Lake Constance Gardens tell stories
The mild climate of Lake Constance has always played right into the hands of gardeners. Over the centuries, promising parks and lovingly cultivated gardens have sprung up between the blue lake and the green banks which dominate the landscape. The network, “Lake Constance Gardens – a journey through time” is inviting visitors to discover the most beautiful gardens around Lake Constance whilst also giving them the opportunity to learn about the exciting horticultural past of the region. The number of properties included in the green network is growing. The three new members are: the rose week Bischofszell, the tree school Wüthrich Amriswil (CH) and Wangen in the Allgäu.
Together, the gardens surrounding Lake Constance capture the entire development of European horticulture. Visitors experience first-hand, examples of gardens dating from the Stone Age to ancient times, gardens from the Middle Ages and the nineteenth century right through to gardens established in the modern day. And all of these styles within such easy reach of each other! If they so wish visitors can simply hop on a boat, bus or train to travel easily from garden to garden.
Reichenau is the Birthplace of Western Horticulture
Nearly 1,200 years ago the Monk Walahfrid Strabo from Reichenau published the small booklet, “Hortulus – About the Care of Gardens”. This was the first ever European publication dedicated to giving advice on gardening. On the strength of these 24 verses, which concern just as many varieties of plant, the island of Reichenau - a World Heritage Site - earned its title as the birthplace of Western horticulture. Reichenau is still recognised as such today. The vegetable-covered island with its greenhouses and vineyards and its three churches, which have been awarded World Heritage status, is a dream destination for anyone blessed with those famous “green fingers”. An herb garden which was established according to the verses in “Hortulus” reminds us of the long tradition of gardening on the island of Reichenau. The island is easily reached by travelling over the raised dam by bike, on foot or by bus. Visitors might otherwise enjoy travelling to the island by boat, departing from Radolfzell, Constance or Mannenbach.
Travel through Time from Park to Park
The island of Mainau is probably the best known flower island in the World. It was here, on the 45 hectares of historical, planted woodland which dates back to the nineteenth century, that the Bernadotte family created a true paradise of flowers. The future French emperor, Napoleon III, engaged a leading landscape architect to design the English garden for Arenenberg Castle in the Swiss region of Untersee. In 1840 the legendary Earl Pückler planted a green idyll, full of surprises, around the castle in Lake Constance. Just across the way are the historical grounds of the former Charterhouse in Ittingen; as well as a Baroque garden there are two hop gardens, wine gardens, a herb garden, a prior’s garden and monks‘ garden to be seen. The rose garden, with 1,000 individual rose bushes, not only smells wonderful, but boasts the largest selection of historical rose varieties in Switzerland.
Magnificent Castle Grounds on the German Side of the Lake
On the other side of the lake, only a short boat trip away, is an unforgettable garden with a dream view. As well as providing an example of Baroque landscape architecture, the park surrounding the new Meersburg Castle offers a wonderful view across the lake. From here it’s only a stone’s throw to the former monastery and castle in Salem. As soon as you enter the garden you notice the magnificent, Baroque formal garden. The symmetrical paths, imaginatively trimmed hedges and bushes, fountains and water basins as well as the two mazes all add to the garden’s design. And back to the lake you find in the 70 ha park of the Parkhotel St.Leonhard Ueberlingen unique views can be enjoyed on the lake. The Stadtgarten Singen has an old tree plant, exotic summer plants, works of art and a true flowering sea in spring. In Messkirch invites the Hofgarten of the castle Messkirch to visit. An ideal place for celebrations and parties.
Millet for Hungry Lake Dwellers
The remaining Stone Age lake dwellings found around Lake Constance have been included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 2011. As the archaeobotanical gardens in Hemmenhofen and Frauenfeld illustrate, people were already gardening in the Stone Age. Accordingly, visitors to Lake Constance gain an insight into nothing less than the history of plant cultivation in central Europe. Foxtail millet for example, which we use as parakeet food these days, buckwheat, lentils and broad beans, the first seeds used by man, are still planted and cultivated here today. And not to forget the Bible Garden of the Bible Gallery Meersburg makes the history and the stories of the Bible come to life. Within the small area of Lake Constance you can experience the entire horticultural past of Europe; from Stone Age gardens to those from the Middle Ages right through to modern day examples. 7,500 years of horticulture make a short trip on Lake Constance an unforgettable experience. And the notion behind the “Lake Constance Gardens” continues to grow and blossom.
