The Garden Heritage Friends Association (GHFA)

The Garden Heritage Friends Association (GHFA) has set as its goal the development of the Botanical Orchard, which is situated at a beautiful location at the north of the inner city and at the foot of the Wartberg hill. The aim is to care for it and fill it with life. 

The members of the association, including interested citizens, vineyard growers, gardeners, members of the small allotments group, beekeepers and councillors, all support the efforts of the town council in developing this legacy from their city`s forefathers and continue the excellent garden traditions of the city.
In the framework of the developmental project “Regionen aktiv –Hohenlohe aktiv” (Active Regions – Active Hohenlohe) the Botanical Orchard and the GHFA have made a name for themselves, in that this small park has pushed itself to the centre of a rich programme of events and has become a successful venue for markets and garden events.
A subsequent research project “Nachhaltige Stadtparks” (Sustainable city parks) from 2005-2008 examined how the planting and sales of suitable perennial plants could maintain an economically feasible and sustainable contribution to the care of the Botanical Orchard. At the end of this project, the care of the whole park was taken over by the Dept of Parks and Open Spaces of the city of Heilbronn. The activities of the GHFA have since concentrated on a cooperation project with the Pestalozzi School, guided walks, courses and seminars and the greatest public attraction, the two markets in June and October.

More help is always needed, so become a member, helper and friend of the GHFA

The Garden

From the Boys` Occupational Institution to the Botanical Orchard.
To cope with increasing poverty and neglect, especially of children, which was a characteristic of the industrialisation, a group of dedicated Heilbronn citizens founded in 1850 a Poverty Help Association and in 1859 a Boys` Work Institution. The latter was renamed “Boys` Occupational Institution” in 1900 and this then moved onto the property of the present Botanical Orchard.
The institution had the following purpose: “To occupy (boys) during school-free time, to keep them from detrimental influences of society, to accustom them to useful activity, orderliness, cleanliness, obedience and good manners, as well as to give them an opportunity to earn a small income…”
The boys were kept occupied working in a nursery and a market garden for fruit, vegetables and ornamental plants and with simple trade work. Educational reform approaches such as those of the Swiss educationalist, Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827) or the school inspector, Zeller, who gave courses on new teaching methods in Heilbronn in 1809, formed the intellectual foundation of this work.
After the institution was closed in 1934, the property was taken over by the city`s fruit-growing estate and from 1965 it was used as a tree nursery. In 1998, enthused citizens again took initiative and succeeded within the same year with the passing of a resolution by the city council to set up an “ecologically-farmed garden area including arboretum, allotment garden plots, school and show gardens”

The GHFA was founded in 2000 with one of its goals being to support the city of Heilbronn with the setting up and care of its arbour collection and flower beds and to open up the garden to the public.


Markets 2013
The Garden, Art and Crafts Market 2013 will take place on Saturday 22 June and Sunday 23 June.
The Autumn Market 2013 will take place on Saturday 5 October and Sunday 6 October.

Sunday Culinary Garden 2013
A Sunday Culinary Garden is again planned for 2013. More information can be read on this site in spring.

Programme for 2013
The programme with all dates for 2013 will be available to download from February 2013.

The GHFA runs a floristry in the workshop building under the management of Helga Mühleck (see opening times). The florist, Kerstin Schäfer makes bouquets, wreaths, arrangements and decorations out of seasonally-available materials growing in the Botanical Orchard.
Floral products may be purchased during the shop opening hours or may be ordered for private occasions.

Pestalozzi Café
The Heilbronn Pestalozzi School has been running a café in the former fruit storehouse since 2009. Homemade cakes and coffee from the Hagen coffee house are for sale.

Garden Areas

Discover the individual areas of the Botanical Orchard.

Meadows bearing fruit trees characterise the south German landscape. These meadows are invaluable in providing a home for many protected plant and animal species.
A central goal of the Botanical Orchard is to promote the love and knowledge of fruit trees. Carefully chosen regional cultivars of fruit trees, berries and numerous ornamental plants should inspire visitors seeking ideas for plant choices in their own gardens.

Perennial Flower Beds
Perennial flower beds of varying designs are to be mostly found around the perimeter of the Botanical Orchard or in the Moorish Garden. These were designed by the landscape architects Helga Mühleck and Christine Orel and planted from 2005-2008. The aim was to plant, in an area divided into small plots, attractive plants which would be of floristic use for many years.

