„New German Garden Style"

When my contacts at VIKING recently asked me about the latest garden trend that has really caught my eye and that I would use in my own gardens, I didn’t even hesitate for a moment. It has to be the "New German Garden Style" – you may already have heard of it. The essence of the "New German Garden Style" is to shift the focus from individual plants to the garden as a whole.

The aim is to achieve a mix of shrubs, grasses, flowers, trees and other plants, but in an organic way rather than cramming them all into beds. It goes without saying that each element should have enough water or sunlight, but this garden should not look "tended". Quite the contrary. It also makes for a more enjoyable environment for fauna like insects or birds. It should make one feel close to nature; that's important to me in my gardens in Dennenlohe – and for the visitors too. One can purposely design beds or other areas so that they don't give the effect of confining the plants, but rather of nature having taken back the space.

If you like, this style is also a counterpoint to the traditional "Schreber Garden" (which some call "controlled chaos in the garden"). The "New German Garden Style" has its roots in the gardening tradition of the German gardener and garden author Karl Foerster (1874-1970) and the garden theory of the horticulturist Richard Hansen (another German, 1912-2001).

For me, bringing the style to life in my garden means allowing all the different colours and shapes, and not just in the form of gorgeous, flourishing plants. The gardens with their 64 acres of meadows and biotopes are also the perfect setting for something like spring onions, which one can sow to give the effect of having been scattered by hand. When they are nestled into the meadow valleys and hills, it creates a very picturesque and wild impression. But it's not really all left to Mother Nature, since each hole has to be hand-dug, something I do myself. Sometimes I get unwanted help with this from my six terriers, who love digging holes. Of course there's usually no symmetry to their holes – in keeping with the "New Dennenlohe Garden Style"!

Baron Robert von Süsskind
VIKING garden expert

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