The atmosphere in the garden in May is beautiful. The greens are
bright, and many plants are flowering. This is when my favorite plant
flowers: Iris germanica—used in Iris Facial Care. The plant's color and
shape fascinate me.
We are planting Bryophyllum—used in Weleda medicines—in the
greenhouses, and for the first time we're using biodegradable foil. The
foil prevents weeds and dirt from getting on the delicate leaves.
Previously we needed to clean and dry each leaf at harvest time — very
Although weeds contribute positive things to the environment and
increase biodiversity, weeding is important here in the garden, since
weeds compete with the cultured plants for (1)water, (2)nutrition and
(3)light. Weeds also (4) have the potential to transmit plant diseases.
But the act of weeding by hand is also (5) a way to give special
attention to the plant, creating benefits that go beyond what is
This is the time to harvest Taraxacum (dandelion)—used in Weleda
Medicines. This plant grows everywhere in the wild in large quantities.
Nevertheless, we prefer to cultivate it, so we know exactly what
happened while it was growing. Generally we cultivate plants rather
than take them from the wild in order to control yield and quality and
to protect the natural habitat.
We have recently started a little research project about different
sunflower species. In the future we'd like to cultivate these on a
large scale for our body care products.
Another stunning sight now is the flowering of Gentiana accaulis
(Stemless gentian)—used in Weleda medicines, looking like a blinding
blue flower carpet or a deep-blue sky. It's amazing that this mountain
plant grows so nicely in the garden.
One laborious task is harvesting Chamomilla (chamomile) roots—used
in Weleda skin care and medicine products. They're very fine and must
be harvested by hand and then cleaned of soil and debris. From each
plant we harvest different parts, such as flowers or roots, depending
on their specific relation to the human body.
In May the “King of the night” is at its highpoint of flowering.
This cactus only flowers during the night and each flower blooms for
only one night. The ugly, long, spiny branches become big flowers
smelling like perfume. It is a silent nighttime spectacle. Once I
stayed in the greenhouse all night to watch the process and see how the
beauty of a flower can wilt so quickly.
Our Paeonie field looks very beautiful. We use Paeonie in a preparation that aids digestion.
During this month my favorite product is the Citrus Deodorant. Its
good not only because of its powerful deodorizing effect but also due
to its refreshing feeling on warm days.
I'll be travelling this month to our different grape leaf producers
to consult with our producers. I am really looking forward to visiting
Portugal and Austria this time of the year!
We have several interns in the garden. Giving young students the
chance to take part in organic medicinal plant cultivation adds
practical knowledge to their theoretical training. We like also like
having the young people around to hear their ideas and what's going on
at the universities.
We've been talking about the German government's law against
cultivating genetically modified corn. This is an important, if only
first, step toward banning the cultivation of genetically modified
Harvest in May: