The beginnings of the Herb Garden in Valtice go back to 2004. The main initiators of the project were Tiree a Lubomir Chmelar of the USA, who had long promoted the Lednice-Valtice Area throughout the world. The Herb Garden is supported by American foundations due to Tiree a Lubomir since beginning. Tiree Chmelar, sadly, didn’t live to see the opening of the garden, which is now dedicated to her memory.
A tradition since the 17th century
The newly established herb garden in Valtice is a continuation of a tradition started in the early 17th century when the Order of Brothers Hospitallers founded a hospital with an adjacent medicinal herb garden in Valtice.
The convent was a place of art instruction for the gifted Valtice-born artists, the Bauer brothers, who, thanks to their talent and dilligence, were later employed in Vienna.Ferdinand Bauer later left Vienna to join a voyage of discovery to Australia, while his brother Franz was invited to the Kew Gardens in London. He was awarded the title of Botanical Painter to His Majesty King George III there, and was the tutor of the Princess and the Queen, instructing them in painting. The two brothers were considered the best botanical painters of their era, lauded even by Johann W. Goethe. Their life story is fascinating: Two little boys from Valtice who thanks to their effort and talent got to travel to far-off places in the world.
The Garden in the 20th Century
At the beginning of the 20th century there was a chateau kitchen garden in this location. Such gardens used to be part of most noble residences, and were used mainly for culinary purposes. However, after World War II most of them ceased to exist. In the second half of the 20th century the area served as the chateau’s nursery, or a reserve garden for plants and trees meant for planting in the chateau park, and for cut flowers to decorate the chateau’s interior. The current herb garden occupies a part of this former chateau nursery thusrestoring the tradition of an herb garden in Valtice, this time on the grounds of the chateau.
The Beginning of the Project
In 2005 a competition was held at Mendel University’s Horticultural School for the best design of the future garden. A team of three winners, Adam Baros, Jakub Finger, and Mirka Svorova, created the final design of the garden as part of a workshop under the guidance of their teacher Premysl Krejcirik and his wife, Kamila, a landscape architect. The years that followed saw the gradual implementation of the individual stages of the project. Because of the financial demands of the project, work on the garden took altogether six years. The renewal of the garden cost over 4 million Czech Crowns.
The Garden Today
The garden is a lovely place of relaxation and education. Guided tours are available to the public and the little shop offers original gifts and souvenirs for yourself and your loved-ones. Children will surely love to make use of the sandbox or the little watering cans to water the flowerbeds. We also offer courses that will teach you how to use your own herbs to make cosmetics such as shower gelsand bath salts, or how to make healing tinctures, honeys and sirups.