Sunday morning in the Britzer Garten, Berlin

Berlin has so many wonderful green spaces, from the Tiergarten in the heart of the city to the forests that occupy the edges though very much within the city limits, so perhaps it is not so surprising that it took me the best part of ten years to find my way south of the Ringbahn to the district of Neukölln and the Britzer Garten. The garden was created for the Federal Flower Show in 1985, and although it still charges a small admission, it is clearly used by Berliners from this corner of the city as their local park. Indeed, as we were trying to find our way from the bus stop to the entrance, an old lady guided us expertly whilst telling us that this was already the 32nd time she had visited this year. I guess at that rate, the season ticket pays for itself.

Now normally I am not a massive fan of gardens, preferring my green spaces to be a little wilder and rough around the edges, but with the trees offering up a riot of autumnal colours whilst the flowers remained in bloom, it was certainly a spectacular scene. We shared the space with old couples strolling, families and friends, the joggers weaving their way throughout the scene, all enjoying the unseasonal warmth when the sun came out and took the edge off the rapid drop in temperature we experienced last week.

Elsewhere in the park kite flyers were launching their charges into the sky as part of a Dragon Festival, but we were simply happy to wander along the meandering paths, pausing for a while by the lake or in the gardens themselves, the kids playing hide and seek in the Witches Garden whilst we caught up with friends we have not seen for far too long. Maybe the Britzer Garten is too landscaped, too perfectly sculptured for my tastes, but it was certainly a wonderful way to pass an autumn’s Sunday morning.

Words: Paul Scraton
Pictures: Katrin Schönig

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