The garden network is closing its circle
The English gardens of Wartegg Castle offer an idyll of ancient trees, streams and secluded clearings. In the heart of the National garden monument, dating from 1860, organic gardeners continue to cultivate almost forgotten varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers. At the EchinaPoint in Roggwil everything is centred around the theories of the pioneer in natural medicines, Alfred Vogel, and his favourite plant, the red coneflower. Visitors can enjoy the splendour of the crimson blossoms and learn how herbal remedies are produced and how they work. The horticultural trail in Überlingen connects the most beautiful green attractions of the town, including the town garden with its exotic plants and mighty, giant trees. 30 magnificent villas and parks are to be found along the horticultural trail in Lindau – all of them true jewels in the crown of the Bavarian banks of Lake Constance. And one another park at Swiss shore: The Seeburgpark in Kreuzlingen is beautifully situated directly on the shores of Lake Constance. Not only the restaurant Schloss Seeburg invite you to stay and stroll. The medicinal plant garden of VitaPlant AG in Uttwil shows a comprehensive collection of medicinal plants and invites you to linger on the Lake Constance cycling path. The harmonious company garden of REGENA AG in Tägerwilen connects the medicinal plants with the company building. A successful implementation of the literal "work-life-balance".
Six new gardens in 2019
The Fürstenhäusle Meersburg shows with a beautiful lake view over the city and the big blue water. The Sculpture Park of Würth in Rorschach (CH) expands fluently into the lake. Art, imagination and culture are alive here. Switzerland's first Bible Garden in Gossau is also part of Lake Constance from 1.1.2019. The Stadtgarten Stockach and the Schlösslepark Kressbronn are two new representatives from Germany. Austria also receives reinforcement with the education house St. Arbogast from Götzis, where garden takes place around the house and in the house. And the following three gardens became member in 2020: the rose week Bischofszell, the tree school Wüthrich Amriswil (CH) and Wangen in the Allgäu.
Tour recommendations for individual journeys through gardening-time, whether by boat, bike, bus or train, are available for guests. There is also an all-inclusive trip offered by the tour operator “Radweg-Reisen” which may be booked on an individual basis. This cycle tour takes guests to many of the Lake Constance gardens belonging to the network and takes around six days. In Untersee, guests might choose to learn the history of gardens at their own pace and can travel on any of the four routes, each with a maximum length of 30 kilometres. Cyclists not only gain exciting impressions of the gardens but can enjoy the fantastic views across the extensive expanse of water of Lake Constance, which seem to appear as you turn each and every corner. On the island of Mainau gardening fans are offered the opportunity to spend a day (or longer if desired) in the role of a “Mainau gardener”. On certain dates the “Grüne Schule” on the island of Mainau also gives children the chance to take part in a “Kids’ Gardening” session.
Green Group Offers
The tour operator “art cities Reisen” accepts bookings from groups of 20 people or more and offers tours of castle and villa gardens from either the Middle Ages or the present day.
Highlights and Events in 2020
June 5-7 and September 4-6, 2020 Long Night of Lake Constance Gardens
At these evenings many Lake Constance gardens open their garden gate and let those interested in a secluded garden evening share.
Information regarding all offers can be found in the “Lake Constance Gardens” brochure and on the website, www.bodenseegaerten.eu.
More information about Lake Constance region: www.bodensee.eu/press
Which Gardens are included in the Network?