Light and Shade
A completely shady bed under large trees offers enough space to produce greenery of all shades and delicate flowers. Hostas, Bergenia, hellebores, Epimedium, lungwort, white autumn asters, white anemones and evergreen bushes play the main role here.
“The flower colours are mainly in a range of pastels which brings light into a shady situation.”

Romantic Play of Colour
In two symmetrical sunny flower beds, one next to a summer house from the Wilhelminian era and one in a shady bed behind this house, plants such as peonies, irises, tree mallows, Canterbury bells, lavender, beard tongue, crane`s bill, hostas and anemones weave together to make a “scented picture”.

Sun-loving Plants
In front of a hedge of indigenous shrubs is a long flower bed in direct sun. This is the perfect location for heat-loving perennials such as iris, sage, yarrow, anise hyssop, heleniums, orange coneflower, golden rod, asters and sedums.

Annual Summer Flowers
A 400m 2 area is used for the sowing and planting of annual summer flowers. The complete area is divided into strips for easier management, each being surrounded by bark-strewn paths. The strips are each planted with zinnias, snapdragons, garden cosmos, sunflowers and dahlias. The colours are bright and varied.

Cottage Garden
This area with its central circular flower bed and box hedges was planted at the beginning of the project by school pupils.
The perennial beds unintentionally display the species and colours typical of cottage gardens. Peonies, sedums, chrysanthemums, asters and fennel are planted here along with dahlias and other species in the border beds.

Birch Copse
A small, faded, pink, round temple from the Wilhelminian era lies in an oval lawn surrounded by red-leaved pillar beeches. Two very straight perennial areas lie next to each other here. Plants such as scented roses, peonies, lilies, white coneflowers, day lilies, asters, wild irises, St John`s wort, holly and red smoke trees have been chosen here. 

“The flower colours range from white to cream to yellow and as a bright contrast, blue, violet and dark red have been chosen.

Moorish Garden
The Moorish garden was the beginning and has remained the heart of the botanical orchard. This garden was already present at the beginning of the project and surrounds a pavilion in Wilhelminien style, built in 1877. In front of the pavilion is a long, water pool with fountains and on each side of this is a garden, the two being mirror-images of each other. The bordering hornbeam hedges are also original.

Leaf and Petal
This bed lies raised behind a restored, natural stone wall. The location ranges from sunny to shady. Plants such as begonias, Epimedium, hellebores and hydrangeas are noticeable, even when not in flower, because of their interesting leaves.
“The colours of the flowers range from white to pink, light blue and violet.”

Insect Garden
The whole botanical orchard is an inner city insect paradise as a result of the diversity of perennials and the species- rich meadows which are only mown in segments over time.
The medieval summer house serves as a beehive.

Hydrangea Bed
On the shady side of the former fruit storehouse, various hydrangeas, ferns, bluebells, hostas and yellow wax bells grow on a special substrate. The colour spectrum of these plants ranges from blue to varying shades of green and also white.


Summer House from the Late Medieval Ages
During the middle ages, nearly all cities were surrounded by a city wall with various gates for entry. Outside the wall was a moat (usually without water) and then an earth wall on which grass was grown. The gardens and agricultural areas lay outside these.
This small, former vineyard house, on permanent loan from the city of Schwäbisch Hall, stood only a few hundred metres from the Weller Gate. It is estimated to have been built in 1530, according to an analysis of paint remnants on the inner walls.
The former owners of this summer house were middle class tradesmen; bakers, master craftsmen and an animal trader.

The Biedermeier Summer House
1814: After the end of Napoleon`s reign, the middle class of Germany hoped for more freedom and political say. This did not come about. The disappointed citizens withdrew into their private domains. The building style of this summer house is late classical, this being a copy of the design language of antiquity. Only the door and the floor date from the 1920s. This octagonal stone summer house used to be in a garden in Güglingen at Stockheimerstr. 21. It was moved here in July 2000, after it was planned to build on the garden.

Summer House in Wilhelminian Style
1871: The German Empire was founded after the war against France. Wilhelm 1st of Prussia became the German emperor and Berlin became the capital. A nicely-planted ornamental garden with summer house became the status symbol of the bourgeoisie of the Wilhelminian era between 1870 and 1900.
This grand-coloured summer house used to be in a garden section at Pfühlstr. 69. When he built on this section, the furrier Ludwig Krimmer gave it to the cobbler Schäffner. The little house was rebuilt at the address “Am unteren Neckarsulmer Füßweg” (At the lower Neckarsulmer footpath).

