July Garden

18 July 2017
July brings us the heady mixture of long days and hot, summer sun. Flowers are in full bloom and insects and bees are finding a rich banquet of pollen, working hard in these months of abundance.

We have many crops to harvest and many excited visitors to come look round the Weleda gardens during our annual open day. Our wild flower meadows are now looking their most breath taking displaying a huge variety of wild flowers. The rare ragged robin making a brief show, the purple flowering heads of wood betony are just rising over the grasses in the summer meadow, globular greater burnet flowers create a striking contrast to the flowering grasses, and the yellow hoods of yellow rattle and birds foot trefoil are hiding in the grass. The cut grass paths meander through the meadows, enticing visitors (and ourselves) to come sit and watch the diversity of life found in these areas.

Over the last few years we have developed a great relationship with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and they now take our seeding meadow plants and spread them on their nature reserves to help increase the diversity of their own meadows.

This month we have many harvests including the bright yellow flowering stems of St.John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), the prickly purple flowers heads of scotch thistle (Onopordon acanthium) and the resinous orange calendula flowers (Calendula officinalis). The upright flowers of wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), flowering stems of solidago (Solidago virgaurea), the familiar purple cone heads of Echinacea (Echinacea pallida), the willow leaf (Salix viminalis) and arnica (Arnica montana).

The St. John’s wort gets used in Weleda’s Hypercal Wound Salve and homeopathic tablets, the willow leaf will be made into Digestodoron, the scotch thistle flowers into Onopordon comp B. and the echinacea tincture will be added to our Aknedoron Purifying Lotion.

July brings us our annual Arnica Day. Every July, Duncan Ross from Poyntzfield Herb Nursery in Scotland delivers us a large amount of freshly harvested certified biodynamic arnica plants from the Black Isle. We can’t grow arnica here in Derbyshire as we are not at a high enough altitude. He drives down overnight so the plants are kept fresh and watered. Once delivered, we start the process of tincture making as quickly as possible. This then gets used for our Arnica 30C and 6X Tablets, Arnica Bath Soak, Arnica Bumps and Bruises Spray, Arnica Bumps and Bruises Skin Salve, Skin Tone Lotion, Muscular Pain Relief Oral Spray, Combudoron Ointment and Insect Bite Spray.

We usually grow a large amount of calendula each year, but this year is an exception. We only need a much smaller amount of calendula flowers for drying and infusing in oil, and then we’ll let the plants continue to flower and develop seeds.