Mosses to mini-mountains


At the entrance is a linear perennial border
A short train ride from the centre of Berlin is the 43ha Berlin BG.  It’s main draw card is the beautiful Victorian style greenhouses.  But it has more to offer including an expansive arboretum park, meadows, alpine garden (with its own mini-mountains), and a water plant collection.  My favourite is the moss garden!

You are given a seasonal pamphlet, so I was given ‘summer’ and it shows you a route through the summer highlights.

The greenhouses are a complex and once inside you to wander round until you reach the main destination, the largest greenhouse, which is 23m tall and gives the illusion of being a tropical forest, partly by the presence of huge (fake) tree trunks attached with (real) epiphytes. 

The fake tree trunk – looks quite convincing actually!
Other parts of the greenhouse were African, South American cacti (I hunted for the Welwitschia but somehow missed it, quite gutted!).

Low tech but cute- through the viewfinder you can see the cactuses native habitat
  Again the pest control is biological. 
One house is just for NZ and Australian plants, and it’s the best collection of our plants I have seen since the UK.  However there’s a few quite strange looking pohutukawa (they just can’t be) and a lancewood x houpara hybrid labelled Pseudopanax crassifolius.  Ooops. 

Unfortunately not. This lancewood has been hanging with the wrong crowd. I’ll email someone.
This is the first moss garden I have visited.  You can get eye to eye with them from a little dug out. Maybe they are caged because of bird damage? 

The alpine section had these cute mini-mountain rock gardens, like 20 of them. 

This *might* be my last Europe BG visit on my trip so to sum them up: 

  • Greenhouses! They are the centre of theses gardens. 
  • Biological control. I haven’t smelled a chemical since Kiev. 
  • Meadows. Seriously in Germany it’s like they already threw out all the mowers.
  • Taxonomic layouts – all seem to have this section
  • Otherwise it’s geographic layouts. Our more thematic based arrangements would be odd to a European visitor. We are kind of more like Eden Project in that sense by creatively arranging plants for a message, a purpose (cf this Allium must go here because it’s from Greece or because it’s related to this bulb).
  • Water gardens set out so you can learn aquatic plants. I quite like this actually! Not sure why this is such a trend here but I guess these gardens are all old so at sometime this was seen to be a great idea/fashionable. 
  • No gardeners. Since Kiev I haven’t seen any people working in the gardens. Some even close for a day for the gardening to ‘happen’. You see evidence – a hose here, a fork there but no gardeners. I know we’d all love a day without people but it really detracts from the experience for me. You can’t talk to anyone, you can see how it’s all done, you can’t connect with the backstory, the how it’s all done. 

[I am currently at the Green Roof conference (2nd day) &  field trip tomorrow].


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