Other People’s Gardens No.1 – Wasserburg Anholt, Germany


This week, work took me to the border between Holland and Germany, and the magnificent Wasserburg Anholt in Isselburg. The castle, which appears to float in its expansive moat and is approached by drawbridge, is everything fairytales are made of. Partly destroyed at the end of the Second World War, the restoration took 30 years. It is still home to the the Prince of Salm-Salm and sits in a 42 hectare park designed in the English style. The restored Baroque gardens are a confection of parterres, rose gardens and long avenues of lime trees.

On this visit it was the water meadows that stole the show, packed with cranesbill (Geranium pratense), red campion (Silene dioica, yellow rattle (Rhinanthus minor) and ox eye daisies (Leuchanthemum vulgare), with cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium) coming up behind to continue the show. Mown paths guide visitors through these bucolic pastures, set about with generous clumps of mature trees. Capability Brown would have been very proud!



If I didn’t know better, I’d assume these meadows had been artificially planted, but the sheer diversity of flowers and grasses suggested otherwise. This quality of wet grassland can’t be achieved overnight, and will have taken a lot of careful maintenance. In the evening, grey herons and flitting swallows complete the verdant scene, and thousands of noisy frogs sing you to sleep from the moat below your room. Magical.

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3 thoughts on “Other People’s Gardens No.1 – Wasserburg Anholt, Germany

  1. Sir, impressed and thankful for your contribution/post on your site, my wife Anne and I would like to invite you to pay us a visit May or June next year (i.e. 2021). Our landscape park has received a facelift and new views and groves and beds have been implemented all over the area, restoring the old ideas of Edward Milner and Weyhe from the 19th century. Best Emanuel and Anne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Sir, it is extremely kind of you to extend me an invitation to visit next year. Of course I would love to. I have enjoyed regular stays in the hotel at Wasserburg Anholt over the last ten years and regardless of the weather or my working hours I always try to take a walk around the gardens. They are quite different to anything we have in the U.K. and an absolute pleasure to see. On my last visit in December I noticed the lakes were being worked on. This must have been a huge but necessary undertaking. Normally I’d have returned in June but Covid 19 put paid to that.

      Thank you for taking time to write a comment and I hope to learn a lot more from you in due course. Dan


      1. Dan, please let us know when Anholt will be on your schedule again. We are very much looking forward to meet you next year. Please use “info@zu-salm.eu” for further communication. Best, Emanuel

        Liked by 1 person

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