Nutzpflanzen in historischen Gärten


… to the world of historic kitchen gardens and orchards and their cultivation.

Once ubiquitous but now largely forgotten, kitchen gardens of considerable size used to provide the vegetables, fruit, and herbs needed for the kitchens, confectionaries and pharmacies of elite households or monasteries. Today these gardens often take a back seat to the care of the more glamorous features of historic gardens.
The Küchengarten Netzwerk (Kitchen Garden Network) strives to preserve our knowledge of these gardens and their practices and to draw attention to the cultivation of food in historic gardens. At the same time we can raise awareness of how essential kitchen gardens once were for the self-sufficiency of households and as a sign of distinction among the well-off.

A closer look at the kitchen gardens of former times often reveals specific combinations of useful and aesthetic features. One finds an enchanting variety of vegetables and fruit, arranged in a particular order, cultivated according to traditional methods, or guided by ecological knowledge (Küchen- und Obstgärten / Orchards and Kitchen Gardens und Schau- und Sortengärten / Display and Specialty Gardens).

Unfortunately only a few historic kitchen gardens and orchards have survived. Thus the Kitchen Garden Network is keen to identify, research and provide information on such gardens, including those that have been reduced to a few remains or are only known through archival documentation. We also draw attention to museums dedicated to the history of gardening and the cultivation of vegetables, fruit, and herbs (Museen / Museums).

The German Kitchen Garden Network is an informal group of experts in fields ranging from historic research, implementation of historic gardening crafts, and management and conservation of historic kitchen gardens. The group strives for the reintroduction and cultivation of historic varieties of vegetables, fruit, herbs and other crops (see our Nutzpflanzenporträts / Portraits of Useful Plants).
Wherever an old kitchen garden or orchard has been restored, it becomes an inspiration for others and serves educational goals. In addition to their value as specialized scientific collections of plant varieties, these gardens are perfect places for the general public to become acquainted with and enjoy the wealth of old cultivars.

Our website reports on activities concerning kitchen gardens, orchards or old varieties of plants for food (Veranstaltungen und Ausstellungen / Events and Exhibitions).

If you happen to know of an old kitchen garden or orchard that is not mentioned on our map, please provide us with some information about it. As a small group we appreciate any kind of support that adds to our knowledge of historic garden crops and the places designed for growing them.



Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Schleswig-Holstein LandschaftsArchitektur FRANZ Bayerische Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen