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.

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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.

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Seed Mixtures Support Bees

The mass dying of bees in central Europe and in many other parts of the world is not only a problem for beekeepers every year but a severe danger for the whole ecosystem. Many reasons are given for this phenomenon, like parasites, viruses, foulbrood or pesticides, but hardly any solution has been found, yet.

This may now change as the School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences in Bern, Switzerland (HAFL), developed special seed mixtures with plants providing bees with enough nutrients in difficult periods. The project was supported by apisuisse, the Inforama Rütli, the farmers’ associations of Bern and Switzerland and fenaco/UFA-Samen.

Bees are especially in trouble finding food when their main sources like rapeseed, dandelion and fruit are withered and before the forests supply them with “food”. The meadows growing from the Swiss seed mixtures help the bees to be nourished in these critical times – helping them to survive with positive effects on their development, health and defense constitution.

The seed mixtures were tested and compared to conventional meadows with wild herbs: five times more honeybees and two to three times more wild bees approached the Swiss meadow! Another advantage is that the seeds easily grow on all kinds of soil, either poor or rich.

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England’s Supermarkets Add Gardening Products to Their Assortment

Large English supermarket chains are stocking up on live plants, flower pots, seeds and gardening tools. Morrisons recently opened over one hundred small garden centres outside their supermarkets, Waitrose contracted the renowned garden reporter Alan Titchmarsh to promote their gardening products and Next is going to open twenty “Home & Garden” stores in which they tell to sell “literally everything for gardening”.

The latest Garden Products Distribution Market Report published by industry analysts AMA Research in March forecasts that sales of gardening products will grow 15 per cent by 2016. The supermarkets see their chances and  expand into this market.

Owners of garden centres are not happy with this development. They fear a decline in the value of gardening products. Iain Wylie, CEO of the Garden Centre Association told the Daily Telegraph: “Supermarkets can’t stock the depth or have the knowledgeable people garden centers have. […] Quality suffers and there are more imports. Conversely it gives garden centres a greater opportunity to sell more varieties and demystify growing.”

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