The City of Prague Museum


The garden was designed as the villa was built by three extraordinary landscape architects: Camillo Schneider (1876-1950), co-designer of the château park at Průhonice and the gardens of the Nostic Palace in Prague, Karl Förster (1874-1970), a landscape architect from Potsdam, and Hermann Matern. The original plans for the garden were found among the effects of Milada Müllerová in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. During study of these plans, Dr. Božena Pacáková-Hošťálková found analogies between the approaches employed in the resolution of the living areas of the garden and the residential space within the house, which manifest themselves in particular in repeated colour schemes. Dr. Pacáková-Hošťálková states that "The green marble of the hall was replaced outside by the dark green yew, the brightness of the Caucasian, Persian and Afghan carpets by the flower beds. The iris and phlox flowers outside had the purple colour of the settees, the peonies the red of the double seat brocade, the asters the pink of the chairs, the succulent leaves of the orpines the grey-green of a second chair, and the colourful flowerbeds generally personified the cover of a third chair, with a floral motif on a light background...".


According to a survey undertaken by Ing. Vítězslava Ondřejová within the framework of work to rehabilitate the garden, the terrain modelling including retaining walls and steps has been preserved in its entirety. Beneath the layers of earth the flat stones reinforcing the northern slope, laid in conspicuous rhombuses, survived. Ing. Ondřejová also identified several woods from the original planting: "... two relatively healthy and surviving Austrian Pines (Pinus nigra) in the north-east corner of the garden, a Columnar English Oak (Quercus robur Fastigiata) by the north corner of the house, an example notable for both its size and shape of a dwarf Tripartita Juniper (Juniperus virginiana Tripartita) by the foot of the steps from the entrance to the main areas of the garden, and a unique, large and yielding English Ivy (Hedera helix) by the steps opposite the garden entrance...".

The garden was, however, considerably overgrown by later plants that interrupted the original concept, and for this reason it was necessary, with a few minor exceptions, to remove them. Of the younger plantings Ing. Ondřejová kept only two English Yews (Taxus baccata), one a tree in the southern corner of the central garden area and the other a shrub on the north slope near the house.

After restoration of the walls and reinforcement of the north slope, the garden was laid out according to the original plans. In several cases, however, the assortment of plants had to be altered as the originally specified varieties are no longer cultivated. In these cases Ing. Ondřejová replaced them with newer cultivars while strictly retaining the same colours, growth heights and flowering seasons. Changes of this sort were required in particular among the irises (Iris), phloxes (Phlox), chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum) and dahlias (Dahlia). Along the western facade, adjacent to the public stair, fruit trees shaped to the flat wall were again planted - apples (Malus sp.) and pears (Pyrus sp.), both fruit trees typical of 1930's gardens.
The picturesque screens depicted in the original plans were also renewed. In the central part of the garden the background consists of the colourful, perennial curtain of a yew (Taxus baccata) hedge, while along Střešovicka ul. a hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) hedge was reinstalled and along the wire fence dividing the villa plot from that of the neighbouring garden brambles (Rubus sp.) were planted. English Ivy (Hedera helix) was replanted along the fence with Nad hradním vodojem, and at the foot of the house Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata Veitchii) was planted so that the south-eastern facade was once again covered in green, the original greenery having been cut down in the 1960's. When the new plantings have matured, the garden will once again appear as it did in the 1930's.


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