From Grey to Green: Europe’s largest Sky Garden opens to the Public

An exciting project is developing in Berlin right now. In the middle of the densely populated German capital a group of volunteers are building Europe’s largest community roof garden on a parking deck. The 12.000 m² surface has not been used since 2003. 22 meters above ground level vegetables, fruits and herbs will be growing in the near future on euro pallets, in carton boxes and in rice bags.

Everybody can join in; there will be community beddings which can be cared for by groups of people and other lots which can be rent. The main idea behind the Himmelsbeet (Sky garden), as it is called, is that people are being brought together through working with natural resources and that city dwellers learn how to  produce own food from regional grounds. Schools and kindergardens can go there to teach the children about planting and growing, there will be workshops about gardening and even a café on the rooftop. The demand is high for such a project, there are already waiting lists for the beddings.

The project is depending on donations, the organization is non-profit based and needs support. The company Neudorff is donating soil and other materials.

The roof garden will be open for the public in May and the initiators are more than excited about. this europewide unprecedented gardening project ; if it were successful it could be a great example for other cities worldwide. 

Further Information:  Himmelsbeet / Neudorff

Making Gardening an Experience for Kids – With the Right Tools

In a time, in which children are more tempted to sit at home and play video games instead of spending their free time outside, parents sometimes need incentives to get their kids interested in what nature has to offer. Gardening tools and even growing equipment for our youngest are becoming more and more popular.

The German nursery garden BKN Strobel for example just launched a campaign named “Ich bin im Garten” (I’m in the Garden) where children can grow their own little plants in colorful pots. The attached labels have QR-Codes so they can look up information about their plants on a special website.

The German company Romberg, which specializes in plant growing and hobby gardening products offers a miniature greenhouse complete with seeds and substratum which can be kept inside the house. It comes together with an easy illustrated instructional book.

The Finnish tool producer Fiskars also has its own collection for kids. My First Fiskars “Boxi” consists of a shovel, a rake, a spade and a brush, each designed for small hands and with vibrant colors, for helping the adults playfully with the  duties in the garden.

Every child is gifted with a great sense of curiosity and openness towards natural things. It is important for them to develop a healthy relationship towards Mother Nature and that we teach them from an early age on what a fun activity it can be to cultivate plants and handling natural products outside. With the right tools, materials and appropriate instructions gardening is fun and an educational experience for our youngest.

Further Information: bkn.de

New Trend: Insect-Hotels Shelter the Bugs in Your Garden

More and more people who own gardens discover that it is not only important to care for their plants and to feed the birds, but that insects are vital to a healthy environment as well. This awareness has created a new trend: So called insect-hotels are becoming popular in German home gardens.

The small wooden boxes which are supposed to be hung somewhere outside attract several species of beneficial insects, like ladybugs, bees and beetles. There are different “rooms” for them, each with a specialized habitat, for example fir cones for ladybugs or sawdust for beetles living in wood. These bugs can hibernate safely in the hotel, they can reproduce and they can nest there. This has lots of advantages for the garden because these small animals pollinate plants and get rid of garden pests like aphids.

There are already several producers of insect-hotels in Germany, and since the demand is growing, new companies specialize in these tiny homes, like Luxusinsektenhotels. They offer different insect-hotels carefully designed looking like a country home or a luxury hotel. They can be ordered ready-made or as construction kit.

Further Information: luxus-insektenhotel.de

Flower Shows and Garden Exhibitions in 2013

2013 is going to be a great year for garden exhibitions and flower shows all over the world. Whether you want to check out the recent trends in gardening and horticulture, meet new people, learn about seeding and cultivating plants in one of the many seminars or just want to be simply amazed by the most beautiful flowers, you’ll find plenty of opportunities.

Especially in spring there is a wide choice of exhibitions small ones and large ones in the USA, like the Washington Home and Garden Show, which is the largest garden show on the east coast. Or you come over to Germany, for example to the Internationale Gartenschau (IGS, International Garden Show) in Hamburg. It will be in the district of Wilhelmsburg, on Europe’s largest river island from April 26th to October 13th. This year’s motto is “Around the World in Eighty Gardens”.

Whichever garden shows you decide to visit, you can be sure to learn a lot about what customers in the green sector want and what their current preferences are.

There is a huge listing of flower and garden shows in the USA, Great Britain and other parts of the world over at: gardening.about.com

Several Outdoor Products Decorated with the „Interior Innovation Award 2013“ at the imm Cologne

Big success for several producers of outdoor products: Ten furniture pieces and furnishings for balconies and gardens were granted the „Interior Innovation Award 2013” at the “Internationale Möbelmesse” (international furnishing trade fair – imm) in Cologne. This is one of the most prestigious design-prizes of the furnishing industry worldwide. The award was introduced by the trade fair in 2002 and is organized by the German Design Council.

The awards in the category “outdoor” were given to Cane-line for the lounge-sofa “Conic”, Extremis for their picnic-table “Marina”, Gloster for the chair “Dansk”, Morso for the outdoor-fireplace “Forno”, Müller Möbelwerkstätten for the sunshade-tent “Mikasi” and the sunlounger “Solaris”, Radius for the mailbox “Letterman II”, Roset for the armchair “Fifty”, Scheurich for their cachepot “Stylepot” and Viteo for their lounge-chair “Slim Collection Lounge”.

There were also two garden products that won the „Interior Innovation Award“: The lounge-chair “Source” from Gloster and the cachepot “Wave Globe” from Scheurich. A speaker of Scheurich said: “We are really proud of this award because it stands for innovative achievements!”

Further information: imm-cologne.com