We are on the road again and today we visit Mrs. Anita Rau, (Maiden name A N G E L / Engel in german  ) the owner of a wonderful, award-winning garden in Frickenhausen in Germany.

We thank Anita Rau and Ulrich Seifert, for the opportunity to learn about the beautiful, creative, and loving space and life’s work they have both created together.
We appreciate your wonderful energy and thank you for sharing it with us.
  1. Tell us a little about yourself and your passion

About my passion, there you probably mean the gardening: Although I grew up in and with this garden, I had no interest in it as a child and teenager, because my senses were focused elsewhere, which is normal at this age. It started when I moved with my children, after the separation from their father, and the death of my parents in 1981 to Frickenhausen.

After 2 years I met my partner, Ulrich Seifert, I was 40 he 23 studied horticultural technology at the famous Lehranstalt Veitshöchheim near Würzburg. I learned with him, learned about the optimal living conditions for perennials, shrubs, and woody plants. Many of the old fruit trees and spruces said goodbye with the time. We made ourselves with enthusiasm to arrange again, pulled from offshoots roses and shrubs after, fetched plants from forest and meadows, in the cemetery containers we found much too big become bushes, each quantity bulbs.

One thing led to another, we picked up old stones from the garbage place.  Our common child, the garden, developed splendidly, carefully we let it grow, were joyfully surprised, also there were sometimes strange “outgrowths”

2. Who is Anita Rau – What do you do?

Who am I? What do I do, what did I do professionally? Born in 1942, a late, the only child of my parents, I became pregnant in the high school graduation year, broke off, the school, made after the birth training as an interpreter in English, correspondent in French and Russian. Languages were always very easy for me. The other 2 children came 7 years apart. I worked as a foreign language correspondent, which was not satisfying, trained as a respiratory therapist and health educator in the evenings and on weekends, and held courses at the adult education center for years, in the evenings and on weekends.

At 65 I devoted more time to gardening. After winning 1st prize in a national garden competition in 1997, the garden became more and more public. In the meantime, bus tourists come from all over Germany, now and then Europe, the farthest came Australians, inside, on a Europe garden tour.

3. The garden has a history, How did it begin?

To 3, history: Otto Engel, my father built with his wife Liesel a house in the typical Franconian style, with pointed gable and shutters. He lays paths and builds many small walls with his own hands from the local shell limestone.
At that time it was a real kitchen garden, with many fruit trees, berry bushes, and vegetables, in the small garden house lived chickens, turkeys, and a pig. All this proved to be very useful during and after the 2nd World War.

4. What does this wonderful oasis give you and what message do you want to convey?

I transcribe a few entries from the guest book to see the message that the garden conveys, because ” here the angels walk”, said Mary Mack, an English garden architect, when she walked through the garden for the first time: my answer was: ” yes, one for sure, I, I am a born angel, (my maiden name).
Various entries from the guest books:
“Their design has inspired us, they have succeeded with things from nature, to create design elements, thank you and continue good luck”. H F Würzburg.
“If the birch also grows out of the chimney, one feels the love of the gardener in everything”, garden club Nuremberg.
“Here time knows no hurry”.Hannelore L.
We thank, go home and immediately start to make “mess ” in the garden, with many seating and niches”. Jürgen F and family
“Your garden is wonderful- you have given me many ideas to take back to England ”
Rosemary B.

“I shall always remember a garden, I shall try and curate a little of the memory in England”, Benny J.
“In this garden, you can feel the soul of the gardener and can breathe wonderfully and come to rest, thank you! Ernst and waltraud M. Steigerwald
“Un grand merci, un jardin plein de Poesie et de rêve! Nicole S
“In this garden, you can feel that someone with a lot of love and understanding is letting nature have its own way”, Dieter and Rita E,

5. What role do invited guests, friends, and also an unknown audience play?

For me, guests are as much enrichment as the garden and for them, there is also quite often the feeling of soul mates, many also say: ” it’s like coming home, every time, always something has changed, a garden in transition, without major interventions.

We do not use chemical sprays or artificial fertilizers, a lot of rainwater, give away plants to find a better place elsewhere, nothing is dug up for something else, either the life of the plant is over or we look that it can find space elsewhere. No plant needs to fear for its life to make way for a new plant or idea. However, more often they have to put up with a drastic step backward. Life has also pruned me very often, usually not to my disadvantage😉🐬🦋.

Photo Credits: Reinhard Schneider

Lilly Botto -Writer -” House & Garden” Category