The genius loci of Ostermundigen near Bern has made a pact with whatever muse governs aesthetics.It is the birthplace of screen legend Ursula Andress and of Swiss media darling Michelle Hunziker, ex-wife of Eros Ramazzotti and now a celebrity in her own right. And it is one of the country’s leading garden centres.
“Yes,” smiles Lars Ruchel, “Ostermundigen is known to be the home of Switzerland’s most beautiful women, and now it will be the home of the country’s most beautiful flowers too”. For Ostermundigen is about to see the opening of the new Wyss AG Garden Centre, which Lars Ruchel will head, a grand and sleek glass affair that took eleven months to complete. Despite the scale of the project – 5700 square metres dedicated to the company’s portfolio of plants, seeds and flowers – the building, with its eye-catching architecture and striking hall, fits naturally in the Ostermundigen landscape, an excellent omen for a centre that aims to celebrate the beauty of nature.
Far from being aggressive, the modern building with its contemporary take on space arrangements and its innovative design is rather a testimonial to Wyss’s vision to move the family company forward. “The Garden House in Ostermundigen for our company is an important step,” acknowledges the company’s CEO, Ulrich Wyss. “It is designed using the latest knowledge of customer needs and is essential for us as a role model.”
To demonstrate the importance of this new centre, Wyss closed down its venerable Wyss garden centre in the Bernese Schosshalde, choosing to focus on its new location, which the company sees as ideal. Easily accessible by public transport and from the nearby motorway, the new Wyss centre will benefit from a large catchment area. Wyss AG justifiably takes pride in this new endeavour.
The 150-year old family enterprise – Ulrich Wyss is the fourth generation to spearhead his eponymous business – has made a leap into modernity. “We look to distinguish ourselves from the competition,” says Wyss. And even though his company is well positioned as the largest garden specialist in the Berne area, keeping the rivals at bay is quite a job. “By the same token, we want to show our love and knowledge of the product, show how much gardens are close to our hearts.”
Wyss demonstrated its expertise in the field on March 9th, at the grand opening of the centre, which was marked by a string of offers and exhibitions to thrill the new centre’s customers. On the floral catwalk was a series of stunning orchids, along with 50 varieties of tulips to celebrate the spring season. Customers also had the opportunity to win vouchers to spend on the centre’s goods, the biggest of which boasts a CHF 5000 value. The lucky winner can browse the garden power tools, a collection so extensive that Wyss created a dedicated area to accommodate all the machinery and equipment. Lars Ruchel, along with Ulrich Wyss, points out the “freshness, quality and durability” of all the products displayed in the centre, which was developed in close collaboration with leading manufacturers such as Gardena, Wolf, Honda, Stihl and Kärcher. Spring in Berne should be very sweet this year indeed.
Take a break
The new Wyss centre offers an exceptionally broad and diverse range of plants, seeds, and flowers. The whole range of shrubs, trees and perennials are grown in the own nursery near Solothurn, all bedding plants are produced by Swiss growers. Staff is especially trained to offer customers the best advice. Tea lovers will also be spoiled with the shop-in-a-shop area dedicated to tea. Almost 200 varieties of tea can be tested on site before being brought. The range of services and products offered at the new centre does not stop there, however. As a Swiss primeur, Wyss shows accessories from LODSH, Netherlands and the design award winning la Casetta from De Castelli, Italy. The garden centre also proposes courses and workshops to budding and confirmed gardeners, a café for those in need to relax or grab a bite, and regular events and exhibitions, culminating in a large garden show in 2014. For more information visit: www.wyssgarten.ch
Article by Lauriane Zonco