Discover green oases in four countries with Lake Constance Gardens
The gardens and parks around the international Lake Constance really are places that many people who love the region can't wait to visit. Some of these green oases are hidden behind fences or walls, whilst others are open gardens that merge into the surrounding landscape around the lake creating a view as far as the eye can see. The international "Lake Constance Gardens" network has been promoting the region's fantastic gardens for 8 years and is inviting visitors to explore a total of 40 parks and gardens in four countries. Anyone embarking on this journey will become a time traveller: From the Stone Age, through medieval times and the 19th century right up to the present, as they move from one era to another and experience horticultural history at first hand.
The international association is continuing to grow and can boast six new additions for 2021. These include the Nutrition Field in Vaduz, which means that the network is now represented in each of the four countries that make up the region. The new members in Switzerland are: The Osterfingen Garden Path in Schaffhausen and both of the green gems in the Appenzell area, the Hof Weissbad Hotel and the "Schopf Herbs" Organic Garden. On the German side of the lake, the Langenargen Lakeside Promenade and the Gaißmayer Perennial Nursery in Illertissen will join the green association as of 2021.
New motto for this year: "Garden year 2021 on Lake Constance"
The fact that there are two garden shows running at the same time mean that in 2021 Lake Constance has become an El Dorado for fans of gardens. As a result, the international association has quite rightly announced the "Garden year 2021 on Lake Constance". The Baden-Württemberg State Garden Show in Überlingen, which will be open from 9th April until 17th October 2021, will show how gardens can be interpreted in new and creative ways. One example of this is the Floating Gardens, which are based on the Christo art installation on Lake Iseo. At the Bavaria State Garden Show in Lindau between 20th May and 26th September, visitors will be invited to experience gardens between the lake and the mountains. During this the Far Island will be turned into a green garden beach and on the mainland, visitors will be able to take a stroll for six kilometres along the "Bavarian Riviera" with its picturesque parks and villas. A Garden Year pull-out map and a dedicated website (www.gartenjahr2021.eu) will help visitors to the region discover these green treasures.
The topical issue of sustainable gardens
Gardens really do guarantee fresh air. Raking, sowing and harvesting all take place in the open air. It's not just gardeners who enjoy colourful beds of flowers and herbs, as well as native fruits and vegetables, these also have a positive impact on nature. Eating fresh food, you have grown yourself is the very best thing you can do for the environment in terms of your carbon footprint. The birds and the bees, etc. will find important habitats in private gardens and parks alike. It' s no surprise, then, that the topic of gardens is an important trend for the future. In addition, green spaces are real sources of energy. Taking a long walk through a magnificent park or around your garden paradise at home frees your mind and your thoughts. Singen and Stockach also prove that urban gardens have important functions as places to recharge and as green lungs. Venerable redwoods and exotic summer plants provide shade and calm in the urban garden in Singen. In a similar vein, a substantial number of historic trees can also be found in Stockach. With its central location and its wealth of Mediterranean plants, the urban garden is a popular recreation area for locals.
Jump into the green history of the region around the lake
Horticultural history has a long tradition of links with the Lake Constance region. It's easy to travel back to the Stone Age by boat, bus or train. Or would you prefer Antiquity or the Middle Ages? The distances might be small, but you'll be travelling back many years - as they explore each garden, visitors travel through bygone eras until they reach the present day. Europe's first expert guide on gardens even came from the region around Lake Constance region, or to be more precise from the island of Reichenau. It was around 1,200 years ago that a monk from Reichenau by the name of Walahfrid Strabo made the island the birthplace of western horticulture with his booklet "Hortulus – on the care of gardens". His 24 verses on medicinal plants and their uses changed the way the island is seen forever. An herb garden laid out on as described in the Hortulus continues to remind us of his historical work. A large number of greenhouses, vineyards and of course the three important world heritage churches make the vegetable island a paradise for all passionate gardeners and lovers of gardens. At the same time the island is easy and convenient to reach by bike, on foot or by bus.
