• Prof. Karl E. Schönthaler

    Prof. Karl E. Schönthaler

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    Prof. Karl E. Schönthaler has been involved with "lawns" since 1967 (so for almost 50 years), primarily from a scientific perspective but always with a strong practical focus. From 1964 to 2007, Prof. Schönthaler worked in the field of landscape planning, with a focus on lawn research, at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna. In this time, he addressed everything from home gardens to public green spaces, street & motorway embankments, sports pitches, golf courses and green roofs. Prof. Schönthaler was a lecturer on greenkeeping (golf course maintenance) for 25 years and also worked as an expert witness for 35 years.

    When I hear the word garden I think of … paradise
    Growing in my garden you’ll find ... many different things – also many "weeds"
    My favourite season is ... any season but winter (I don't have to deal with it these days as I live near the equator from October to April)
    My favourite childhood garden memory is … the neighbour‘s cherries
    My favourite garden memory/moment is … the kind of apricots you can't find anymore
    For me, gardening is … the best form of relaxation
    The best and worst animals in my garden are … fish and hummingbirds; ants that can strip a whole shrub bare in one night
    My favourite and least favourite garden plants are … passion fruit; a few extremely rampant and prickly euphorbia
    If I had one garden-related wish it would be … I don't have one, I'm perfectly happy in this area
    Wild or precise to the millimetre? (How natural or manicured is your ideal garden?) Natural…but with vibrant diversity...but not wilderness
    Does the house go with the garden or the garden with the house? Harmony is the measure of all things
    The most beautiful garden is … a place where residents, house and garden are one
    Who has the best garden? I have seen many stunning, English perennial gardens
    I most look forward to … the fruits of the garden
  • Andrea Heistinger

    Andrea Heistinger

    Profile

    Andrea Heistinger writes books and columns on organic gardening and also advises individuals, companies and public entities in this area. Her career as a freelance agronomist has its roots in her past: she grew up between her grandparents’ farm in the countryside and her parent’s apartment in the city. For several years now, Andrea Heistinger has been living with her family in Schiltern (Lower Austria). When writing her books, she works closely with the gardeners from Arche Noah, an association for the preservation of crop diversity. Gathering practical knowledge about organic gardening and self-sufficient gardens lies at the heart of her efforts. Her education forms an important basis for her work: the diverse study of agriculture at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Vienna), training as a systemic counsellor and many informative encounters with people who have been gardening for many decades.

    When I hear the word garden I think of … self-sufficiency, open space, a place of retreat, colourful life, the twittering of birds and the chirping of crickets
    Growing in my garden you’ll find ... lots of things to eat
    My favourite season is ... autumn – the harvest season
    My favourite childhood garden memory is … snacking on strawberries in my grandmother's garden in the Salzkammergut region
    My favourite garden memory/moment is … the European green lizard, which still crosses my path today
    For me, gardening is … mostly relaxing, rarely strenuous and always a welcome distraction from sitting in front of my computer.
    The best and worst animals in my garden are … our chickens and the rare praying mantis; the chickens when they get into our vegetable garden
    My favourite and least favourite garden plants are … peonies; couch-grass
    If I had one garden-related wish it would be … enough rain and a greenhouse
    Wild or precise to the millimetre? (How natural or manicured is your ideal garden?) Order and chaos both belong in a garden
    Does the house go with the garden or the garden with the house? For us, the garden goes with the house – it's an expansion of the living room
    The most beautiful garden is … the Arche Noah visitors' garden in Schiltern, Lower Austria
    Who has the best garden? The Arche Noah association in Schiltern, Lower Austria
    I most look forward to … the rain that marks the beginning of spring
  • Baron Robert von Süsskind

    Baron Robert von Süsskind

    Profile

    In 1978, Baron Robert Freiherr von Süsskind became the 7th generation to take over Dennenlohe Castle (near Nuremberg, Germany). He discovered his love of "gardening" almost 20 years ago and has worked on the development of the Rhododendron Park almost every day since 1990. From 2004, he directed the design of the new Landscape Garden at Dennenlohe Castle, which became a reality in July 2006. The garden is now open for visitors every day from April to the end of October between 10 am and 7 pm and also provides a magical backdrop for various events. Baron von Süsskind personally guides groups through the garden. He is also interested in the field of ecological cultivation without the use of fertilizers.

