Mother’s Day is a day when tributes are paid to mothers and motherhood. It is celebrated on various dates in many places all over the world. In Czechia, it is celebrated on the second Sunday in May, thus falling on 14 May in 2023. The holiday started to be celebrated in our country in 1923, courtesy of promoter Alice Masaryková, the daughter of the first Czechoslovak president, T. G. Masaryk. Don’t miss the opportunity to thank your mum for being here for you. For example, by way of a trip. But where could you go in Czechia so that all of you enjoy it? We’ll present you with interesting places, parks and gardens that are in full bloom around mid-May.
Prague Castle gardensThere’re several gardens on the grounds of Prague Castle that are open to the public and that you can visit to admire spring in bloom. Whereas the northern gardens are historically more valuable, the southern gardens offer unforgettable views of Prague. The largest garden is the Royal Garden, in which you’ll find such Renaissance and Baroque sights as the Royal Summer Residence, Ball Game Hall and Lion’s Courtyard. The garden is separated from Prague Castle by the Deer Moat, which has re-opened to the public free of charge after some years. The Deer Moat in itself is a quiet place destined for undisturbed walks and it will offer you unusual views of the ancient ramparts and towers of Prague Castle. If, however, you want to enjoy not only a park but also views of the city, go to the Southern Gardens, which are composed of several historic gardens and parks of the former outer ward.
Prague parks and their vistasSpring and a walk in the park – that’s a combination that will never pall. Do you know that in Prague you can visit several dozen parks and forests? And that this green space accounts for roughly 10% of Prague’s total area? The largest green spaces include Letná Park, Stromovka and Star Game Reserve (Obora Hvězda). Letná is a popular place for relaxation as it is situated in the greater city centre. It offers a lovely view of both the River Vltava and the city and it’s always just a stone’s throw to cafés, bistros or typical Czech pubs. Stromovka Park has recently undergone restoration, which included the construction of new ponds and you have the opportunity to enjoy not only a beautifully groomed park but also admire aquatic birds that are rearing their young right now. The possibility to get refreshments in newly renovated Restaurant Šlechtovka is a matter of course as well. And how about the Star Game Reserve? It’s more of a forest than a park, so you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city there if it’s already been too much for you.
Prague Botanical GardenThe grounds of the Prague Botanical Garden extend in an area of around 70 hectares and the garden is situated right next to Prague Zoo. Although it was founded only around 30 years ago, it’s been growing successfully, both literally and in terms of its area. Nowadays, during a walk you can go through a greenhouse featuring several climatic zones, visit a vineyard, Mediterranean rock garden, Japanese mediation garden, heath or get to know interesting trees and shrubs. And when you are tired of walking, Botanická vegan bistro will be pleased to welcome you.
Kuks herb gardenA visit to the Baroque herb garden in the east Bohemian grounds of Kuks Hospital is a very interesting tip. The herb garden was set up there as early as during the construction of the hospital in the early 18th century. Medicinal plants for the needs of the local chemist’s as well as fruit and vegetables for the local kitchen have always been grown there. At the present time, almost the whole historic herb garden is repaired and planted with many species of various herbs and medicinal plants. Altogether, the local collection numbers about 140 plant beds and dozens of herb species.
Manorial garden at Pernštejn CastlePernštejn Castle to the northwest of Brno ranks among the best-preserved and best-known sights in our country but hardly anyone knows the local complex of Pernštejn gardens below its ramparts. They have undergone comprehensive revitalisation and were open to the public in 2021. The gardens around the castle return to the form they had in the early 19th century, when they were extended on to the whole southern slope and complemented with minor structures such as a hermitage, Chinese pavilion, Turkish bath, obelisk, umbrella and waterfall. You can look forward not only to these structures that have been restored but also to an exhibition presenting a unique work of garden art including a haptic model.
Fragrant beauty of rosariumsRoses come into bloom at the end of spring. Sometimes this occurs as early as around mid-May. If there’s at least one admirer of roses in your family, we’ll advise you where to go. In Moravia try, for example, the Olomouc rosarium, which covers an area of around 4 hectares and is part of the local botanical garden. What you can find there is, for example, a picnic meadow, paddling pool, wooden grates used for seating, stylish shelters providing protection from sunlight, and a pétanque field. And, naturally, roses must not be missing – approximately ten thousand rose shrubs, representing 400 bed and climbing varieties, have been planted there.
Another tip is from central Bohemia, specifically from Průhonice very close to Prague. When you go through the local park and follow its eastern edge, you’ll find an abundant collection of ornamental plants, in particular, irises, roses, paeonies, rhododendrons, day lilies and water lilies. So, it isn’t purely a rosarium but, anyway, you’ll find the biggest collection of wild and cultivated roses in the Czech Republic there, with the number of varieties exceeding 4,000! You can see, for example, historic, climbing and shrub roses as well as miniature roses or wild roses.
When you can’t go beyond the borders of Prague, don’t despair. The largest rosarium in Prague is the freely accessible rose garden at Petřín, just a short way from the top funicular station. Around eight thousand rose shrubs of dozens of varieties grow there. If you wish to see roses in full bloom, plan your visit for mid-June, though. The blooms give off an intoxicating smell mainly late in the evening when the daytime is longest. When you stay there until dusk and if the sky is clear, drop by the nearby astronomical observatory. The night with your mum will be unforgettable.