Bathing in nature – between enchanting blossom and majestic trees
Visitors revel in floral worlds of fragrance on what is probably the most famous flower island in the world, the island of Mainau. The Bernadotte family created a colourful paradise that covers 45 hectares. Tulips, rhododendron, roses and dahlias meet impressive sequoia trees in the arboretum here that is over 150 years old. In the Swiss canton of Thurgau fields and meadows bloom as if it's a competition, with everything from vineyards and orchards to lovingly tended gardens. The rose town of Bischofszell is a truly regal example of how diverse the "garden canton of Thurgau" is. The picturesque little town pays homage to the queen of flowers, the rose, with its large number of magnificent rose gardens, which are open to the public. Thurgau is also home to the largest collection of historic rose varieties in Switzerland - in the Ittingen Charterhouse. In addition to its collection of more than 1,000 rose bushes, the gardens of the former Charterhouse monastery invite visitors to take in the aromas as they stroll around the herbs, vegetables, hops and vines. In Amriswil, which is a good half-hour away, passionate gardeners will find everything the (green) heart desires: there is a nursery, all kinds of ornamental plants and a spacious show garden to discover In Wüthrich Plants AG's garden world. The Forum Würth Sculpture Garden in Rorschach displays an atmospheric combination of nature and art. From inside the Würth House, visitors can follow the exhibits out into the extensive sculpture garden right on the banks of Lake Constance. On the German side of the lake, visitors can take a stroll along Überlingen's Garden Culture Path through the most beautiful green oases in the town, such as the Town Garden with it exotic plants and majestic trees. Their neighbours in Bregenz in Austria impress locals and visitors alike with the gardens by the lake. Located right next to Lake Constance, the cornucopia of many different plants - such as rhododendron, azaleas or summer flowers and historic gigantic trees – is a magnificent sight.
Effective and good for you: The healing power of herbs
The fact that plants are not just things of beauty, but can also be good for your health, is something you will discover at the centre for naturopathy, the A.Vogel World of Natural Remedies in the Swiss town of Roggwil. It is named after Alfred Vogel, the pioneer of herbal medicine and puts its emphasis on the effectiveness of the red coneflower, which is also known as echinacea purpurea. VitaPlant AG's public medicinal plant garden is not far away. Information displays take visitors from plant to plant and provide information about what they contain and their uses. The Archeo-Botanical Museum Garden in Frauenfeld specialises in planting vegetable and oil crops that have almost been forgotten, as well as historical cereals.
Magnificent Castles and Parkland on the German and Swiss banks of the lake
The landscape of the different countries around Lake Constance offers a cornucopia of impressive castles and parks. Überlingen is a good example of this: Visitors to the St. Leonhard Park Hotel can enjoy extensive views of Lake Constance from its green parkland that covers around 70 hectares. There is an equally impressive panoramic view of Lake Constance from the Baroque garden at the Meersburg New Palace. The Royal Cottage in Meersburg is small and charming. High above, in the middle of the vineyards, there is an impressive view over Lake Constance, which seems to go on forever. The poet Annette von Droste-Hülshoff was so enraptured by this sight, that she immediately had a small residence built there - the Royal Cottage. A former Cistercian monastery, which today is known as Salem Palace, is located just a few kilometres away. Its magnificent beds and mazes that are laid out geometrical patterns invite visitors to take a stroll. On the Swiss side of the lake, Wartegg Castle in Rorschacherberg is an impressive sight with its landscaped English Park and the Castle's organic and dynamic Vegetable Garden. High above the Lower Lake sits what is perhaps the most beautiful castle in the Lake Constance region – the Arenenberg Castle and Grounds in Salenstein. Fans of gardens step back in time in Arenenberg's garden world: From the medieval Patrician Garden through to the landscaped English Park, with its Baroque and Renaissance elements. Fields and gardens bring us up to the modern era. This is where the next generation is being taught to grow herbs and vegetables sustainably. The Kreuzlingen Lakeside Castle Park offers an exciting walk with some great views right on the Swiss bank of the lake. As well as enjoying a game of crazy golf, you can also explore herb gardens full of medicinal plants. Children can let off steam in the playground or they can stroke donkeys, rabbits etc. in the zoo.
Education in Lake Constance Gardens: gardening expertise for all ages
Preserving the rich cultural and natural heritage of the Lake Constance region for now and for the future - this objective set by the international network has spawned a number of different educational initiatives. True to the motto that "early practice is key", the "Lake Constance Gardens School Gardens" are aimed at young gardeners of the next generation. School classes in Switzerland and in Germany are given help to set up and maintain what are known as "green classrooms": the school gardens it creates make it possible for networked learning across national borders to take place and give children an awareness of sustainability and the environment. The project is financed by funding from the Interreg VProgramme, which is a regional programme run by the European Union, the Swiss Confederation and participating cantons in Switzerland in support of cross-border cooperation. All of the "big" garden fans can get training to become tour guides in gardens around Lake Constance. In the ten-day training course, participants learn about horticultural history from Antiquity through to the modern era in collaboration with the Bavarian State Institute for Viticulture and Horticulture (LWG). Garden management and plant use are also on the curriculum, as well as communications training, marketing and legal issues.