Pavilion in Moorish Style
In the Wilhelminian era, between 1870 and 1900, it was popular to build in historical styles, that is, to follow old ideals. In this case, the pavilion is in the Moorish style. This was the building style of N. Africa and Spain between the 12th and 15th centuries.
This pavilion used to be in the garden of the house at Gymnasiumstr. 35, behind the Heilbronn synagogue. The permission for building was given in January 1877 and it was built by Wilhelm Scholl, a self-employed sales agent. It is likely that the tones of violins and cellos could have been heard here. Tea and cake would have been enjoyed. Certainly, there would have been no space here for spades and rakes.

Red Summer House
Heilbronn was a prosperous city at the beginning of the twentieth century. However, workers such as tradesmen, civil servants and clerks, were not well-off and were therefore dependent on produce from their own garden. A garden with arbour was especially a place of relaxation for those who lived in the narrow streets of the old city. This also suited the spirit of the time, when nudist colonies and the love of walking began and drove the people out to light, air and sunshine.
This pretty, red wooden arbour, apparently built at the beginning of the twentieth century, first stood in a garden area in the Schmollerstraße in Heilbronn. In the 1930s, the arbour was moved up the hill to the Cäcilianbrunnen Straße. The owners were the Bauer Brothers.

Octagonal Arbour
During the Wilheminian era, the garden was a status symbol for well-off citizens. It was an area for quiet and retreat. On lovely summer days, perhaps the ladies played bridge and the gentlemen smoked cigars after dinner.
This arbour was donated by the city of Schwabisch Hall and until ca 1990, it stood in the Langestraße 48. It was built in 1880 in the antique shape of the octagon. The many carved and decorative inlays, along with the sandstone steps, suggest that it stood in the garden of affluent citizens.

Allotment Garden Arbour
In the 1880s, more people moved to the cities as a result of the increasing industrialisation. The cities were becoming more densely built-up and around their outskirts, gardens and fruit farms sprang up to support the self-sufficiency of the people.
This arbour originated in Heilbronn-Böckingen, not far from the vocational school. Some of these small gardens still exist.
The colouring, in ochre yellow and English red, as well as the open veranda area, are typical for that time and show that more than just a garden shed was wanted.

DIY Arbour
Allotments became increasingly popular around the turn of the century. Even workers` associations founded allotment colonies. The users of these gardens had little money and therefore everything was designed as simply as possible and they often used second-hand materials to build the arbours.
This arbour originates from the Böckingen allotments next to the vocational school. According to an inscription on an inner wall it was built in 1911. This simple form of summer house was, in this instance, cleverly furnished with built-in cupboards, benches and unscrewable airing vents.

Small Temple
Around the turn of the twentieth century, it was still popular to build in historical styles. Examples of round, antique temples are commonly found in the gardens of villas of the bourgeoisie. This miniature production of a Greek temple was built around 1900 in the garden of the Heilbronner Wild family at Hallerstr.7. The health councillor, Dr Gustav Wild, was a co-founder of the Robert-Mayer-Museum for natural history in Heilbronn. In a very complicated building style, the unknown architect constructed four Ionic pillars with a circumferential architrave and dentil décor frieze.

Vineyard House
In the past, the work in the vineyards without machines was extremely tiring. Once one had walked up the hill, one stayed there to work for the whole day. Vineyard houses were built for resting, eating and sheltering from bad weather.
This small, wooden house stood on the Wartberg hill until 2005 and is typical of the Heilbronn vineyards for the time between 1890 and 1960. During this time, private wooden vineyard houses took over from the larger sandstone community houses provided by the city council. A small store of firewood and a lead bucket were kept in these houses and rainwater was collected from the roofs to be used for the spraying of pesticides.

The Seitz Arbour
This arbour originated in the garden belonging to Herr Seitz in the Kübelstraße. He donated it to the FGBH Association. It was in great need of renovation, as were all of the summer houses in the collection. At the moment the skeleton framework stands complete with a new roof. Herr Seitz plans to fill the framework with bricks, himself, in the coming weeks.

K. and K. Salt Arbour
This arbour has travelled a long way. The “K. and K. Salzlaube”, as the association likes to call it, originated in Bad Ischl and stood in the main garden belonging to the management of the Austrian saltworks. The South German Saltworks company supported the donation of the arbour to the Botanical orchard before the property was sold.