© H. Heger

Garden Design

On 29 June 1929 the “Große Ruhrländische Gartenbau-Ausstellung” (Great Ruhr Landscape Gardening Exhibition) opened, which was soon named after its German abbreviation – Gruga. The artistic garden architecture attracted millions of visitors to the blooming garden in the middle of the industrial region. The 25 hectare exhibition site was planted in a strictly delineated three axis system. The planned garden architecture with Colour Terraces, the Dahlia Arena, Gruga Tower and water features amazed the visitors. In 1938 the park was enlarged to 47 hectares for the “Reich Garden Show”. The Gruga Rail and the Children’s Zoo were also added.

During the Second World War the Grugapark was largely destroyed but as early as the end of the 40s it had been reopened in part. In 1952 a second “Große Ruhrländische Gartenbau-Ausstellung” took place. The formerly strict geometry made way for a more freely designed landscape with gently rolling lawns and generous panoramas.

Dahlia Arena

The Dahlia Arena near the Music Pavilion, planted in 1929, spreads out in a broadly curved semi-circle like an ancient amphitheatre. A sea of tulips radiates there in spring. In late summer and autumn the dahlias form a fiery symphony of colour with their more than 70 cultivars and around 1,400 individual plants. The “White Aster” cultivar, first grown in the United Kingdom in 1879, is particularly precious and is the oldest cultivar of dahlia in the world that is still available.

The generous lawn in the middle of the Arena offers the ideal place to pause and relax.

Locate the Dahlia Arena on the interactive map (in German) ...

Colour Terraces

The wide Colour Terraces offer an attractively designed main path all year round. The changing seasons show themselves in the generously planted beds. Harbingers of spring such as forget-me-nots, tulips, daffodils and hyacinths begin the year. In summer they are followed by petunias, fuchsias, begonias, heliotropes, marigolds, gazanias, cannas and many more. Every autumn more than 100,000 bulbs are planted in the park! At the edge of the path you can admire amazing trees like the Persian Ironwood, the American sweetgum and the curious Dove tree.

Locate the Colour Terraces on the interactive map (in German) ...

Lily Pond

The octagonal Lily Pond is in front of the Orangerie where the glorious lilies bloom in summer. Other lilies can be found in the ponds in the Shrubbery and in the Rose Garden.

Locate the Lily Pond on the interactive map (in German) ...

Show Gardens

Visitors to the Grugapark have been able to find out about current examples of gardening culture and practical gardening since 2006 in the approximately 1.5 hectare Show Gardens. There are themed gardens to give you ideas for your own garden. The “Mustergartenanlage im Grugapark e.V” (Show Gardens in the Grugapark) club looks after this garden and organises specialist events such as “Summer Parties in the Garden”, ”Water in the Garden” and “Rarities in the Garden”. The Roman House is used as a gardening advice centre for any visitors who are interested.

Locate the Show Gardens on the interactive map (in German) ...

Linden Circle

A pretty avenue lined by Turkish hazels and luxuriant ferns leads straight to the Linden Circle. A four metre high hedge surrounds the ring with its pruned entrances and protection from the wind. A luxuriant planted bed dominates the interior of the Linden Circle, which is reminiscent of the baroque period. In the middle of the bed the sculpture “Speerwerferin” (Woman throwing a spear) by Prof. Ernst Seeger remains frozen in mid throw.

Locate the Linden Circle on the interactive map (in German) ...