Gravelled and ballasted

How Germany’s gardens are turning to stone

It’s a trend that makes garden lovers cringe and nature conservationists worry: For some years now, more and more people have been doing without shrubs, lawns and flowers in their front gardens. Instead, gravel surfaces made of marble, basalt, granite, quartz or glacial gravel are supposed to make the visiting card of the house low-maintenance, and wire walls filled with stones replace hedges. An ecological disaster, conservationists are convinced. Gravel gardens deprive native insects of their habitat and are bad for the microclimate. And not only that: among the local population, the increasing quarrying of quarry stones and river pebbles is meeting with more and more resistance.

We accompany a homeowner in the selection and creation of his gravel garden. What do he see as the advantages? How does he answer the critics? How is he advised by the dealers? We talk to insect and environmental researchers, among others, and visit the biologist Ulf Soltau, creator of the Facebook page “Gardens of Horror”.

Broadcast date 21. Juni 2020 um 16:30 Uhr im ZDF
Length 28'
Written and directed by: Inga Thiede
Mitarbeit: Britta Bibiko
Camera: Petra Domres, Julia Senkel, Götz Walter
Editor: Sven Voß
Editorial advisor: Martin Ordolff (ZDF)
Production: Alex Busch, Christin Gumpert, Marius Meckl
Line producer: Ulrike Schwerdtner
Executive producer: Martina Sprengel
Producer: Jasmin Gravenhorst
Filming location: Deutschland