THE SECRET GARDENS OF DÜSSELDORF AND FRANKFURT
Two of the most important financial centres in Germany, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt are commercial powerhouses, oiling the wheels of global business and contributing billions to the national and international economies. But less well known is the fact that both cities are home to two of the world’s finest botanic gardens.
The Botanischer Garten Düsseldorf, a small but perfectly formed garden attached to the city’s university, was first planted in 1973, and now contains an important collection of over 6000 species. Organised along geographical and ecological lines, including alpine, Japanese, Chinese, heathland and moorland gardens, it also features a cluster of modern greenhouses. The central dome is home to an exotic collection from the Mediterranean, the Americas, South Africa and beyond, while the towering orangery is used to protect delicate plants in the winter and as an events venue in the summer.
A couple of hours away, Frankfurt is where you’ll find the beautiful Palmengarten, which at 22 hectares is the biggest garden of its type in the country. Home to climate-controlled greenhouses containing collections of plants from rain and monsoon forests, mangroves and dry deserts, each is a relaxing as well as educational place to while away the hours.
Next door is the more intimate Goethe Garden, with its winding paths, peaceful lake and dappled glades. Dedicated to the city’s renowned poet and philosopher, it is home to many mature trees, including beautiful examples of the extraordinary Gingko Biloba celebrated by the great man in his famous love poem.
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