France and Switzerland
A huge number of different medicinal plant species in a relatively compact space brings a riot of colours during the flowering period. The Weleda gardens in Arlesheim, Switzerland, near Basel, and in French Bouxwiller, near Huningue, are right next to the office and production facilities at both these sites. Bouxwiller’s garden is an island of biodiversity in a sea of conventional agriculture. The 1.5 acre plot is enclosed with wild hedges, and birds, insects and amphibians feel at home in this haven of ponds, dry stone walls and fruit trees. Despite the relatively small area, up to 70 medicinal plants are grown here. The garden in the Swiss city of Arlesheim is surrounded by forest and 40 acres of organic arable land. The variety of growth in the field contrasts with the large-scale organic farming in its immediate neighbourhood. Despite the proximity to Basel it feels like a little plot of countryside.