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The Royal Garden Academy

The Königliche Gartenakademie is a historical site that has been dedicated to garden culture since the beginning of the 20th century. We invite you to this unique centre that addresses all aspects of gardening.
It is a place to wander around colourful FLOWER BORDERS and explore 10.000 square metres of HISTORIC GARDEN that was brought back to life 10 years ago. All year long you can take GARDEN COURSES on seasonal topics, listen to lectures, or go on a guided tour.  You can HAVE YOUR GARDEN DESIGNED or get help with the replanting of your garden from our specialists. In the NURSERY, you will find a large range of woody plants, perennials, bedding plants, and annuals for your terrace or balcony, herbs and vegetable seedlings, spring bulbs, as well as seeds. Our QUALIFIED TEAM of gardeners is available to help and advise you on your plant choices. Garden furniture and high-quality ACCESSORIES, as well as a wide range of seasonal gifts, are also on offer.  And to complete the experience you can have a coffee or a meal in the unique setting of our cosy CAFÉ. There is no other café in Germany, where, during the summer, you can enjoy coffee and cakes on such a well-kept lawn. 

The Owners

The Hamburg born tree specialist and garden designer, Gabriella Pape, and the Belgian garden historian, Isabelle Van Groeningen, met in London when studying horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew.  While Gabriella Pape completed her landscape architecture studies at the University of Greenwich, Isabelle Van Groeningen graduated from York University on the topic of "Historical Use Of Perennials".

In 1992 they founded the garden design and consulting company, LANDART, in the Cotswolds in South West England. After a few years, they also started designing gardens in Germany, mostly in and around Berlin. Although their portfolio largely contained private gardens, they had also received commissions from renowned British organisations, such as the National Trust, English Heritage, and Garden Organic.

Sponsored by The Mail on Sunday’s YOU Magazine, Gabriella Pape and Isabelle Van Groeningen won a Gold Medal for their show garden at the Hampton Court Flower Show, being awarded the Best in Show accolade in 2000. Seven years later the garden designers won a Silver Gilt medal for the Telegraph Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show, a garden inspired by Karl Foerster’s sunken garden in Potsdam.

The Concept of the Royal Garden Academy

The idea for the Garden Academy sprang from discussions with clients who despaired when confronted with their gardens, not knowing how to look after them properly. What was missing, was a place where one could find inspiration, or information, when wanting to create a garden, or make changes to an existing garden; somewhere where one could learn everything about rose pruning or lawn care, but also how to create a garden and learn, which plants are suitable for which type of habitat.

We then started looking for a suitable space where we could organise courses and workshops, where we could set up our design studio, and also have a space to sell a few plants. We immediately fell in love with the place we discovered on a cold November day in 2005. The fact, that it was too big, was totally irrelevant, it was the history of the site and its unsurpassable charm which enchanted us completely and allowed only one thought: this is the place we've been searching for since 2 years!

The Royal Garden Institute – Its History

After King Friedrich Wilhelm III granted permission to create the Landesbaumschule und Gärtner-Lehranstalt zu Schöneberg und Potsdam by a law of 20th August 1823, garden designer Peter Joseph Lenné could set out to create the Königliche Gärtnerlehranstalt, (the Royal Gardeners Teaching Institute) in the Wildpark (now within Sanssouci) in Potsdam. Just like us nowadays, he could not find trained gardeners for his newly designed garden projects and parks. In 1903 the institute moved to Berlin-Dahlem, where the new Botanical Garden was being created and land of the feudal estate of Dahlem became available. 

Over an area of 7,5 hectares, a variety of gardens were designed. The most important part contained fruit trees, as trees and as espaliers; but it also had a vegetable garden, a rock garden, a rose garden, a sunken garden, glass houses, cold frames, a mushroom house, a root observation house, a fruit conservation building, lecture rooms, and the director's villa in the middle of a landscape park.  

In the course of the 20th Century, the school went through many changes, until it finally became property of the Technical University of Berlin. At the turn of the of the 21st Century, half of the land was released for new offices and laboratories, another part contains, still today, the Institute for Food Technology. 

Opening hours

Winter break
From 23.12.19 - 10.01.20 the Royal Garden Academy and the Café will be closed for renovation work.

Open all year round, except:
Easter Monday, May 1, Whit Monday, October 3, and between Christmas and New Years.

Mondays closed all year round.

October to March
Tuesday - Saturday: 10 am to 5.30 pm
Sundays and holidays: 10 am to 4 pm

April to September
Tuesday - Saturday: 10 am to 6.30 pm
Sundays and holidays: 10 am to 4 pm

Königliche Gartenakademie
Altensteinstraße 15a - 14195 Berlin
+49 (0) 30 8322 090 0

Das Café in der Gartenakademie
+49 (0) 30 8322 090 29

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