All posts tagged: global garden

Start unknown. Finish unforgettable.

After 3 months on the road, 11 countries, 1000’s wonderful people and learning a million new things my Global Garden journey has come to an end. Or maybe that’s just another word for a new beginning.When I started this journey, people asked me what my expectations were for the trip. My reply, was that honestly, I only had one. And that was to grow. A lot. It’s the things I found unimaginable, that have now become unforgettable. Sydney/Australia – Beeing the solution In Sydney, I met with the incredible Alyson from Bee Ecology and together we made a bee hotel – a safe zone to welcome native bees into any backyard, balcony or farm. As we worked Alyson taught me about the importance of pollinators. If pollinators disappear, we will all get stung. Pollination is vital to plants, to pollinators, to humans. Without it plants can’t reproduce. If we don’t give bees a safe home in a biodiverse environment, they can’t give one back to us. The lessons Alyson taught me was something I was …

Feeding the soul – in Italy

The ancient Romans used aromatic essences to connect religiously and spiritually. These days, modern day Italians and people world-over use essential oils to open the mind, enhance spiritual connections and invite inspiration. Scientific research reveals the power of essential oils as an anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, anti-stress, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and analgesic. But this is just the start of their healing qualities beyond the physical. My beautiful host Valentina provided me with a very special essential oil aromatic experience so I could spiritually connect again after my 3-month journey and to also give me the creative inspiration for my last botanical drawing – a gift I leave in each country after they have opened their doors and lives to me. To enable the connection Valentina laid out a range of essential oils very cleverly removing the labels so we had to choose with our spirit, not our minds. ‘The essential oil chooses you.” Valentina said. “They know what your body needs.” I selected the gentle yet energizing oil, mandarin. The power of this essential oil being to connect …

Our skin needs food too

What we put on our skin should be good enough to eat. With our skin being the largest organ of our bodies and since it absorbs whatever you put on it – why should it be any different? A recent study shows that over 90% of people find it just as important to know what you put on your skin as what you eat. This is great news that we are thinking this way. Why? Because… A study for the American Journal of Public Health looked at the skin’s absorption rate of chemicals found in drinking water. They showed that it absorbed 64% of contaminants. Other research projects found the face to be several times more absorbent than larger, boarder body areas and that the underarms and genitalia were the most absorbent of all – taking in 100% of chemicals. Scary stuff. Skin Food Facials with my Global Garden sister, Phoebe. My Global Garden sister, Phoebe and I were lucky enough to be treated to a Skin Food Facial and hand massage by the team …

‘Espace’ Paris – A retreat for the body, mind and soul

Getting spoilt with my Global Garden sisters in the City of Love My Global Garden sisters – Lea (finalist from France) and Bea (Spain) were invited to join me in experiencing the Weleda range Paris style. Us lucky ladies got to spend a night together in the City of Love with an indulgence session at ‘Espace’ – Weleda’s first show room in Europe where we could discover for ourselves our favourite colours, textures and scents. Parisians have been getting just as spoilt as us since 2006, when Espace opened on a side street along the Champs-Élysées in Paris. It’s a neighborhood as luxe as the salon itself. If you hadn’t already guessed it the French word ‘espace’ means space. Or even outer space. A perfectly logical name when you think about the feeling you have after your treatments. Let the pampering begin The Space From the moment you walk into Espace you know you are in good hands. Light floods through the tall window panes into the ground floor of a building as elegant and …

Ethics at work

This week I’ve been seeing new ways that Weleda lives up to their motto – ‘In harmony with nature and the human being.’ As I leave the Weleda France team in Huningue, I can’t help but reflect on my journey over the last two months. One thing that I see time and time again in each country is new ways that Weleda shows their commitment to treating humans and nature in a responsible and caring way. This week wasn’t all production and garden tours, I also visited two very special places at Weleda that I’d love to share with you. Weleda Crèche – ‘The Heart of Kids’ The human family is the center of Weleda, it comes naturally to them to want to meet the needs of parents and offer them a childcare option that adapted to their needs. Weleda decided to create its own nursery, not just for plants but for children too, near its headquarters in Huningue, in the Haut-Rhin. The crèche name means ‘heart of Kids’ and is designed in the shape …

Living life in ‘Lagom’ – Swedish for ‘Just the right amount’

