5 May 2013

The Berggarten at Herrenhausen

The Berggarten at Herrenhausen is just across the road from the Great Garden and had a completely different feel.

This used to be the kitchen garden for the royal palace and has evolved in to a more wild and natural space than its grander neighbour. The contrast is sublime.

There are many oaths in this garden too but few straight lines. The obvious route meanders up the gentle hill along the route taken by the small stream that gently flows the other way.

There are flowers along the way and these are planted in clumps to give the impression that they arrived there naturally. The colours are more subtle too with rich yellows and dull oranges standing out against the carpet of green.

There is a formal point to the garden and that is at the top of the slight hill.

Leading to it, not the route that I took, is a regiment of trees that is interrupted by a thick bed or orange and white flowers.

Beyond that is the mausoleum where George I of Great Britain and Ireland lies along with other members of his family.

The building is unassuming and there is nothing regal about it. Nor is there any sign of tribute, other than the garden in front of it, though as George I dies almost three hundred years ago I suspect that not many people remember him.

Drifting back down the hill through the trees on the opposite side to the stream brought me to the series of small greenhouses. These are hardly Kew Gardens but they still managed to convince me to take lots more photos of orchids, despite having hundreds already.

Between the narrow greenhouses and the main building is an unexpected and almost hidden courtyard garden.

Here colour and formality reigns against a backdrop of grey stone that also defines the shape of the beds.

The Berggarten does not try to compete with the Great Garden, instead it is content to do something different and it does it very well. It is a much smaller garden so does not provide much of a feast by itself, it is better thought of as the dessert that ends the meal by adding something a little different and a little special.

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