Königliche Gartenakademie – The Royal Garden Academy

The Royal Garden Academy is a modern centre for horticultural excellence where people can be inspired, seek advice on all garden-related matters and improve their plant knowledge, gardening skills and design-understanding through lectures, courses and workshops. Moreover, they can purchase plants, seeds and tools and get help with the design and planting of their gardens from the garden design studio.

The extensive plant sales area offers a comprehensive range of woody and herbaceous plants, as well as herbs and vegetable seedlings, bedding plants, and in the autumn a large selection of bulbs.  Carefully selected accessories and books, as well as a variety of garden pots and containers, composts and of course also garden furniture is on offer.

The mail order company Manufactum also has a showroom on site with its garden-related products. A garden café serves breakfasts, light lunches and afternoon tea or coffee and cakes.

More information about this film is available at Garden Collage.

Its early history

The original gardening school known as the Königliche Gärtnerlehranstalt (Royal Gardeners’ Training Institute) was founded in Potsdam in 1823 by Peter Joseph Lenné. He was Germany’s most influential 19th century landscape gardener and established the English landscape garden tradition in Germany. In need of qualified gardeners and a reliable supply of trees, he created a tree nursery and a gardening school.

In 1903 the school was moved to a new, larger dedicated site in Berlin Dahlem, opposite the newly established botanic garden. Besides the teaching building and director’s villa, the 7.5ha site contained a special fruit preservation building, greenhouse range, coldframes, root observation house, mushroom house, arboretum, pinetum, rockery, flower gardens, rose garden, extensive fruit plantations as well as a vegetable garden. The garden was not dissimilar to today’s garden at Wisley, whilst the course was very similar to the Kew Diploma Course in Horticulture.  About half of the site has been lost to buildingland, including the vegetable garden and the area dedicated to fruit growing, but the greenhouses, sunken flower garden, rose garden, the small parkland garden and part of the pinetum and arboretum survive today.

Of this plot Gabriella Pape acquired about 1ha, including the greenhouse range, the root observation house and mushroom house. After two years of planning and restoring the site, the projects was opened to the public on the 1st May 2008.

Garden school

The school offers a wide range of lectures, courses and workshops aimed at beginners, keen amateurs as well as professional gardeners, from Germany and abroad.

Topics cover garden design and planting design, plantsmanship and gardening from basic horticultural techniques to more specialist subjects such as pruning and propagation. This includes a three-day “Design your own Garden” course, half day workshops on rose pruning, container gardening and lawncare, as well as the afternoon-tea lecture-series where gardens from a particular region are presented, followed by a traditional afternoon tea. The aim of the programme is to get people more involved in the practical design and maintenance of their own garden.

Once every month Isabelle van Groeningen, head of the garden school, writes her popular blog post in English.

Design Studio

A full garden design service using the percentage-based fee structure traditionally operated by German landscape architects is offered. With this service, the project is guided through from the concept stage to building and planting and final completion.

For many owners of smaller gardens this type of service may appear rather daunting (and expensive). With this in mind we developed an alternative concept whereby we offer a basic design service where customers become a masterplan and sketch charged at “€1 per square meter” *. This formula makes garden design accessible to a much wider public. Detailed construction drawings, planting plans as well as contract specifications can also be provided, but many small garden owners are happy to carry out part, if not all of the work themselves at their own pace.

*Plus VAT

Show gardens

Several beds and borders and two show gardens have been designed to provide our customers with ideas and inspiration. The Bee Garden and the Japanese Garden are two small enclosed gardens of distinctive character.

Japanese Garden is a modern contemplative garden, designed as a sunken garden. Visitors can sit and enjoy the reflective peace of this intimate garden room. By the Café terrace there are three smaller beds with different planting themes. A Dry Bed with drought-tolerant plants, a Hot Temperamental Bed with lots of bulbs and dahlias, Light and Airy Bed with soft colours and textures.

The large herbaceous border which flowers continuously from early spring till late November, remains attractive even during the cold winter months when frosty seed silhouettes develop their own character.


The Nursery

The nursery sells the full range of plants, ranging from the better-known, familiar faces such as Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ or Amelanchier lamarckii, plants little known in cultivation but deserving a place in many people’s gardens such as the long-lived, drought tolerant Baptisias, to the latest novelties.

Our plants are sourced from large nurseries such as the tree nursery Lorbeg, as well as from small specialist suppliers. In the woody section, we stock a wide range of trees and shrubs, roses, including David Austin Roses directly supplied from England, fruit trees and bushes.

In the herbaceous department, we stock a large range of herbaceous perennials for sun and shade, many herbs, rare and old vegetable varieties, as well as a wide selection of bedding plants, unusual annuals, and rare exotics.

Composts, seeds and locally grown seasonal cut flowers are also on offer.

Every autumn we celebrate the coming of spring by offering over one quarter million bulbs. Our huge range is specially packed here on site, and includes our favourite “house” mixtures.

The Glasshouse

The GLASHAUS stocks a selection of books, gardening tools, vases, including beautifully hand-crafted Guax vases, Garnier Thiebaut waxed tablecloths, and seasonally changing accessories and giftware. A wide range of garden furniture is also offered, including the colourful Italian hand-made furniture of Paola Lenti and European Oak furniture from Gaze Burvill. A display of garden pavilions from HSP and cedar greenhouses from Gabriel Ash can be seen.


The mail order catalogue company Manufactum has an outlet at the Garden academy. Under their motto “Good objects still exist2 they offer garden-related product range such as good-quality hard-wearing gardening tools, books, furniture and seeds.


The Café in the Garden Academy is a unique place where during the heat of the summer months customers can sit on the lawn in the shade of the large, 100-year old Weymouth Pine. During the colder months of the year life retreat into the light, bright greenhouses, surrounded by lots of greenery and flowers.

Open during the normal business hours of the Garden Academy, the café offers a wide choice of breakfasts, light lunches and delicious cakes. A high-quality Italian coffee blend and fine teas are served, and the menu includes locally produced beers and lemonades, as well as a carefully chosen wine selection. Our house cocktail Gambrinus Spritz is a refreshing summer drink particularly popular during the summer months.

Where appropriate, the seasonal theme of the Garden Academy is also reflected in the Café menu.

The Café is a popular venue for parties and corporate events. The seminar room can be hired for private meetings, lectures, functions and meals, whilst the entire establishment can be hired for exclusive evening events.

Changing themes

Every three to four months we have a new theme at the Garden Academy. This allows us to concentrate on a particular subject or region. Where possible, we will source plants that fit the theme, purchase related products, offer appropriate lectures and guided tours. The menu reflects these seasonal themes with special dishes.

Particularly the Advent periods from mid-November onwards are major events such as “Great British Christmas” or “Marie Antoinette”. During the gardening season subjects such as “Jardin Majorelle”, “Japan”, “grow your own fruit and veg”, “Italy” and “Provence” have featured in recent years.


Ganzjährig geöffnet, außer:
Ostermontag, 1. Mai, Pfingstmontag, 3. Oktober, sowie zwischen den Jahren.

Montags ist ganzjährig Ruhetag.

Oktober bis März
Dienstag - Samstag:   10:00 Uhr - 17:30 Uhr
Sonn- und Feiertage: 10:00 Uhr - 16:00 Uhr

April bis September
Dienstag - Samstag:   10:00 Uhr - 18:30 Uhr
Sonn- und Feiertage: 10:00 Uhr - 16:00 Uhr

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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