Spring 2023, professional study tour to Germany

ELCA Committee of Firms visits Mannheim and Heidelberg

Twice a year the members of the Committee of Firms (CoF) make a professional study tour to one of the member associations of ELCA. In spring 2023 the professional tour was kindly hosted by our German colleagues who took the Bundesgartenshau in Mannheim as a good occasion to meet gareners and landscapers from all over Europe and of the associate ELCA-members of Canada, Japan and Switzerland. They could enjoy wonderful and different kind of projects. During this excellent two day tour, there was a lot to be inspired of and to exchange. ‘Es war sehr schön!’


Mannheim: BUGA

The Bundesgartenschau (BUGA) has a high reputation in Germany. This is the place to be if you want to see the latest developments in horticulture and to get inspired for your own garden. A must see if you are a designer, gardener or landscaper. This year the BUGA has two locations in Mannheim. The first one, that the Committee of Firms visited, was at the Spinelli area. On this former military site of 80 hectares, there will be a new residential area be developed. But first we can enjoy a large presentation of gardens and exhibitions. By walking through the park we see amongst others an experimental area where climate, environment, energy and food security are central themes. It is interesting to see how greenery can be applied to solve challenges connected to heavy rainfall, drought and high temperatures.




The beautifu arrangmnts of flowers, shrubs and trees catch the eyes. It is surprising to see how strong combinations of several plants can be to make a powerful appearance of the garden. We also see young gardeners working at their assignment of the Skills Competition. With their enthusiasm they present their profession and attract youngsters to consider their future in our beautiful branch. Transported by the cable car we make the transfer to the Luisenpark. In 1975 the BUGA was organized here. Nowadays the park measures 20 hectares. We see greenery in a more mature setting with trees of about 150 years old. Also in this park there are a lot of beautiful arrangements with colourful plants to admire while we are walking through an English landscape style park.



Heidelberg: monumental and modern greenery

On the second day of our excursion we go to Heidelberg. Our first destination is the Hermannshof, that was acquired by Hermann-Ernst Freudenberg in 1881. Since then the family has worked on a large collection of rare woody plants. The Hermannshof works scientifically and experimentally on the development of modern plant use. The mild viticultural climate enables the cultivation of a large plant diversity of over 2500 partly perennial species and varieties. If you want to get amazed about the abundant flowering and colours in different kind of arrangements, the Hermannshof is highly recommended. At the Hubben location we learn everything about new trends in tree nursering. The company was founded in 1905 and in the meantime the 4th generation is in charge. Hubben cultivates a wide range of trees, shrubs, roses and perennials. We get a very interesting excursion were we see modern nursering techniques and are informed about the changing demand in greenery that is not only for decoration anymore. Greenery to impress was what we saw on the next destination of our visit. The beautiful park of the Schwetzingen Palace. Carl Theodor gave in 1752 the assignment to create a garden here that consists of a formal French garden and an park in English landscape style. Surprises are here in every corner. Beautiful statues of mythological figures, the temple of Apollo and a luxurious bath house will pass your way by wandering through the park. After the historical green, we visit modern green in Bahnstadt Heidelberg. This is a completely new, not finished yet, residential area on a former freight and marshalling yard and on former US army land in the southwest of the Heidelberg’s city centre. A very enthusiastic guide, who also lives in this districts, shows us all the interesting places and tells us how it is to live here.    


We conclude an excellent and very interesting professional tour in Mannheim and Heidelberg. With a lot of inspiration and things to talk about at home. Thank you very much to our German colleagues for this wonderful experience and all the good work done in the preparation of and during this excursion. 


The next excursion will be from September 17th till 23rd 2023 in Vancouver, kindly hosted by our Canadian colleagues of CNLA. Scan for more information and to register the QR-code.






All pictures taken by Lutze von Wurmb