City Garden of Happiness

“This is a garden that just makes you happy. It’s very romantic, you are alone and still in the middle of the city center”, says landscape architect Klaus Klein about his green home. Composition of tall trees, spreading rhododendrons and hydrangeas, ferns and a smooth light, presents the property more like a small park – despite its manageable size. No paved path runs through the green; trees and shrubs are the actors and are allowed to act on their own.

The garden is part of a large inner courtyard within an urban block in the middle of Duesseldorf. Earlier, there used to be old thujas and stunted roses. For many years, Klaus Klein removed some of those trees and shrubs and planted them in other places in order to define the views or to cover them up and therefor create a possible privacy for himself. The solid rectangular shape of the property was broken up and replaced by curved lines. by choosing new plants for the garden, the landscape architect very deliberately concentrated on a few species that fit the partially shaded location, which shapes the character of the garden today; it is this clarity and simplicity that exhale a pleasant calm into the garden. Green and White; a color combination that contributes to the relaxed atmosphere. The white flowers of the rhododendrons (Rhododendron) such as ‘Cunningham’s White’ or the hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) such as ‘Lanarth White’ and the panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) ‘Limelight’ carry the light into the shady and partially shaded areas.

The landscape architect has planted a special tree (Koelreuteria paniculata) in the garden as a main emphasis, which also offers privacy to the neighbors. Klaus Klein brought it as a seed from Botanic Kew Garden in London, cultivated in a pot for a while and then planted in his garden. The tree only grows to 10 meters high and it is also one of the few trees that bloom in summer. The symphony of trees, shrubs and flowers in this garden has created an atmosphere, which invites you to relax and linger, but also to celebrate garden parties. “My garden is a product of constant attention and care. But it achieves the greatest effect in the pure meditative contemplation throughout the days and seasons, which includes the sky, fog, rain and snow in winter. All of this in a small place in the middle of a big city”, summarizes Klaus Klein.

Project location: Duesseldorf, Germany

Design year: 2004

Year Built: 2004-2015


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