Location of the initiative:
Belgium (Wallonia), Croatia, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland
Relation to Strategy 21 Recommendations:
Time span of the initiative:
1-2-3 June: same date, same visual, same theme “The Europe of gardens”
Brief description of the initiative:
In a similar vein to the Heritage Days, this European Garden Event has been held during the first weekend in June every year since 2003. It brings together 2,000 parks and gardens which all open their gates to the public and propose various activities, in some cases gardens not usually open to visitors. Since 2005 a new theme has been chosen every year.
The aim of the event is to give the general public an opportunity to discover parks and gardens old and new, urban and rural, throughout the land. One of the open days is reserved specially for schools.
The event is also an opportunity to address issues of biodiversity, sustainable development and phytogenic resources. In addition, it highlights the action taken by the Ministry of Culture and by public and private owners to promote parks and gardens. It has the support of the media (press, television, radio) and financial partners.
A new theme each year
- 2005: gardeners
- 2006: gardens and perfumes
- 2007: water, a living symbol of the garden
- 2008: the journey of plants
- 2009: land, terrain, territory
- 2010: gardeners and their tools
- 2011: the garden as a source of nourishment
- 2012: the garden in pictures
- 2013: the garden and its creators
- 2014: children in the garden
- 2015: a stroll in the garden
- 2016: colours of the garden
- 2017: sharing the garden
A technical day on the theme “Rendezvous in the gardens” is organised every January to prepare the partners for the theme of the year. The resulting report is posted online by the Ministry of Culture.
Objectives of the initiative:
- acquisition of knowledge, skills, knowhow and techniques
- transnational promotion of this sector of activity to strengthen European and pan-European co-operation on parks and gardens
- fuelling public interest in biodiversity, especially among children and schoolchildren
Brief assessment of the initiative’s results:
In 2017 the theme “sharing the garden” was a great success, with 2,309 gardens participating.
Almost 500 gardens opened their gates on an exceptional basis and over 3,500 activities delighted young and old alike, including 200 gardening skills demonstration workshops, exhibitions, lectures, readings, concerts, shows, etc.
The gardens attracted almost 2 million visitors that weekend.
For the first time ever, more than 2,500 parks and gardens in 16 European countries –Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Monaco, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland – opened their gates during the first weekend in June and attracted 2 million visitors.
In France over 1.8 million visitors flocked to 2,200 parks and gardens, private or public, about 1,000 of which were open for the first time or as an exception. Among the 3,500 activities on offer, demonstrations of gardening skills, guided tours, lectures and workshops were organised with the assistance of keen amateur and professional guides. Landscaping specialists, gardeners, garden artists and garden owners, these “guides for a day” took pleasure in communicating their knowledge and skills, the time-old gestures, the means of preserving these fragile places.
This European event was a chance to present the art of gardening from different perspectives, such as the creation of gardens in the Italian, French or English styles. The numerous visitors were familiarised with the concept of the circulation of plants and the exchange of knowhow all over the continent. It was a special moment of exchange and discovery of the art of the garden, particularly for the younger visitors, as many gardens opened on the Friday and organised special activities for schoolchildren.
Examples of attendance in Europe’s gardens:
- Chateau de Beloeil, Beloeil: 450 visitors
- Roseraie communale de Chaumont-Gistoux (Municipal rose garden), Chaumont-Gistoux: 150 visitors
- Domaine de Freyr, Hastiere: 140 visitors
- Opatija public garden: 150 visitors
- Tartu Botanical Garden, Tartu: 850 visitors
- Landschaft Park, Degenershausen: 350 visitors
- Schlos Dyck, Juchen: 17,000 visitors
- Godollő Royal palace, Godollő: 2,500 visitors
- Joseph Karoly Park, Fehervarscurgo: 8,500 visitors
- Bordighera palm grove, Bordighera: 200 visitors
- Darbenai Japanese garden: 1,000 visitors
- Palanga Botanical Garden: 1,500 visitors
- Tour of the Saint-Martin gardens: 150 visitors
- ARTIS Royal Zoo, Amsterdam: 400 visitors
- De Heerenhof, Maastricht: 100 visitors
- Drrroomland, Rotterdam: 100 visitors
- Hortulus Spectabilis Gardens, Dobrzyca: 2,000 visitors
- Budatin historical park, Žilina: 200 visitors
- Volčji Arboretum, Potok: 500 visitors
- Laberint d’Horta park, Barcelona: 500 visitors
- Sion Prefecture gardens: 450 visitors
- Alpine botanical garden, Flore-Alpes, Orsieres: 120 visitors
HEREIN garden network, under the aegis of the Council of Europe: http://www.herein-system.eu/gardens
The event was awarded the European year of cultural heritage 2018 label: https://patrimoineeurope2018.culture.gouv.fr/Actualites-en-Europe/Rendez-vous-aux-Jardins-1er-2-et-3-juin-2018