Lagom is a Swedish word for ‘just the right amount’ – not too much, not too little, just right’ It’s the Swedish art of living a healthy balanced life. I’m halfway through my trip and I feel like I’m the Goldilocks of Global Garden – I finally feel like I’ve found my ‘just right’ – my balance. Sweden has been teaching me a lot this week about the importance of equality. And equilibrium. At the start of my journey my balance was way off… I’m the type of person who doesn’t want to miss a moment, especially on the trip of a lifetime. Or to not share all the new and exciting things I was learning with you guys either – I promised to be your eyes, your ears, your hands on this trip, I didn’t want you missing a moment either. I was writing to crazy hours of the morning and getting up soon after. But now I feel like I’m starting to hit my stride, my moderation, my balance. The Swedish art of …

Freedom to roam

Sweden believes its ‘Everyman’s right’ to enjoy nature. The ‘freedom to roam’ is the principle, protected by the law, that gives all people the right enjoy their natural environment. The north is mostly wilderness, foaming rivers, high alpine peaks and plains, while the south is rolling countryside and never-ending beaches. East lies Stockholm with its wondrous archipelago and the west is rocky coastline, islands and giant lakes. No wonder Swedes spend as much time as possible outdoors – most having rustic country cottages to helps them leave the week behind and escape into nature. Sweden – The land of the free Sweden is a country built on freedom and openness – the foundation for creating an equal society. Everyone has the right to take part in demonstrations, freedom of speech, free press, the right to challenge those in power as well as the openness to enjoy all areas of nature regardless of ownership. These healthy-living locals can have a cookout in the quiet forest, sleep on mountaintops, take a dip in the pristine the lakes, …

100 minutes of natural bliss

Sit back and relax. Settle in for 100 minutes of skin therapy at Zoetermeer, Netherlands. I don’t think I will be getting much sympathy when I tell you that my Weleda ‘work’ for today involved experiencing the unique 100-minute skin retreat. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it! But, I’m your tour guide whilst we wander the world of Weleda, so it’s my role to bring you here with me. We’re in this together remember. Let nature work its magic  Step 1: Settle in, choose your scent and let that guide your body balancing therapy. (20 minutes) Step 2: Pure intentions only – the in-depth cleansing has begun. (25 minutes) Step 3: Submit to the experience – a cream mask and lead plant a massage will let you drift away (35 minutes) Step 4: Slowly come down from Cloud 9 – the final stages awakens the body bringing you body back to your senses. Total length of treatment = 100 minutes of natural bliss. Welkom bij Weleda Walk with me up the …

Busy hands. Big conversations.

Harvesting Primula with Jan Graafland, Garden Manager in Zoetermeer, NL. The European chapter of Global Garden has begun and the Netherlands has put on such a great show. It wasn’t meant to be a harvest day today but when nature calls, Jan the ‘Nature Manager’ of Weleda Zoetermeer and I came running. When the bees are buzzing around the small yellow Primula flowers it means it prime to get picking. Things run on nature’s calendar here. Here the bees are the boss. Busy hands made for big conversations as together Jan and I picked the 700 grams the in-house pharmacists needed to turn the flowers into natural medicines for the heart. There is a Dutch saying, that goes along the lines : ‘Talking and knitting go hand and hand, but one mustn’t forget about the knitting.’ That might have been a gentle reminder that I was getting too enthralled in the conversation and I needed up the pace on my picking. The harvesting to processing happened in Zoetermeer with-in an hour and a half… that’s fast …

The best of Brazil

Today, I am leaving the vibrant country of Brazil. A place as warm as the people themselves. A s I wait at the airport I can’t help but reflect on the week that was, and want to share the experiences that it brought me. Here’s my best of Brazil. Monte Azul – A favela built with opportunity The experience that will stay with me forever is seeing power of community working together to build the São Paulo favela of Monte Azul. I’m not just talking about bricks and mortar… they did that too. But the more important thing that they have built is a community that wants to make sure that all its inhabitants can overcome the odds. I spent the day wandering where it all began with Hully, a volunteer now full-time employee of Monte Azul. She explained to me that a high proportion of the Monte Azul population was unemployed, so the community put them to use, to build natural birthing clinics, woodwork centers, medical centers, libraries, recycling plants, gardens and nature reserves, …