The Kagran School Gardens

Flower beds in front of and behind a wooden fence

The Kagran School Gardens, located around the Vocational School for Horticulture and Floristry, are part of the horticultural gardens of Vienna's Municipal Department Parks and Gardens (MA 42). They serve as a training facility for apprentice gardeners and provide plants and teaching aids for prospective gardeners or florists.

History

The former school building was completed in 1912, though it was originally used for storing plants during the winter. It was not until 1928 that additional ceilings and walls were inserted to convert the building into the Vocational School for Gardeners in Kagran. The School Gardens were refurbished and modernised in the 1960's after responsibility had been transferred to the Municipal Department Parks and Gardens. The forecourt with its ornate floor design and sundial, the rose garden, a pergola featuring a mosaic designed by Maître Leherb and other novelties were introduced. Further changes were made in 1977, and the seven-hectare premises had to be reduced by one hectare to make way for a new underground line.

Polytunnel number five was set up as a practise area for trainee gardeners in 2000. In the same year, construction works started on a new, modern school building on site. It was opened in 2002, ending a 74 year-old provisional solution and finally providing optimum training conditions for the students. In 2003 the Austrian Museum of Gardening was established in the former school building. Since 2005 the orangery has also accommodated the offices of the Austrian Society of Horticulture and the City of Vienna Plant Protection Service.

Structure and size

The Kagran School Gardens have specialised departments for:

  • tree nursery
  • ornamental plant cultivation in greenhouses
  • vegetable gardening
  • cultivation of herbaceous plants and flowers for cutting on open land
  • landscaping and garden architecture

On a total area of six hectares the premises feature 2,250 square metres of greenhouse area and five polytunnels covering a surface of 1,800 square metres. Irrigation is performed manually and automatically using water from the public water supply and a local well. Currently the facility is tended by about 40 permanent employees who are supported by seasonal staff during the summer months. Moreover about 25 in-house apprentices are trained at the School Gardens. In total, the Municipal Department Parks and Gardens has about 80 permanent apprenticeship places.

Plant cultivation

In almost all parts of the facility, students can observe and tend plants throughout their entire life cycle, from sowing to the final product. Over 3,200 different plant varieties are currently cultivated in greenhouses and on open land, and are thus continuously available for training and practise.

Opening hours

On open days from April to October everyone is free to walk in and explore the Kagran School Gardens. They are open to the public on the first Thursday of every month from 10am to 6pm You can experience the four seasons on a self-guided walk or guided tour of the gardens. Special tours at other times can be arranged for groups of ten or more upon prior arrangement by phone.

Highlights

The Wedding Pavilion

Since 1999 our visitors can admire a pavilion set up for the 1873 World Exhibition in Vienna. It combines original parts and newly made wooden elements, giving an impression of what the pavilion must have looked like when it was first on display. The pavilion is a picturesque backdrop for wedding photos - please contact us in advance.

Another highlight can be found in the rose garden: a mosaic dating from 1960, designed by Maître Leherb in his early years.

The Greek Garden (since 1999)

This theme garden was designed to resemble a typical village green in the Greek countryside. Just sit down on the blue chairs under a roof of palm leaves, relax and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The "Franz-Karl-Effenberg" Garden of Asia (since 2000)

This garden with Asian elements allows trainee gardeners and visitors to appreciate the beauty and variety of the East Asian flora with key plants like the Japanese maple or bamboo. The bubble stone, waterfall and a stone lantern round off the picture. The pergola invites to stay and look at the bonsai trees.

The Herb Spiral (since 1997)

Herbal plants are cultivated in spiral beds arranged according to different criteria, like their region of origin, the amount of humidity they require, their features or purpose of use. The herb spiral presented here was designed to show as broad a range as possible of medicinal, scented and aromatic herbs.

The Pannonian Farm Garden (since 2000)

This theme garden shows the traditional form of a farm garden in the East of Austria, with its typical lattice fence and the neat subdivision into individual beds. It is a colourful mix of annual and perennial plants and a variety of useful plants, such as herbs, vegetables, berry bushes.

The Claude Monet Garden of Impressionism (since 2002)

The central element of this garden is the turquoise bridge gently curving over the pond with water lilies. It was modelled on Claude Monet's garden in Giverny (France) and allows you to study the different water lily varieties Monet grew in his garden and painted in so many of his works.

The Ginkgo Goethe Garden (since 2003)

With its network of paths and seats in the middle, this garden lets you enjoy the 13 different Gingko varieties, but also many perennials and summer flowers grown by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in his own garden in Weimar (Germany) or mentioned in his poems. Take time to read the information boards on the lawn, and learn interesting facts on the primeval Ginkgo plant and its special role in Goethe's life. Many elements of this garden were inspired by the artist's Weimar garden - from the white Classicist entrance gate to the ornamental benches, the mosaic floor and the "Stone of Good Fortune", which is made of metal in this case.

The Styrian Berry Garden (since 2004)

Come and find out how to tend 15 different kinds of berry bushes, and get to know famous gardeners from the Austrian Province of Styria, who are introduced on the information boards at the centre of the Berry Garden. You will be surprised to learn that, strictly speaking, not everything we commonly call a berry actually belongs to this category.

The Shakespeare Garden (since 2005)

This part of the Kagran School Gardens is dedicated to the famous playwright William Shakespeare. The Shakespeare Garden displays selected quotes from Shakespeare's works right next to the corresponding plants.

Contact for this page:
Parks and Gardens (Municipal Department 42)
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