The park on the island of Mainau and the island of Reichenau are the most prominent examples of horticulture around Lake Constance. In addition, the network includes the Baroque grounds of the castles of Meersburg and Salem, the park designed by Pückler surrounding Arenenberg Castle and the English garden belonging to Wartegg Castle on the Swiss bank of Lake Constance. The medicinal herb garden created by A. Vogel in Roggwil and the garden of the former Charterhouse in Ittingen, Thurgau are also included. In Lindau and Überlingen horticultural trails lead guests to the most beautiful villa gardens or parks in the area. The Thurgau tourist board represents the whole of the “Garden Canton” of Thurgau. The Seeburg park in Kreuzlingen, the Bible Garden in Meersburg, the Stadtgarten Singen and Parkhotel St.Leonhard Ueberlingen complete the network as new members. Since 2018 five new gardens became members: gardens of Bregenz, Castle garden of Messkirch, park Rosenau in Konstanz, VitaPlant and Regena both medicinal herb gardens in Switzerland. And the new members of 2019: the Fürstenhäusle Meersburg, the Sculpture Park of Würth in Rorschach (CH), the Bibelgarten Gossau (CH), the Stadtgarten Stockach, the Schlösslepark Kressbronn and the gardens around the Bildungshaus St.Arbogast in Götzis (AT). The rose week Bischofszell, the tree school Wüthrich Amriswil (CH) and Wangen in the Allgäu became member in 2020.
The network also boasts Stone Age gardens such as the archaeobotanical gardens in Frauenfeld and Hemmenhofen. Dreamy private gardens in Untersee which open their gates to visitors for “Garden-Rendezvous”, fruit orchards surrounding the lake and museums serve as a connection between the public gardens and parks.
In short: “Lake Constance Gardens – a journey through time”
The numerous parks and gardens which surround Lake Constance are testimony to the fact that conscientious gardeners and landscape architects have been working around the lake for centuries. On the Western banks of Lake Constance are a particularly large number of parks and gardens. It is here that the original, founding members of the garden network, “Lake Constance Gardens – a journey through time” can be found. These are the islands of Mainau and Reichenau, the castle park, the patrician garden as well as the educational gardens in Arenenberg, the archaeobotanical garden of Frauenfeld, the parks of Salem and Meersburg castles, the gardens of the former Charterhouse in Ittingen as well as the many more private gardens in Untersee which open their gates to guests. Since 2016 the horticultural trail in Überlingen, the grounds of Wartegg Castle, the villas and parks in the Bavarian Riviera in Lindau as well as the medicinal plant world of A.Vogel in Roggwil, the Seeburgpark Kreuzlingen, the Meersburg Bible Garden, the Stadtgarten Singen and the Parkhotel St.Leonhard Überlingen, gardens of Bregenz, the Castle garden of Messkirch, the park Rosenau in Konstanz, VitaPlant and Regena both medicinal herb gardens in Switzerland are part of the network. The new member of 2019: the Fürstenhäusle Meersburg, the Sculpture Park of Würth in Rorschach (CH), the Bibelgarten Gossau (CH), the Stadtgarten Stockach, the Schlösslepark Kressbronn and the gardens around the Bildungshaus St.Arbogast in Götzis (AT). The rose week Bischofszell, the tree school Wüthrich Amriswil (CH) and Wangen in the Allgäu became member in 2020.
The aim of the network is to make it possible for visitors to experience all of the gardens and parks surrounding the lake, regardless of any international borders, so that they can appreciate the historical differences as well as the fascinating connections between them and the particularities of each garden. The “Lake Constance Gardens” project is financed by members and sponsorship contributions and was funding from InterregV and the state of Baden-Württemberg. InterregV is a regional programme of the European Union (EU) and the Swiss Confederation for the Support of Cross-border Co-operation (Project term: 2015 – 2019).
Addresses of the Participating Gardens and Parks:
The “Hortulus” herb garden on the island of Reichenau, Münster St. Maria and Markus in Reichenau Mittelzell. Admission is free. Information: Tourist Information, Pirminstrasse 145, D-78479 Reichenau Island, Tel. +49 7534 92 07 0, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.reichenau-tourismus.de
Tourist-Info Bischofszell, Town Hall, Marktgasse 11, CH-9220 Bischofszell, Tel. +41 71 424 24 24, email@example.com, www.bischofszell.ch. Most of the gardens open all year round. Admission free. During the Rose Festival: CHF 10.- / EUR 10.-. Guided tours on request.
