The gardens of the presbytery make the permanent exhibition more vivid, by offering visitors the possibility of smelling, observing and touching the things they have already discovered inside the museum, where the relationship between man and nature is explored. The visit of the gardens is organised around three major themes:
- Botany, and more specifically, ethnobotany, that is to say, the plants used in Ban de la Roche in the 18th century (medicinal, aromatic, culinary, dye and other plants). The way this garden is presented is inspired by J.F. Oberlin’s cabinet of curiosities.
- The pedagogy and instruction of children regarding the discovery of the plant world are associated with the creation of an educational vegetable garden, a real extension of the Children’s Home.
- The mapping and observation of the elements are presented in the Pastor’s pleasure garden. The theme of the observation of the planets and the dissemination of knowledge through cartography is developed through moulds of objects presented in the museum’s collections.
In addition to these three gardens, there is an orchard and a meadow.
The herbarium of J.F. Oberlin
When J.F. Oberlin arrived in Ban de la Roche, the main remedy used for most ailments was a mixture of olive oil and fruit brandy. For the first few years of his ministry, J.F. Oberlin studied and categorised all of the local flora, so that he could then disseminate his findings.
His herbarium consists of 45 sets. Each set includes about 25 files in which the collected plants are grouped by species or groups of species.
Click on the pictures to enlarge.