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  • In the “Augustinum” retirement home in Bad Neuenahr, the garden destroyed by the 2021 flood was not only rebuilt but completely redesigned to offer the 300 senior citizens a more liveable environment.

    Peter Berg and his team are delighted with the positive effect the natural retreat with a large pond, natural stone, shrubs, grasses and perennials has had on the residents of the “Augustinum” since the start of construction and even more so after completion.

    The design works with different heights and space-defining stone structures, allowing an artificial pond to be modelled. The pond was designed with peninsulas, islands, organic shapes and different depths to create the illusion of a larger body of water and to provide ever-changing perspectives.

    In addition to the pond, the surrounding area was designed and planted. Peter Berg deliberately used traditional manual labour, supported by machine power, to add as much detail as possible to this garden. Natural stones were laid and beautiful specimen trees, grasses and shrubs were planted to create a lively and harmonious overall picture.

    Due to the approaching winter, the realisation of the garden had to be completed within a tight time frame. Throughout the project, Berg liaised closely with the residents and the management of the facility in order to take their needs into account as much as possible. This close communication made the project a matter close to Peter Berg’s heart.

    More details and insights can be found in this video.

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    We would like to thank our videographer Steven Altig. With his video, he has succeeded in bringing the special nature of this project to life with wonderful images.

    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

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    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 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.