This weekend discover hidden gems of garden art in Czechia

Open Gardens Weekend sees 250 gardens from across the country open to visitors. Here's where to go in Prague and beyond.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 10.06.2023 07:42:00 (updated on 27.09.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

The Open Gardens Weekend is set to enchant garden enthusiasts and nature lovers across the Czech Republic this weekend, June 10-11.

Organized by The Park Guide in collaboration with the Society for Garden and Landscape Design and the National Institute of Monuments, this year marks the 13th edition of the event.

Originating in the United Kingdom in 1998 as the Open Garden & Squares Weekend, the tradition of opening gardens to the public has gained momentum and popularity across Europe. In 2010, the Czech Republic joined the movement, with three gardens initially participating under the auspices of the National Heritage Institute. Since then, the number of gardens welcoming visitors has steadily grown.

The Open Gardens Weekend offers access to normally inaccessible gardens while showcasing the beauty of garden art and architecture. In addition to private gardens, public parks, and other green spaces, the event includes guided tours and cultural programs to enhance visitors' understanding and appreciation of these hidden treasures.

"We want to increase people's awareness and knowledge of garden art, garden architecture, parks, gardens, and public spaces, and bring them an enriching experience," said the organizers in a news release.

The event welcomes a diverse range of gardens and parks, encouraging participation from both public and private entities, and features gardens with ecological design, unconventional designs, dendrological collections, and gardens with historical significance, or intriguing stories.

Participating green spaces encompass a wide spectrum, including castle gardens, public parks, squares, historical cemeteries, monasteries, arboretums, botanical gardens, community gardens, flower farms, orchards, and even artists' gardens.

In Prague, check out photographer Josef Sudek's garden or Botanical Garden of the Faculty of Tropical Agriculture, ČZU in Prague, one of the largest collections of tropical and subtropical plants in Czechia. The Healing Garden of St. Joseph at the Hospital of the Sisters of Mercy of St. Karel Boromejský in Prague is a new addition to the event.

While the name "Open Gardens Weekend" may suggest free admission, it follows the tradition of England. In the Czech Republic, where accessible gardens are relatively limited, the event strives to offer an extraordinary program through guided tours, concerts, and theater performances. Consequently, entrance fees, when applicable, help cover the costs of these supplementary activities.

Over 250 gardens from across the country will participate in this year's Open Gardens Weekend. Visitors can look forward to exploring renowned locations such as Května and Podzámecká gardens in Kroměříž, the herb garden of the Kuks hospital, and Villa Stiassni in Brno.

Noteworthy additions include the Thematic Gardens - Nature's Labyrinth and Garden Paradise at the Academic Garden of the Mendel University in Lednice, as well as the newly opened Healing Garden of St. Joseph at the Hospital of the Sisters of Mercy of St. Karel Boromejský in Prague.

Demonstration gardens by Přírodní zahrady, will showcase ecological gardening methods, allowing visitors to learn from their expertise in garden care. The Kraffer's garden in Jindřichov Hradec is set to be a highlight this year, while the Kokoza association's community gardens offer a wealth of inspiration for gardening enthusiasts.

Other notable attractions include the Herb Garden in Valtice, various arboretums, and gardens affiliated with monasteries and parishes.

With a rich program awaiting visitors at all registered gardens, the Open Gardens Weekend promises a remarkable journey through the wonders of garden art. Don't miss the opportunity to explore these hidden gems and witness the beauty of nature in a whole new light.

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