Worldwide WP 5k – Visiting the Dahlia Garden Hamburg

#WWWP5k 2016 Halskrausen #Dahlie © Stefanie Neumann - All Rights Reserved. #KBFPhotography #Herzensreise #DahliengartenHamburg

Dieser Beitrag ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar.

The Automattician’s behind WordPress called for this year’s Worldwide WP 5k and we happily joined in for the second year in a row.  Last year the WWWP5k took place in November and Kim and I took an Urban Awareness Walk through my old stomping grounds in the West of Hamburg.

This year the WWWP5k is taking place during the week of September 19th to 25th 2016 and we took a walk to the Dahlia Garden in Hamburg, adjacent to the Altonaer Volkspark which extends right beyond the street across from where we live.  Admittedly, we took this walk a day earlier, but hey, take it as making up for the belatedness of last year’s walk.  😉

#WWWP5k 2016 Waldweg © Stefanie Neumann - All Rights Reserved. #KBFPhotography #Herzensreise #AltonaerVolkspark

The Route

We started directly from our home and went straight to the entrance of the Altonaer Volkspark at August-Kirch-Straße.  Through the woods of the park we passed the back side of the adjacent Trab Arena, a racing track which is not only used for harness racing but also for all kinds of events, like concerts, medieval markets, flea markets and more.  The biggest concert at the Trab Arena Bahrenfeld was probably a Robbie Williams concert several years ago.  In fact, he played two shows an I have never seen so many people moving down the main street in front of our house in my life.  After circumnavigating half the racing track the Dahlia Garden Hamburg came into view.  We took a lot of time to walk around in the garden and enjoyed all the colourful and manifold dahlias until we got cold and not just the battery of my camera started to crave food.  So, instead of walking back through the park we took the more direct route along the main road.  After approximately two hours of WWWP5k we came back home.

I will share some impressions of the beautiful Dahlia Garden, below, but first I would like to share some information about the landscape conservation areas of the Altonaer Volkspark, the adjacent Dahlia Garden and a citizen’s initiative which was brought to our attention during our walk.

#WWWP5k 2016 Bank mit Blütenhut im Dahliengarten © Stefanie Neumann - All Rights Reserved. #KBFPhotography #Herzensreise #DahliengartenHamburg

Citizen’s Initiative Volkspark

When we arrived at the park we met a couple of people who had a little information stand.  It turned out that they are part of a citizens’ initiative to protect the recreational area of the Volkspark and its adjacent landscape conservation areas.  We learned that the city of Hamburg is planning to extend a street that leads through some of the conservation areas into a four-lane-road to allow 17,000 motorised vehicles a day to go through that zone.  This is particularly ridiculous as they have just started to build a cover for the nearby motorway to reduce noise in the area for the residents.  Also, it goes completely against the concept of the city to maintain and integrate green belts, recreational areas and landscape as well as nature conservation areas in the urban structure.  Only a few days ago they said in the news that the city will build a new residential area and a park on top of the new motorway cover.  Now it turns out they are planning to build a street for even more traffic.

The people from the Citizen’s Initiative Volkspark offer suggestions to change this plan for the better so that everybody can benefit from it.  They say:

We want to achieve more mobility without causing more traffic.  Especially in the course of the necessary increase of residential development in the city, life in the city has to remain liveable.”

-Bürgerinitiative Volkspark

If you want to learn more about this project and how you can help, you can find all information on their website – in German language:  Bürgerinitiative Volkspark.

#WWWP5k 2016 Dahliengarten 550m © Stefanie Neumann - All Rights Reserved. #KBFPhotography #Herzensreise #DahliengartenHamburg #AltonaerVolkspark

Altonaer Volkspark

After talking to the people of the citizen’s initiative and signing up for their newsletter we continued our walk by entering the Altonaer Volkspark.

Today, Altona is a district of the city of Hamburg.  But before the year 1937 it was an independent German city.  Even earlier the city belonged to Denmark for 200 years, until anno 1864.  The city of Altona assigned Ferdinand Tutenberg to build the Volkspark to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the city.

With its circa 205 hectares this park is Hamburg’s biggest public park.  It is 102 years old.  Altona’s gardening department director Ferdinand Tutenberg began to build the park in 1914 but had to pause his efforts short after that because of World War I breaking loose in the same year.  In 1918 the city took up the work, again, and the park opened its gates two years later.  However, Tutenberg continued to extend the park until the year 1933.

