English Landscape Garden

Barockbrücke im Park

After careful restoration, the park surrounding the moated castle now appears in its original condition and invites its visitors to discover rare plants in a unique atmosphere. It was designed between 1820 and 1835 as an early English landscape garden in the spirit of the Enlightenment. The lord of the castle, Fürst Joseph zu Salm-Reifferscheidt-Dyck, himself a passionate botanist and plant collector, engaged the Scottish garden architect Thomas Blaikie to design the park. He was to integrate the already existing orangery along with the island and parterre garden and to add an extensive arboretum with rare species of trees and shrubs.

In close co-operation with his client, Blaikie mastered the job with bravura. Exotic species from all over Europe were brought to Dyck and planted in suitable places. The garden architect Blaikie – who had already earned a reputation in France – created forest paths and shady avenues. They lead into the spacious park areas. Broad meadows, gently shaped hills and areas of water provide soft contours.
Groups of trees and solitary trees of rare size and beauty come into their own in front of the backdrop of the historical moated castle and create an impressive setting which highlights the Baroque architecture. Sometimes it is picturesquely designed nature which provides the framework, sometimes nature itself is the main motif of a pictorial composition.

Today, this approximately 53-hectare site is home to precious woody plants which are unparalleled throughout Europe in terms of age and species richness. Giant yew and sequoia, bald cypress and tulip tree, the Korean poplar and the Kentucky coffee tree present themselves as majestic beings. Sprawling rhododendrons produce a spectacular display of flowers in May. In June, scents waft from blooming meadows. Colourful variety is to be found throughout the year on the orangery parterre. On the west side, the park merges into old forests. Magnificent old avenues adjoin and contribute to the special charm of the "Dycker Ländchen" in a sparsely wooded environment.