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In the garden with: Gabriella Pape (Royal Garden Academy Berlin)

Gabriella Pape – photo: Königliche Gartenakademie (Royal Garden Academy)

Gabriella Pape took a degree in Bio-dynamic Agriculture, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture in Great Britain. After completing her degree in Kew Gardens in London and taking a Diploma in Landscape Architecture at Greenwich University, she turned self-employed after setting up the design studio LANDART in England together with the garden historian, Dr. Isabelle Van Groeningen. The two garden designers have made a name for themselves with their versatile garden and park creations in Europe, South America and Asia and have won numerous awards in the process. In the year 2008, they founded the Royal Garden Academy in Berlin as a centre for garden culture. Here, courses with various main themes for hobby gardeners and also individual garden planning are offered here.


Mrs. Pape, which themes particularly interest the hobby gardeners today? In which sections do they seek further training?

Pape: There is currently a strong trend towards growing flowers and above all vegetables and fruit oneself. Furthermore, the bee-friendly garden is a topic that interests many people. Both professionals and also amateurs are showing a great deal of interest in taking care of their gardens skilfully, this is a very nice observation for us.


On the one hand, the gardens in Germany are getting smaller and smaller, on the other hand more and more home owners want spacious outdoor kitchens or garden showers for their green areas. Which effects does this have on garden planning?

Pape: Since I design gardens and occupy myself very little with outdoor kitchens, I can’t answer this question very well. Of course, there are also places for relaxing, enjoying or even for barbecuing in the green areas we plan – but we are of the opinion that relocating the entire kitchen into the garden is uninteresting in our lattitudes. I must also honestly say that I am not a fan of having too much hardware in the garden.


Are gardens for you personally first and foremost a place of work or do you also enjoy spending your leisure time outdoors?

Pape: Well, in my case my garden really is my place of work – and I couldn’t imagine a nicer one! But if you ask me about my own garden at home, then I would like to emphasise that I don’t consider gardening to be work and I am of the opinion that a person who “works” in his garden more than enjoying it, is definitely doing something wrong. He should perhaps also attend a gardening course.


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