Finally, Regina, Monika and Karin have taken root. Since the 1st July 2017, their herb garden has found a home. The three ladies have accomplished their aim of making the world a little healthier for us all, by opening a public herb garden. The concept is the result of a simple, but enduring idea: “above all we wanted to make nature more accessible for young people and children.” Out of this idea grew a fragrant show garden, which was an educational project from the very beginning. Without help from the community, Regina, Monika and Karin would not have been able to make their project a reality. Local gardeners helped with the planning. Asylum seekers, school pupils and kindergarten children collected stones, planted plants and arranged the flower beds. The project was sponsored by the Mayrhofen Tourist Office, Schwendau and Hippach town councils, local parish councils and the state of Tyrol. As a result, since July, 160 different plants have been growing in the herb garden. There is one major advantage: “the herbs are very hardy and grow in the garden as they would in nature so they don’t need to be fertilised.” Around 80 local plants can be found sprouting in the garden, as well as almost all culinary herbs. “There are also a few exotic specimens such as Aloe Vera, artichokes and Echinacea.”
The ladies recognise the opportunities of the project for tourism and the region of Mayrhofen-Hippach: “The interest is there. From spring 2018, we want to offer weekly tours of the garden”, explain the women. “When the herbs have grown and are mature enough, we also want to offer workshops, during which we pick and dry the herbs to make lotions or creams. People should learn how they can make certain products themselves. The most important thing is to promote a connection to nature.” Regina, Monika and Karin are professionals in their field. All three ladies are qualified herb experts.
Plants instead of pills
Monika has an especially interesting point-of-view on the uses of plants and their effects. As a pharmaceutical assistant, the 28-year-old is in daily contact with industrially manufactured medicines. However, she would sooner resort to plants than to pills. “Of course you can’t completely reject all medicines, but often drugs are prescribed too quickly for ailments which I would rather try to cure with natural remedies first”, says Monika. “I like alchemilla (lady’s mantle) because it really helps with women’s troubles such as cramps or low circulation. It also works to stop bleeding.” The knotted figwort also has healing properties. Regina uses it to make a cream for relief from cold sores because the plant helps against viral skin infections. Another very special natural treasure can be found growing in the ladies’ herb garden: natural penicillin, burnet, which is made into a lotion.