Open Garden – a peaceful oasis amid the bustling city
Open Garden is open to the public most days and offers various leisure and educational opportunities. Photo credit: Casadei Graphics
Brno, Jun 11 (BD) – Do you wish there were a little more greenery in city life?
Whether you’re planning a wedding, need help organising a company meeting or team building event, want to learn more about ecology and environmental sciences, or just want to take a stroll in a beautiful natural environment, Open Garden is an excellent choice.
Located at the base of Špilberk Park just west of the historic city centre of Brno, Opens Garden, run by the Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation (CEPF, or Nadace Partnerství in Czech), combines lush vegetation, domestic animals, birds, educational opportunities and modern facilities which allow large groups of people to enjoy it all.
Event Manager Markéta Venyšová told Brno Daily that Open Garden has already been booked for 14 weddings this summer. Photo credit: Casadei Graphics
Open Garden is in fact two distinct gardens: the Playful Garden (also known as the ‘Learning Garden’) and the Borromean Garden.
The Learning Garden includes a set of 12 stations which are divided into four areas according to the natural ‘elements’ they feature (sun/light, water, earth and air/wind). Budding environmental scientists can try their hand at managing water flow, reflecting light, or experiencing the power of wind.
Groups of children as young as four years old have been accommodated, and there are even educational opportunities available for older students and adults, for example workshops on making organic products from the many herbs that grow on the premises.
A group of university students visiting from the Netherlands came to Open Garden to study water management on Wednesday. Photo credit: Casadei Graphics
In one corner of the Learning Garden stands the Passive House, so named because it uses sustainable energy produced by the solar panels and mini-wind turbines on site. There are also three rooms in the Passive House – a small meeting room, a large meeting room, and an even larger conference hall – that are equipped with modern audiovisual equipment and available for rent by the public for professional, educational and social events.
Open Garden’s rabbits are perfectly safe, and are kept in cages for their own protection, not that of the visitors. Photo credit: Casadei Graphics
The Borromean Garden was a later addition to the complex and includes a small shrine to Saint Mary of Nazareth (where wedding ceremonies are often held), a small apiary (bee yard), public garden plots, domestic animals, barbecue and dining areas, and an open-air kitchen.
“It’s called Borromean Garden… because [the Borromean Sisters] rent this garden to us for one crown per year,” explained Open Garden Event Manager Markéta Venyšová. “It used to be their garden, but they didn’t have time to take care of it.”
It is now operated by the CEPF and is very popular with the public.
“There are bees, herbs, fruit, vegetables, and you can rent your own small garden… if you, for example, live in a ‘panel house’, and then you can come here to water it and take care of your future harvest,” Venyšová added.
Those who rent garden plots can dry their herbs in Open Garden’s herb dryer. Photo credit: Casadei Graphics
You can check their website, part of which is available in English, for more information on educational, corporate and social event possibilities available at Open Garden. You can also check their event calendar (in Czech) to see the guided tours, courses, workshops, wine tastings, and children’s events that are coming soon.
The main entrance of Open Garden is located at 33 Údolní Street, but it can also be accessed from a pathway in Špilberk Park. Hours vary depending on the day, season, and whether or not the grounds have been booked for a private event, so it is recommended that you check their website or Facebook page before planning a visit.
Open Garden is a non-profit organisation, and while there is no set entrance fee, a small donation on entry is appreciated.
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