Lausanne’s ecological cemetery

Lausanne’s ecological cemetery


Everything that contains chemicals
is taboo here. For four years,
cemetery gardener Paolo Fornara and his team
have been testing their own products for the
environmentally friendly care of plants. What are you doing here? We’re making a liquor
from a plant which is very effective against harmful
bacteria and fungi. The gardeners have used herbicides, fungicides and
insecticides for a long time here. Four years ago,
the city of Lausanne gave the go-ahead to switch
to environmentally friendly gardening. Today, the Bois-de-Vaux cemetery is sort of the lab for
all the city’s parks. We’re conducting a test here which can be extended to
all green spaces, e.g. including close to
residential buildings. Over time, Paolo Fornara has
acquired extensive knowledge and has also become inventive –
e.g. with box trees. That’s the last
box of box trees. This plant is often
used in the cemetery to demarcate the graves,
but it’s extremely sensitive to all possible types
of pests. We’ve been looking for new,
alternative types to minimize the amount of
follow-up work for ourselves. We’ve been looking for
very robust plants. And there’s a simple trick
that works on weeds. In the past, they’d have
needed thousands of litres of herbicide for the 24-hectare cemetery. We cover the ground
with wood chips. This prevents weeds from
growing between the graves. Now it’s all going to the compost heap. Ultimately, everything at this
ecological cemetery is recycled. The plant waste decomposes
into humus and brings forth new life. It smells like the forest.
That’s the fragrance of life. We can see the result: Butterflies and many
other creatures like it here. In four years the face of the
cemetery has changed. Nature has returned, and
when the weather turns warmer a variety of animals come here
and enliven the Bois-de-Vaux cemetery.

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