Simply excellent – award-winning gardens and achievements
Particularly sustainable gardens, parks and outstanding initiatives or personalities connected with the topic of gardens get recognition from the Association for their services. For about 6 years the network has been awarding the "Nature in the Garden" plaque to gardens that respect nature by avoiding the use of poisons, artificial fertilisers or peat. Some of Lake Constance Gardens' "Nature in the Garden" ambassadors are available to answer questions from anyone who is interested. Since 2017 the Association has also been awarding the annual Lake Constance Gardens Prize in two categories: The first category honours historical or contemporary parks and gardens, whilst the second award recognises special achievements, initiatives or personalities connected with the issue of environmentally-conscious gardening. Since 2018 Lake Constance Gardens has also been awarding a media prize in the categories of Film/Online and Print. It honours outstanding journalism covering the gardens around Lake Constance.
Get out into the natural world: Idyllic outdoor events by Lake Constance
The Lake Constance Gardens network regularly arranges exciting events with its participating gardens and parks in the open air right in the middle of green locations. "The Long Night of Lake Constance Gardens" is an evergreen feature of this: in September 2021 the garden festival will be inviting visitors to cosy autumn evening events for the seventh time. "The "Magic of Blossom" has been added to the festival. This opens the festival season in June. Those who appreciate gardens and fans of the outdoors come together here for a colourful bouquet of guided tours, readings and shared celebrations by Lake Constance. Visitors get a glimpse behind the scenes of dreamy private gardens and magnificent palaces during the "Garden Rendezvous without borders “. Guided tours, walks and cultural events offer all kinds of interesting information on the subject of the garden. Experiencing tradition at first hand – this is something visitors can do on the Farm Garden Route in the Swiss town of Thurgau. 15 of the lovingly maintained farm gardens show how varied they are. Fruit, vegetables and herbs meet ornamental plants, perennials and shrubs. Some of the gardens are open to visitors all year round, others can be admired from across the garden fence. But the farm gardens open all their doors on their Open Day (in 2021 on 6th June from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.).
Six new gardens in 2021
The Nutrition Field in Vaduz is dedicated to the connection between food and gardens. Special crops such as rice, soy and buckwheat are grown here. With this new addition from Liechtenstein, the international network is now uniting gardens from each of the four countries that make up the region. The Osterfingen Garden Path takes visitors to lovingly maintained farm gardens in Schaffhausen. In Appenzell everything revolves around the world of herbs: In the herb garden at the Hof Weissbad Hotel, visitors can immerse themselves in worlds of fragrance and will not just discover classics such as lavender but also rare medicinal herbs. "Schopf Herbs" in Appenzell has an impressively large garden full of organic herbs. Visitors can walk along one of the longest and most beautiful promenades on the banks of the lake in Langenargen. Magnificent flower gardens and the panoramic view of the lake invite you to take a stroll. The spacious show garden at the Gaißmayer Perennial Nursery in Illertissen is really impressive, as it boasts well over 2,500 different plant species. Anyone who is looking for creative ideas for their own garden will find what they are looking for in the neighbouring Museum of Garden Culture.
"Be a Mainau gardener for a day…!" Offers for garden fans
The Lake Constance Gardens network offers visitors a cornucopia of the most varied green experiences. For example, what about spending a day as a gardener on the most beautiful flower island, the island of Mainau? Any visitors who take up the offer to "Be a Mainau gardener for a day …!" can get an exclusive look at the gardens by shadowing one of the gardeners on Mainau. For children, the Green School on the island of Mainau offers "Kids Gardening" on specific dates.
Green offers for groups
Groups of 20 or more people can book a medieval tour and a present-day tour to the gardens of the palaces and villas on the "art cities Trips". In addition, groups or individual travellers can easily book standard offers such as guided tours to experience the gardens on the island of Mainau or in Überlingen or Lindau.
Information to all offers you can find in the brochure „Bodenseegärten“ and on the website www.bodenseegaerten.eu.
And information according to the Garden year on: www.gartenjahr2021.eu