Germany's Garden Show is on in the Havel (area near Berlin) until October, but those aren't the only pretty flowers you can see. For such a large city, Berlin is incredibly green. There are numerous parks and botanical gardens to stop and smell the roses.
Deep in the wilds of Marzahn (a Berlin neighborhood in the east), Gärten der Welt or Der Erholungspark Marzahn offers a vast green space for all the family. Best in spring and summer, the park spreads out between the many concrete Plattenbau of the area with Chinese, Japanese, Balinese, Italian Renaissance and Korean gardens, a koi pond, and labyrinth.
History of Gardens of the World
The 21 acre park was inaugurated in 1987 as part of the Berliner Gartenschau (horticultural show). It has been continually updated and expanded with the addition of the "Garden of the Reclaimed Moon" in 2000, Italian Renaissance Garden opened in 2007, Karl-Forster-Perennial Garden in 2008 and the Christian Garden in 2011. There are plans to include an English garden in the future.
The site will be the focus of the plant world in April 2017 for the international garden exhibition IGA Berlin. The 170-day festival will include events in the park and the 100-hectares of woods along the Wuhle river.
Attractions at Gardens of the World
Flower lovers will exult in the rainbow of colors across the grounds. Tulips, roses and lush grass cover the spaces between the stylized gardens. Many people choose the site as the background to their wedding - we saw three brides on our visit. But there is something for every visitor and season in Berlin's Gardens of the World. Among the attractions:
- Chinese Garden - This is Germany's largest Chinese Garden at 2.7 hectares and the first space developed in the park. The garden was designed by Chinese landscape architects and all materials were imported from China. The unifying moon symbolizes the reunification of Berlin with its perfect harmony.
- Japanese Garden - Along with a pavilion, ponds, Zen garden and ornamental rocks, this enclosed garden has Japanese maple, Japanese flowering dogwoods and Japanese lavender heather.
- Oriental “Garden of the Four Streams” - Designed to resemble structures of the Middle East and Arab world, the elaborate tile, jetting fountains and shaded atrium offer a cooling space in the heat of summer.
- Balinese Garden - The alien species of Bali are protected beneath a glasshouse in the Garden of the Three Harmonies. There is also a section of a traditional Balinese housing.
- Korean Garden - The Seoul Garden was a gift from the Korean city and has 4,000 square metres of courtyards, figures and plants.
- Christian Garden - A unique golden structure composed of scripture dominates this space.
- Italian Renaissance Garden - Based on historic design, this elegant space focuses on box tree topiary and stately statues. Follow the paths around the terracotta-potted plants and dream of Tuscany villas.
- Maze and Labyrinth - Visitors can try to find their way into - and then out of - a maze of lofty yew hedges. Styled on those of the Hampton Court at Chartres Cathedral in France, there is a paved labyrinth alongside.
- Karl-Forster-Perennial Garden - A garden of year-round flowering plants follow the ideas of Karl Foerster, a shrub grower and garden philosopher from Potsdam-Bornim of the early 20th century.
Gardens of the World Visitor Information
- Address: Eisenacher Strasse 99, 12685 Berlin
- Tel: 4930700906699
- Website: www.gruen-berlin.de/parks-gaerten/gaerten-der-welt/ueberblick/
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Admission: End of March to November - 5 euro adult, 1.50 euro children 6-14; Off-season 2 euro adult, 1 euro children
- Hours: Daily 9:00 til nightfall. Opening hours of the Japanese, Oriental and Korean Garden vary.
- Map of the Park: www.gruen-berlin.de/parks-gaerten/gaerten-der-welt/ueberblick/parkplan/
- Notes: Bikes and dogs are not allowed
This will also be the site of the 2017 Garden Show and the gardens are currently being modernized and improved.
Over 100 acres of botanical garden are home to 22,000 different plant species. One of the oldest gardens in Central Europe, the grounds include an arboretum, Apothekergarten ("pharmacist's garden"), Italian gardens, Japanese ornamental garden (named “Japanese Love”), Romanesque "Arbor of Roses", a large Karpfenpfuhl (carp pond) and large lake with waterside plant species.
If you are unlucky with the weather (as I always seem to be) there are also fifteen greenhouses which showcase plants from around the world. Continue the tour to the Botanical Museum which covers all things flora.
Berlin's Botanical Garden Visitor Information
Located in the south of the city in Neukölln, there are acres of lakes and theme gardens at Britzer Garten. It was once voted one of Germany’s ten most beautiful gardens. Most famous is the fragrant rose garden, Kalenderplatz (the largest sundial in Europe) and a working windmill - one of only two in the city. Watch it produce flour from wheat grain. To explore the large park, visitors may take the Britzer Museumsbahn, a train that runs throughout the park.
For a bit of fauna, explore the animal enclosure which has sheep, donkeys, goats and ducks. There are also wild animals like swans and foxes that call the park home.
In addition to its permanent charms, visit during seasonal events like tulips in April to May, rhododendrons in May to June and dahlias in August to October.
Britzer Garten Visitor Information
- Address: Buckower Damm 146, 12349
- Telephone: +49 (0)30 7009060
- Admission: €3 adults, €1.50 discounted
- Hours: Daily 9:00 until dark which is generally til 16:00 in November to Februar; til 18:00 March to October; and til 20:00 from April to September)
The Botanischer Volkspark Blankenfelde-Pankow is a public park with 6,000 plant species. Built in 1909 as an educational facility, the park protects some endangered plant species. The Geological Wall which was built in the late 1890s has over 100 types of rock from across Europe. The highlight of the year is in early summer when the Queen of the Night blooms for just a few hours.
Blankenfelde Botanical Park Visitor Information
- Address: Blankenfelder Chaussee 5, 13158
- Telephone: +49 (0)30 7009060
- Admission: €1 donation
- Hours: Daily from dawn til dusk
This community garden within the city caters to children, adults, amateur gardeners and anyone interested in supporting the neighborhood. Supporters can buying the produce grown on site, sponsor a bed or help out. The organization, Nomadisch Grün, puts on workshops like "Beekeeping in the City" as well as programs for kids. Visitors may enjoy regular markets or a meal with the freshest ingredients.
Prinzessinnengärten Visitor Information
- Address: Prinzenstrasse 35 – 38, 10969
- Telephone: +49 0176 24332297
- Admission: Free
- Hours: Varies