Gardening Sessions for School-groups and Beginners offered by the Training and Advice Centre, (BBZ) Arenenberg, CH-8268 Salenstein, Tel. +41 71 663 33 33, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.arenenberg.ch. Admission is free.
Garden Rendezvous in Untersee, Information: www.gaerten-am-bodensee.eu and REGIO Konstanz-Bodensee-Hegau e.V., Obere Laube 71, D-78462 Konstanz, Tel. +49 7531 13 30 40, email@example.com, www.bodenseewest.eu. Admission to the majority of participating gardens and parks is free.
Horticultural trail, Überlingen, Path starting Badgarten, Information: Kur und Touristik Überlingen GmbH, Landungsplatz 5, D-88662 Überlingen, Tel. +49 7551 94 715-22, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ueberlingen-bodensee.de. Free access all year round.
Horticultural Trail Lindau through the villas and parks of the Bavarian Riviera, Information: Lindau Tourismus und Kongress GmbH, Alfred-Nobel-Platz 1, D-88131 Lindau, Tel. +49 8382 2600 20, email@example.com, www.lindau-tourismus.de
Sculpture Garden WÜRTH FORUM RORSCHACH, Churerstrasse 4, CH-9400 Rorschach, Tel. +41 71 225 10 00, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.wuerth-management.com. Freely accessible all year round. Admission free. Guided tours on request.
A.Vogel’s Medicinal Plant World, Activity Centre EchinaPoint auf dem Gelände der Bioforce AG, Grünaustrasse 4, CH-9325 Roggwil, Tel. +41 71 454 62 42, www.erlebnisbesuche.avogel.ch. Open daily from 8am – 8pm. Admission is free.
Stadtgarten Singen, Tourist-Information der Stadt Singen am Hohentwiel, August-Ruf-Str. 13, D-78224 Singen, Tel. +41 7731 85-504, email@example.com, www.singen.de, free of charge, guided tours on request.
Parkhotel St.Leonhard Überlingen, Obere St.-Leonhardstraße 71, D-88662 Überlingen, Tel. +49 7551 808 200, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.parkhotel-st-leonhard.de, free of charge, guided tours on request.
Hofgarten Schloss Messkirch, Kultur- und Museumszentrum Schloss Messkirch, Kirchstrasse 7, DE-88605 Messkirch, Tel. +49 7575 206 46, email@example.com, www.schloss-messkirch.de, free of charge, guided tours on request.
Stadt Bregenz, Bregenz Tourismus & Stadtmarketing GmbH, Rathausstraße 35a, AT-6900 Bregenz, Tel. +43 05574 4959-15, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.bregenz.travel, most of the gardens free of charge, guided tours on request.
Stadtgarten Stockach, Cultural Center "Altes Forstamt", D-78333 Stockach, Tel. +49 7771 802-300, email@example.com, www.stockach.de. Freely accessible all year round. Admission free. Guided tours on request.
Schlösslepark Kressbronn, Seestrasse, D-88079 Kressbronn, Tel. +49 7543 96650, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.kressbronn.de. Freely accessible all year round. Admission free. Guided tours on request.
Youth and Education Center St. Arbogast, Montfortstrasse 88, A-6840 Götzis, Tel. +43 5523 62 501-0, email@example.com, www.arbogast.at. Admission free. Guided tours on request.
Bible Garden Gossau / SG, Herisauerstrasse 5, CH 9200 Gossau, Tel. +41 71 388 18 48, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.bibelgarten.ch. Freely accessible all year round. Admission free. Guided tours on request.
Gartenwelt Wüthrich Pflanzen AG, Romanshornerstrasse 272, CH-8580 Hatswil/Amriswil, Tel. +41 71 463 66 33, email@example.com, www.wuethrich-pflanzen.ch. Show garden open all year round. Admission free. Guided tours on request.
Wangen im Allgäu, Gästeamt – Tourist Information, Bindstraße 10, DE-88239 Wangen im Allgäu, Tel. +49 7522 74211, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.wangen-tourismus.de. Different gardens open on request. Guided tours on request.