ELCA: Europe-Wide Study Shows Satisfaction With Green Spaces

The European Landscape Contractors Association (ELCA) initiated together with Forsa a study in which over 5.000 Europeans in ten metropolises were asked about their use and satisfaction with the parks and green spaces in their cities. People in Berlin, Zurich, London, Prague, Vienna, Helsinki, Amsterdam, Paris, Budapest and Copenhagen participated.

On average citizens were satisfied with the quantity of parks and green spaces. Amsterdam is on top of the list with 88 percent satisfaction and Paris on the bottom. In the French capital only 48 percent are satisfied with the supply of green spaces.

The study shows that the number of parks and green spaces is sufficient. But considerable deficits exist between the requirements of the population and the actual state of the green spaces. There is a discrepancy between the needs of the people for well maintained green spaces and their actual conditions. “Authorities with their urban planning have not taken the needs of the population into account. Urban green is not taken sufficiently into consideration in urban planning processes. Authorities do not recognize the chances and potential of urban green spaces for achieving a more ecological, social and economical and sustainable development.”  ELCA President Emanuel Mony explained.

Further Information: elca.info

German Hardware Store Chain Praktiker Goes Into Insolvency

Praktiker AG, a German home-improvement retailer, said it’s considering insolvency for itself and units after some of its creditors didn’t approve more financing.

Excessive debt and lack of liquidity are reasons for declaring insolvency, the company said in a statement today.

Alternative financing became necessary after the company failed to sell a stake in Luxembourg-based unit Batiself SA because the buyer’s board didn’t approve a deal, Praktiker said. Proceeds from a sale had been “firmly included” in the retailer’s financing plan from last year, it said.

Shares in Praktiker were floated by then-parent Metro AG  in 2005. The company’s current shareholders include Donau Invest Beteiligungs GmbH with a 10 percent stake and Maseltov Ltd. at 9.6 percent, according to its website.

Source: bloomberg.com

Further Information: praktiker.com

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe in Kassel, Germany added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List

During the 37th Committee Session of the UNESCO in Phnom Penh in Cambodia a new site in Germany was inscribed on the World Heritage List. The Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe in Kassel is the 38th world heritage in Germany and is now part of the universal cultural heritage of mankind.

With its 240 hectare the landscape park is the largest mountain park in Europe. It is dominated by a giant statue of Hercules and has monumental water displays that are functioning solely with a complex system of hydro-pneumatic devices and without electricity. The site offers a large baroque water theater, grotto, fountains and a 350 metre long grand cascade. It’s construction began in 1689 under Landgrave Carl of Hesse-Kassel and was developed further into the 19th century. The Committee honored the exceptional waterworks as a unique example of European absolutist architecture. According to the UNESCO the monument of Hercules is without doubt technically and artistically the most sublime grand sculpture of early modern age.

The Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe has an abundant variety of trees and plants and can be visited for free throughout the whole year.

Further Information: Kassel.de and whc.unesco.org


Cologne in Full Bloom: spoga+gafa 2013 Preliminary Report

When spoga+gafa opens its doors to trade visitors from September 8th to 10th, 2013, “the entire world of gardens” will be present in Cologne. Around 2,000 suppliers are expected to exhibit at the world’s leading garden and leisure-time trade fair, over 50 percent of the exhibitors come from abroad. The trade visitors can look forward to a worldwide offer in the segments garden living, garden care, garden creation, garden unique and garden basic.

This year there is going to be a new hall plan. The high-end zone for garden furniture, garden unique, is relocating to Hall 10.2, which means that the garden living segment will now cover exhibition space in Halls 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 10.1, 11.1 and 11.2. Among others, the following companies have already confirmed their participation in the garden living zone: Aqua Lung, Barbecook, Capi Europe (formerly Capital Ornaments), Elho, Emsa, Friedola, Haans Lifestyle, intex, IPV, Keter, Kettler, Koopman, Lafuma, Landmann, Lechuza, Outdoorchef, Rösle, ScanCom, Scheurich, Sieger, Soendgen-Keramik, Stern, Weber-Stephen and WMF.

The garden unique segment will be in the middle – and thus also in the direct vicinity of the related segments of garden living. The walking routes will be short to international top brands such as Barlow Tyrie, Calma, Emu, Extremis, Glatz, Nardi, Schaffner, Skargaarden, Umbrosa, Vermobil, Vill Home&Garden, Viteo, Weishäupl or Zumsteg, to mention just a few of the manufacturers that have already booked space in this exclusive ambiance.

Sowing, digging, fertilizing: The trade visitors can find products that contribute to garden maintenance in Hall 6. The area covers garden soil and fertilizers as well as garden tools and power tools. Among others Briggs & Stratton, Compo, Dachser, Mesto/Felco, ratioparts and ribimex will be reinforcing the garden care department with their product ranges.

In the garden creation segment located in Halls 6 and 9, the spoga+gafa will be showcasing everything needed for the creation and development of gardens. The offer ranges from plants to ponds and pools, garden sheds, lighting, hand tools and wood for the garden. BM-Massivholz, Hartmann, Fitt and Vannucci will be presenting their novelties in this section.

Favourably-priced garden products can be found in the garden basic segment, which is located in Hall 11.3. In total the spoga+gafa 2013 covers a surface of 200,000 m².

Opening Hours of the spoga+gafa

The spoga+gafa 2013 is exclusively open to trade visitors from September 8th to 10th, on Sunday and Monday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and on Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Entrance tickets can be purchased via the online shop at the spoga+gafa website.

Chelsea Flower Show Celebrates its 100th Anniversary

This week, the Chelsea Flower Show opened for the 100th time to the public. From May 21st to 25th over 500 exhibitors are showing exciting new plants and fabulous garden ideas. The best garden designers in the world will present amazing extensive displays and inspirations for small spaces alike.

Queen Elisabeth herself is the patron of show organizers “The Royal Horticultural Society” and has already visited the Chelsea Flower Show on Monday, together with many members of the royal family. The forget-me-not show garden is in aid of Prince Harry’s charity Sentebale, which helps impoverished children in Lesotho.

The vote for the Plant of the Century is another highlight. Ten plants, each representing one decade, were chosen beforehand by a panel of horticultural experts and the public can cast their votes online for their favorite.

There is also an iPhone App available on iTunes, which will give you full details on every exhibitor and garden present at the show.

Further Information: rhs.org.uk