When you enter the Königliche Gartenakademie (Royal Garden Academy) in Dahlem, you are immediately whisked away from the city into a wonderful world of plants, flowers and vegetables. From ornamental maples to the most diverse grasses, the displays remind me of the beautiful gardens of England, where casual, natural arrangements are curated with artistic flair. In 1903 the Königliche Gärtnerlehranstalt (Royal Gardeners’ Training School) was established at the site, which since 2008 has been home to garden designers Gabriella Pape and Isabelle Van Groeningen, who inspire with their traditional gardening approach.
During my visit, I immediately felt new ideas for my balcony herb garden begin to blossom, such is the inspiration offered by the Academie and its staff, who elevate the experience with their passion and expertise. Have you heard of heartleaf lettuce, for instance? It’s not just visually striking, but delicious too. Or perhaps the wild vine tomato, whose mini fruits amaze with their intense aromas. And if you don’t want to buy the species, the place is wonderful for the senses and the soul. A must for me: a slice of Black Forest gateau from the onsite café enjoyed in the shade of ancient trees.