Differently than usual at this time, Ferdinand Tutenberg allowed the natural conditions of the area to take the lead in designing the landscape which allows us still today to encounter widespread woods, partially steep hills as well as deep ravines framed by axial park ways.  It should be mentioned, here, that descriptions like widespread, steep and deep are terms that are being used in a relative context.  The woods are widespread considering that we are talking about an area located in the midst of a European city.  Yet, compared to the black forest they may seem rather small-ish.

You can find an interactive map of the Altonaer Volkspark, here:  Discover the Altonaer Volkspark!

Listed below the map are the main sights of the Volkspark with links to further information in German language.

Today the Altonaer Volkspark consists of several quite different landscape conservation and heritage protected areas all connected by paths leading through the woods.  Amongst others, there is the school and perennial garden with its picturesque flower beds that remind me of the English gardens of Edwardian times.  Part of the school garden is a little orchard, mainly with different varieties of apple trees.  A little pond can be found, as well, and in Summer, when you sit quietly on one of the benches near the water, it can happen that one of the dragonflies comes by for a visit.  In the perennial garden you can encounter a lot of the bees which produce the Volkspark honey.  It is produced in limited amounts and I have not yet had the chance to try it.  In the centre of the perennial garden is a pavilion from the 1920’s.  When you go inside and look out you may notice that each of its open doorways and windows frames a piece of the garden like a painting.

Today, roses are growing on a flower bed right in front of the pavilion. But between 1920 and 1932 dahlias took their place.  This was the beginning of the Dahlia Garden Hamburg.

#WWWP5k 2016 Dahliengarten Findling © Stefanie Neumann - All Rights Reserved. #KBFPhotography #Herzensreise #DahliengartenHamburg

Dahlia Garden Hamburg

Volkspark founder Ferdinand Tutenberg was a big dahlia lover and so he made them the stars of the school and perennial garden when the park opened in 1920.  To give them more space the dahlias were moved in 1932, to the place where the Dahlia Garden Hamburg is now found until today.  This makes it Europe’s oldest still existing dahlia garden and, like the Altonaer Volkspark, it is heritage protected since 2002.

Originally native to the plateaus of Mexico and Guatemala, we now can adore up to 13,000 single plants of up to 850 different varieties of dahlias on 15,000 square metres each Autumn, in the middle of the city right up in the North of Germany.  About 300,000 flower lovers do so, every year.

Every November, the tuber plants have to be dug out and moved indoors to their wintering home by the gardeners, until it becomes warm enough for them to move back into their outdoor quarters in May.

With the start of the flowering period around mid-July the Dahlia Garden Hamburg opens its gates for visitors, until the first night frosts around the end of October.  Visitors can enjoy the colourful splendour every day from 8:00 a.m. until nightfall.  The Dahlia Garden is a public garden operated by the district of Altona.  The entrance is free.

#WWWP5k 2016 Dahlienbeet © Stefanie Neumann - All Rights Reserved. #KBFPhotography #Herzensreise #DahliengartenHamburg

Finally, as promised, some impressions from the Dahlia Garden:

On our walk back home along the main road we found a poster of the Social-Democratic Party of Germany (SPD):

#WWWP5k-2016 Volkslauf © Stefanie Neumann - All Rights Reserved. #KBFPhotography #Herzensreise

It seems to be quite the synchronicity that they are holding a 5 kilometre people run on the last day of the WWWP5k 2016.

If you enjoyed this walk with us you may also like to join us on the one that will be published on Kokopelli Bee Free Blog, soon.  It is called Enjoying Urban Nature in Hamburg: Osdorfer Feldmark and the link for that post will be active on Tuesday, the 27th of September 2016 at 9:00 a.m. CEDT.

Are you ready to discover the love presenting itself to you on your journey, today?

Much love,
Steffi & Kim





















8 thoughts on “Worldwide WP 5k – Visiting the Dahlia Garden Hamburg

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  7. What a beautiful walk! I am looking forward to doing some walking through our local arboretum soon to enjoy the Autumn colors on all the trees. Glad you and Kim are doing well! Trish

    • Hi Trish,
      Thank you for walking with us virtually and for taking time to comment!
      The Dahlia Garden is very beautiful, indeed – you get charged up with colours and inspiration during a visit.
      An Autumn walk through the arboretum sounds wonderful! The shades of red, yellow and orange, the earthy smells and the rustling of the leaves will be very grounding, I am sure.
      Will you take pictures you can share?
      Hope you and Mark are well, too!
      Kim says “Hi” to both of you. ❤
      Much love,

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