May is the month when Berliners traditionally can no longer stand the withered remains of last summer’s balcony plants, the broken bicycle and the cigarette butts from the New Year’s Eve dinner. Now’s the time to tidy up, but if you’re tired of paying too much money for too little choice in the usual plant shop, the market at Petzow’s Drei Kæhne cafe is highly recommended for finding some new greenery. Petzow is a small village directly behind Potsdam and is a jewel of Prussian architecture, with a palace, gardens and plenty of designs from Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The gardens were restored after the war when the entrepreneur Klaus Kosakowski gradually bought up and joined parts of the original palace grounds before reconstructing them under the direction of two garden architects. It has since been open to the public for guided tours and really is a paradise. The heart of the site is the vegetable garden, which not only produces vegetable boxes for residents, but caters for the Drei Kaehne cafe, which occupies the old local school, and the Michelin star restaurant Alte Überfahrt in Werder.
The market this Sunday (14.05.2023) offers home-grown plants with something for every location: dry, wet, shady, bright or in between. For questions (do I need peaty soil or sand?) horticultural manager Jan Dirks is on hand to answer all your questions: What works where? How do I look after it? You’ll find everything, from shrubs and vegetables to opulent flowering plants and subtle greenery. There are annuals, perennials, winter hardy plants and varieties for allotments, terraces, bees, butterflies and the dinner plate. The smallest shoots start at 40 cents, and the selection includes old vegetable varieties, helping you support biodiversity and regional cultivation while (hopefully) growing something unusual for your dinner table. Oh, and if the thought of dinner is likely to make you hungry, you can stop off at the excellent cafe afterwards. Petzow: here we come.
Text: Hilka Dirks / Photos: Hilka Dirks & Schlossgarten Petzow
Schlossgarten Petzow, Zelterstr.4 C, 14542 Werder (Havel), Petzow; map
May-October Fri 13-18h, Sat & Sun 11-18h. Plant market in the cafe garden, 14.05.2023 13-18h.
The garden is open to the public for guided tours and events. You can book tickets here. The Drei Kæhne cafe is located in the old school next to the garden.