Arenenberg has always been surrounded by many different gardens. Today’s garden realm permits a journey through the various garden trends of the last 600 years within a relatively small area.
The historic gardens
When Hortense de Beauharnais, the former «First Lady» of France, first came to Arenenberg in 1816, she immediately fell in love with the grounds and their romantic views of the Lower Lake. She decided to acquire the manor with its palace, gardens, and farm. But she was probably not aware that the expansive park can trace its roots all the way back to the Middle Ages, a time that was remote for her as well. Unfortunately, we don’t know yet enough of the ideas and ties of the owners in that distant time. But the existing vestiges clearly point in the direction of Italy and France during the Renaissance. Hortense, at any rate, laid the cornerstone for a fantastic landscaped garden with numerous structures and installations such as grottos, a hermitage, an ice house, and a fountain. Later, her son Louis Napoléon became responsible for the planning while his friend Prince Pückler had a say as well. Then followed a time during which the landscaped park was overgrown and buried. It was rediscovered only in the 2000s when extensive archaeological excavations were carried out and old site plans consulted. Thanks to the Napoleon III Foundation and with the support of sponsors, it was possible to reconstruct the park in 2007/2008.
The school gardens
Farmers have been trained and educated at Arenenberg for more than 100 years now. The school is operated by the Cantonal Educational and Career Counseling Center. Its instructors convey their knowledge and expertise ranging from agriculture to orcharding, from viticulture all the way to cultivating produce and vegetables to the next generation of farmers and course participants. Today, the school’s instructional gardens are open to visitors who would like to be inspired by the flower beds full of perennials and summer flowers to help them design their own gardens and learn interesting facts about crop rotation, beekeeping, and raising chicken.