Berlin Gardens

Stroll, picnic, play and simply unwind in a green oasis.
By Phyllis Meras

In Berlin, public gardens are everywhere. They are large and small. Some are on palace grounds, some on museum grounds. Some edge ponds and lakes; others the River Spree. They are in cemeteries and outside housing developments. They are often richly treed. In some, there are statues and memorials. Altogether, 13 percent of Germany’s capital city is dedicated to parks and gardens. And virtually all are worth visiting.

A highlight, of course, is the 100 plus acre Botanical Garden in Dahlem where some 20,000 different plant species grow. In the geographical section visitors can view plants from all over the world. Its tropical greenhouse has its own waterfall and lake. While its Fragrance and Touch Garden, designed for the visually impaired, encourages visitors to touch and smell, and comes with the scents of eucalyptus, rosemary and chives.

On a 200-acre site in Neuköln is the Britzer Garden, opened in 1985 for the Federal Garden Exhibition. Among its lakes and streams is a rose garden where 150 kinds of roses grow. In spring, it is bright with tulips and in summer with roses and in autumn with dahlias. If one tires of walking, a park train provides a means to continue to explore the garden.

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