Come and grow – the spoga+gafa blog » In the garden with... » In the garden with: Brigitte Röde (Planungsbüro Garten & Freiraum/Garden & Leisure Planning Office)

In the garden with: Brigitte Röde (Planungsbüro Garten & Freiraum/Garden & Leisure Planning Office)

Brigitte Röde – photo: Hoffmann Leverkusen

The landscape architect Brigitte Röde took a degree in landscaping in Osnabruck and followed this up with an additional qualification in advertising and marketing. In 1987 she turned self-employed after founding her garden and leisure planning office in the Rhineland. In addition to property planning, Röde also holds lectures and runs seminars on the theme of garden design. She additionally writes for garden publications and has already published several gardening books. Her garden entitled “Trio of garden desire” was distinguished during this year’s “Garden of the Year” competition organised by the Callwey publishing company. The landscape architect’s declared goal when designing gardens is to create open spaces in which the architecture, interior and green areas form a harmonious unit.


Mrs. Röde, today one often sees modern buildings that are surrounded by very strict, formal gardens, in which there is very little colour. Why is this? Couldn’t one also design the areas with blooming bushes and colourful shrubs? Or doesn’t this harmonise with the current architecture?

Röde: I like it when a modern, cubical building is surrounded by a garden that matches the linear architecture and emphasises this with soft forms of plants with different grasses and large shrubs like Chinese reed, coneflowers or sanguisorba. Such dynamic plantations allow all seasons to be experienced even in modern, clearly structured gardens. For me a garden is a habitat which develops its own aesthetics at all times of the day and in all weathers and which furthermore offers the whole family space.


How can the green area behind the house be turned into a garden where one really feels good? Or let’s put it another way: How does one find one’s way to the garden that suits oneself?

Röde: The most important thing when planning a garden is a comprehensive wish list, so that nothing is forgotten. In order to be able to capture the individual atmosphere that one finds attractive, it can be helpful to create a collage comprising of pictures of gardens that one finds appealing. Furthermore, one needs a conclusive inventory plan so that later all of the details also fit in with the site. The initial aim of the preliminary draft and draft planning is to divide the garden up and plan the spatial effect. Later, the appropriate materials and plants are chosen. Here, the most difficult aspect is often limiting oneself in the selection, because in the garden the saying less is more also applies!


What does your own garden look like and how do you use it?

Röde: Our garden is in the meantime over 30 years old and is characterised by several old plants such as a catalpa, an evergreen magnolia and several pine trees. It is green and there are plenty of shrubs planted in it that I really love. Since our garden is at the same time also my testing area for new plant discoveries, there is also an annual coming and going. Our garden is our most important room. This is where we live in the summer, celebrate with friends, relax in the sun and above all it is the habitat for many singing birds, squirrels, dragonflies as well as for crested and Alpine newts, who all also feel very much at home there.


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