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  • Garden designers among themselves! Peter Berg in interview with Carolyn Mullet!

    Last summer – with pouring rain – we had a visit from the enchanting garden designer Carolyn Mullet and her “Carex Tours” travel group. Carex Tours organizes tours to gardens all over the world. Their stopover with us in the Ahr valley was a real experience and we met wonderful people. Garden connects! And of course we took the opportunity for a little interview, which you can now listen to on YouTube or here on this page.

    By the way: On November 10th, Carolyn’s new book “Adventures in Eden” will be released – we are very happy that our slope garden will also be presented in it. Feel free to have a look at her Instagram channel, you’ll find all the details there. https://www.instagram.com/ccamullet/

    We are now also on YouTube. Subscribe to our channel and look forward to videos about slope gardening, garden design & Co.

    Slope garden Peter Berg garden design

    Together with the expert for plant concepts, Petra Pelz, this wonderful exceptional project in Lower Saxony was created. “Pure and sustainable garden.”

    The garden is located in the Lower Saxony region of Hanover and is fascinating to us because the property has been 100% planted – including all roofs.

    We developed the concept for the corresponding stone structure, height staggering and the terrain modelling. The woody plants were selected together with our client for the respective situation. Petra Pelz used this template to enliven the area in her very special style. The planting was done by our team according to her specifications. A harmonious, natural overall concept of architecture and garden.

    Take a look at the beautiful garden now! To the project

    As every year, we use the collectively quiet time around the turn of the year to recharge our batteries, set goals and read good books. The new decade will be a challenge for all of us due to the rapid technological progress alone. This makes it all the more important to appreciate, preserve and enjoy nature in peace.

    With this in mind, we wish you a happy 2020.

    Straße im Schnee

    In summer 2019 our 3rd drywall workshop took place with the aim to teach and preserve this old craft.

    Whether beginner or advanced, everyone had the opportunity to expand their skills and share their knowledge with the other participants. Special thanks to Steven Altigs, who captured some wonderful impressions from this workshop and created this video.

    We are already planning something very special for 2020. Our 4th dry-stone workshop will be better than any holiday, with lots of know-how, good food and community – so stay tuned!

    Modern companies now offer their employees a lot. From ergonomic seats to openspace offices with meeting lounges, a relaxation corner, a café bar, freely available drinks and fruit to a fitness studio – a good company boss cares about the well-being of his team. For some time now, however, the importance of “green” has been recognised here as well. Not the colour on the wall, but outside, around the building or in inner courtyards, in the form of a garden. Why is the topic of “company gardens” increasingly becoming the focus of companies? The renowned garden designer Peter Berg from Sinzig has himself recognised a few years ago that there is an enormous potential for companies in this area. In the following he names 10 good reasons for a company garden:

    1. the appreciation of the employees

    The creation of a green outdoor area shows the employee that the management really cares about what is good for the employees. Of course it’s an extra investment for the company, but it’s an absolutely worthwhile investment in employee well-being. This kind of appreciation is gratefully accepted.

    2. employee generation

    A company stands and falls with good employees. When selecting an employer, however, a potential employee also pays attention to various criteria. The work-life balance plays a central role today. A company garden, which allows the connection to nature and also reflects the appreciation of the employee, is a big plus. Perhaps a playground would still be an idea for the company’s own nursery, which is often the case with larger companies.

    3. employee satisfaction

    The possibility of spending time in the countryside during working hours has a relaxing effect and is an ideal balance to office space or work hall. Employee satisfaction increases, which in turn has a very positive effect on the general working atmosphere.

    4. increase in creativity

    Fresh air and the feeling of being in nature have been proven to stimulate creativity and performance. Pausing and conferencing in a well-designed outdoor area promotes the flow of ideas and interactions between employees. There are various possibilities for them to communicate together or to seek peace and quiet.

    5. productivity increase

    A relaxing and creativity-enhancing environment naturally also leads to an increase in productivity. A rather stressed employee, who is often under stress, can hardly work productively. Natural plants, daylight and oxygen have a calming and stimulating effect at the same time.

    6. reduction of sick days

    Many workers suffer from psychosocial stress at work, which often leads to illness and absenteeism. This is an unsatisfactory situation for employers and employees alike. Through the many positive effects of a company garden, this stress is reduced, the general well-being is increased and thus the number of sick days is significantly reduced.

    7. improvement of the microclimate

    Environmental pollution or heat often affect the climate in and around the company building. The professional use of plants, natural stone and/or possibly water is an ideal way to improve the microclimate. Plants absorb CO2 and filter fine dust. At the same time, they release oxygen, keep moisture in the soil and provide shade. Natural stone absorbs the heat of the day and stores it. If it is watered, the moisture evaporates and also contributes to the improvement of the microclimate.

    8. environmental awareness

    Sustainability and environmental awareness are topics that have been in the spotlight for some time now. The design of a garden impressively documents that a company takes up these issues and is aware of its responsibility in this respect. Apart from ist own surroundings, this measure also contributes to the greening of cities and makes them more liveable.

    9. green business card/image improvement

    The corporate philosophy plays a major role in its image cultivation. The external design of a company is now perceived just as much as the website or business equipment. An ecological imprint and sustainable action is credibly proven by a company garden. The first impression counts – with the customer, like with the potential coworker, and that is to represent the quality of the company and the products.

    10. increase of the real estate value

    Last but not least – a factor not to be underestimated is the influence of a professionally and aesthetically designed outdoor facility on the value of the property as a whole. Here, too, it makes a difference, of course, whether a picture is monotonous to the observer from the outside.

