European BG’s are not like Auckland Botanic Garden. They are at least a century old and are set out in a traditional style. So when I visited the International Garden Festival (IGA) here in Berlin I thought – this is just like us! It’s promoted as a source of ideas and inspiration, a place of learning and experimentation, a platform for intercultural dialogue and a laboratory for innovation.
There were gardens at the scale of home gardens to show you what you can do, there were seminars and ‘drop-in’ sessions with experts.
It’s Berlin’s first international horticultural exhibition (it opened in April and goes til October). The IGA is in part organised by “Green Berlin” which as far as I can gather is a trust owned by something like a NZ local Council. They promote Berlin as “one of the greenest cities in Europe” and green spaces as part of urban development.
The festival was at a “Gardens of the World” which is a bit like Hamilton Gardens featuring an English gardens as well as gardens from Australia, Bali, China, South Africa, Korea, Japan etc… These gardens are permanently at this park.
The strangest garden I’ve ever seen was also there – a site where cemetery gardens plots are displayed. Hundreds of them. I think they’re fake but the ones with names and dates on them spooked me out. Not my thing.
This might be a bit provocative but although I had a great day at IGA this is the kind of stuff we do at Auckland Botanic Gardens everyday. I think BG’s in Europe should take a look and see if they can do this too (IGA closes in October).