    When I hear the word garden I think of … life in constant transition, new experiences, new plants, new ideas
    Growing in my garden you’ll find ... everything – but it often takes years before it's the way I want it
    My favourite season is ... spring
    My favourite childhood garden memory is … running through fully grown asparagus beds and feeling the delicate leaves brushing past my face
    My favourite garden memory/moment is … the completion of my Persian garden and the continual development of the castle gardens.
    For me, gardening is … relaxation – having my hands in the soil "grounds" me
    The best and worst animals in my garden are … lizards; voles
    My favourite and least favourite garden plants are … rhododendrons; ground elder
    If I had one garden-related wish it would be … Dennenlohe Castle in 20 years
    Wild or precise to the millimetre? (How natural or manicured is your ideal garden?) A garden should offer both – the contrast is what makes it exciting
    Does the house go with the garden or the garden with the house? The house with the garden
    The most beautiful garden is … in full, ever-changing bloom yet easy to maintain
    Who has the best garden? I think my garden is the most beautiful but there are lots of fantastic gardens
    I most look forward to … the emergence of a new garden – when a new area of the Landscape Garden at Dennenlohe Castle starts to take shape, slowly grows and finally comes into being
  • Caroline Géneau

    Caroline Géneau

    Profile

    Passionate about gardens and gardening since childhood, I gained my first experience at the age of five with my grandparents, encouraged by little competitions to see who could pick the first radish or collect the first lily of the valley! Then a great period of English gardens began, as I searched for perennials in the nurseries to create my parents' garden.

    My studies maintained my passion as I gained a Master's degree in plant and animal biology and ecology. This was followed by a diploma in horticultural science and a number of very productive years of study at the Royal Gardens at Versailles. My desire to share my knowledge and my discoveries naturally led me to teaching horticulture and then to journalism: I spent 26 years on the editorial team of “Mon Jardin and Ma Maison” (“My Garden and My Home”; a very well accepted gardening magazine in France), heading up the team for 14 of those years. I also contributed to radio programmes, where I gave gardening advice. Moreover, I was a member of the jury at various flower and garden festivals. Since last summer, I have really wanted to "take off" and recharge my batteries by spending time at the coast and in the countryside, which means that I am now in a position to offer my services and share my expertise and passion.

    When I hear the word garden I think of … a space of freedom, creativity and humility
    Growing in my garden you’ll find ... all the plants that love the coast, the wind and the sea spray
    My favourite season is ... the spring, but the autumn comes a close second
    My favourite childhood garden memory is … picking new radishes and carrots from my first vegetable garden (at the age of five)
    My favourite garden memory/moment is … the results of my planting
    For me, gardening is … being in harmony with nature
    The best and worst animals in my garden are … the birds for their "company" during my gardening work. The biggest nuisance: the slugs and snails
    My favourite and least favourite garden plants are … the most useful are the aromatic plants (thyme, mint) and I am lucky not to have any invasive plants. And those that aren't happy in my garden aren't encouraged to stay (I am thinking about those plants that are permanently thirsty – I water them very sparingly and too bad if they don't adapt)
    If I had one garden-related wish it would be … creating a "natural" pond
    Wild or precise to the millimetre? (How natural or manicured is your ideal garden?) If the plants are allowed to run wild, it is no longer a garden but a nature reserve! I concentrate on the size of the shrubs which determine the structure and design of the fruit and vegetable garden. And of course I mow the grass to give an overall neat look to the garden. And the borders are well kept to highlight the hardy perennials. For me, the order gives the garden a feeling of calm
    Does the house go with the garden or the garden with the house? The garden is the backdrop to the house to which it belongs
    The most beautiful garden is … where you can feel good in every season
    Who has the best garden? where you're happy
    I most look forward to … the plants that faithfully return year after year
  • Manfred Putz

    Manfred Putz

    Profile

    For many years, Manfred Putz has been the managing director of the Tiroler Obst- und Gartenbauvereine (Tyrolean fruit-growers and gardening associations) and the Tiroler Baumwärter (Tyrolean tree wardens), as well as the editor in chief of the specialist journal "Grünes Tirol" (Green Tirol). Supporting the 106 fruit-growers and gardening associations in Tyrol (Austria) is a subject close to his heart. His areas of expertise are garden & green space design, trade in plants, tree warden training and consulting for home gardens & allotments. Manfred Putz is also a court-certified expert in neighbourhood planning involving trees and scrubs on property lines.

    When I hear the word garden I think of … relaxation and tranquillity
    Growing in my garden you’ll find ... roses, peonies, delphiniums, berry bushes, ornamental shrubs and a fruit tree
    My favourite season is ... spring
    My favourite childhood garden memory is … helping my father with the gardening
    My favourite garden memory/moment is … gardening with my father
    For me, gardening is … a hobby
    The best and worst animals in my garden are … birds; stray cats
    My favourite and least favourite garden plants are … roses; ground elder
    If I had one garden-related wish it would be … a nice swimming pond
    Wild or precise to the millimetre? (How natural or manicured is your ideal garden?) My garden can have a wild corner but generally I love order
    Does the house go with the garden or the garden with the house? The garden with the house
    The most beautiful garden is … your own
    Who has the best garden? Difficult to say – there are so many beautiful gardens
    I most look forward to … Tag der offenen Gartentür (Open Garden Day) in Tyrol in 2015

Our VIKING garden experts regularly provide valuable tips and tricks on different topics for you and your garden. Enjoy new posts every two to three weeks in this category and check out our category VIKING garden basics for basic tips on lawn care, tilling and processing of lawn cuttings and shredding material.