicines (the botanicals for the bath/body/skin ranges are mostly grown in Germany due to the quantities they need). Weleda grow all of their plants through biodynamic methods – this means that they’re fully organic, and plant/harvest their crops at the optimum time in accordance with the planets and the seasons. Weleda have received Demeter certification for their growing methods, which is the highest level of award you can receive (nice work Weleda!).

Our little group of bloggers (Jen, Zoe and Bettina) were given a tour of the gardens by retired head gardener Michael, who worked at Weleda for over 30 years and has a crazy amount of knowledge about all of their individual properties and uses!

A day at the Weleda gardens in England
A day at the Weleda gardens in England - Weleda awards
A day at the Weleda gardens in England - bee flying near to flower
A day at the Weleda gardens in England - flowers in bloom
A day at the Weleda gardens in England - gardener Michael
A day at the Weleda gardens in England - chamomile plant
A day at the Weleda gardens in England - chamomile plant tincture
A day at the Weleda gardens in England - chamomile plant tincture
A day at the Weleda gardens in England - garden beds
A day at the Weleda gardens in England - garden beds
A day at the Weleda gardens in England - plants and flowers
A day at the Weleda gardens in England - plants and flowers
A day at the Weleda gardens in England - plants and flowers
A day at the Weleda gardens in England -making soap
A day at the Weleda gardens in England -making soap
Making our own little soaps! 
Many of the gardens are laid out in traditional rectangular beds, but we were also taken to their beautiful wild flower meadows, shown where the Weleda bees live and taken into a more shady, wooded area where they grow varieties of poisonous plants that are used in extremely small quantities in certain medicines. It was amazing to see so many different varieties of plants all in one place!

After the garden tour, we were given a demonstration by Claire (Weleda’s current head Gardener) on how they make their tinctures, this time using a chamomile plant. There was a lot of strenuous chamomile chopping involved (at this point, I slightly regretted being the chopping volunteer!) before it was mixed with a plant-based alcohol to steep. The full tincture process takes a few weeks, but even after just a few minutes you could already see how the two ingredients had started to fuse together.

When buying Weleda products before, I’d never really thought much about the actual plants that go into making them, but after spending a day with the team, it’s amazing to think about all the care, love and attention they put into growing them. I’ll be putting together another blog post with a few of my favourites from Weleda, but I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour around the gardens.

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