     

    These are certainly sufficient good reasons to think about this topic. In the meantime, there are outstanding examples worldwide of how garden designers have realized the importance of green for companies. Be it as an outdoor facility, patio, i.e. courtyard or roof garden, adapted to the architecture and philosophy of the company, the design is more formal or more natural. Even a large complex can be beautifully integrated into the surrounding landscape.

    A company garden is a wonderful opportunity to bring nature to the company and to use its powers.

     

    Read more in the current article by Peter Berg for Accelerate Academy

    Originally, the garden planned and planted by Peter Berg and his team at the Arp Museum was a temporary project. At the end of 2019 the magnificent combination of natural stones, perennials and trees was to be dismantled to make room for something new. All the more reason for us to be pleased that it has been decided that this beautiful work will remain in existence for another year.

    A few current impressions can be found here.

    Close-up on nice different flowers
    Natural rocks in front of fresh-looking green trees

    The stage for the house – the front garden

    The front garden, designed with plants, is an optical highlight for every property, not only in the warm season. With a well-thought-out planting, this plot area becomes an effective presentation area. And this completely naturally and all year round. A combination of perennials, grasses and shrubs forms a perfect stage with added value, explains Peter Berg.

     

    Indicators of the seasons

    Of all the plants, trees and shrubs show us the seasons most clearly. They fulfil important functions at all times. Due to the lack of leaves, they let the full sun through in winter and show us their picturesque bark and structure. In spring their fresh green is a balm for our soul and lets us breathe a sigh of relief at their sight. “In summer they provide shade and reduce the ambient temperature. At the same time they store water and provide moisture,” explains the expert. With the use of mild autumn light and the reduction of photosynthesis, the leaves discolour. Now these power plants reward us with a fireworks display of colour that even surpasses the effect of perennials and grasses in summer.

     

    The slower the development, the more valuable the wood

    It is interesting to note that the slow-growing and particularly valuable woody plants also show special autumn colours. The family of the witch hazel family can be mentioned here as an example and dominates the front garden of Peter Berg. Two amber trees, an ironwood bush and a witch hazel stand here in a small area. This variety is completed by dogwood, girl’s pine and rock pear. “If you have the right shrubs and grasses in your front garden, you will be rewarded with a special fireworks display of colour in autumn,” enthuses the garden designer.

    Japanese maple in front garden absorbing sunlight
    View of a front garden with colorful plants and trees
    Deciduous trees, hedges and plants under a blue sky
    Stairs lead through the colourful front garden up to the house

    Take a look at this project with a living front garden! About the project

    Cracow, Poland: From 18-19 October, Peter Berg was invited as a guest lecturer to the ELCA (European Landscape Contractors Association) conference.

    In his lecture “Nature. Aesthetics. Design.” he spoke about the design elements he uses in his garden projects. Following the Japanese example, he uses natural stone, plants and water for an aesthetic and natural garden design.

    Among the approximately 100 participants were well-known landscape architects, garden designers and students. The encounter with the English garden designer Jo Thompson (Best in Show Chelsea) was a special highlight.

    In addition to the conference with top-class lectures, excursions to important parks and gardens were also on the agenda of the expert audience. Over the years, these excursions have developed friendships with colleagues in many countries, openly communicating and sharing expertise.

    Cracow convinces among other things with good restaurants, much life at the river and an interesting surrounding field, with the proximity to the high Tatra. The city is not too big and does not have the uniform character of many modern cities.

    The front garden must not do any work
    It must be easy to care for and therefore make as little work as possible, until no work at all. Today this is more and more the maxim. Especially in modern new buildings one sees increasingly a stone desert of coarse gravel instead of a front garden designed with plants. This is not good for the eye, the insects or the climate. Garden designer Peter Berg therefore pleads for more naturalness in front of our front doors. Above all, we should use more woody plants that bind the fine dust, produce oxygen and lower the temperature.

    Easy-care aesthetic front garden design convinces
    As an experienced garden designer, Peter Berg knows that a natural front garden created with planning requires little maintenance, but offers many advantages. A well thought-out combination of structure-giving natural stone with selected, long-lived plants considerably reduces the maintenance effort. At the same time however thereby an ecologically valuable range is created, from which humans, as well as nature profit. Also the optics is substantially more convincing and raises at the same time the value of the entire real estate.

    Foils and gravel are no problem solvers
    If you want to have an ecological and natural garden, an understanding of nature is indispensable. Unfortunately, this is becoming increasingly rare today. Especially in the front garden area the large area use of gravel is preferred. This testifies to an unnatural relationship to “cleanliness” and the belief that one would never have work like this again. However, this is a deceptive conclusion. “Nature always seeks its way,” says Peter Berg. Even supposedly dense foils and heavy rocks do not help. An entry of weeds from the environment cannot be avoided, and when trying to remove them, one inevitably gets stuck in the foils.

    Trees improve the climate
    Especially in our ever warmer climate and summer temperatures approaching 40 degrees, large deciduous trees are particularly important. They provide protection for humans and animals from increasingly intense solar radiation. At the same time, they are real climate-improvers. With their foliage they create a light shade and contribute to cooling the environment. The evaporation of water has an extremely positive influence on the environment, which also benefits other plants. In addition, woody plants absorb CO2 from the air and give us oxygen. Even fine dust, which now pollutes not only large cities, is absorbed by them.

    In Berg’s front garden alone, you can already see five different types of trees and shrubs that adorn it with their lush greenery. Attractive grasses and shrubs are planted underneath. “In nature, every piece of soil is covered with plants,” explains the expert. “There is undesirable vegetation only if it is not planted closed or the plants do not fit together.

    Woods, shrubs and grasses offer birds and insects an ideal habitat, improve our climate and create a piece of nature in our private sphere – and this also includes the front garden.