Nature in the garden

Nature in the Garden has existed since 1999. Starting in Lower Austria, the initiative is now active throughout Austria and beyond with the aim to become a European movement. The goal is the naturalisation of private, communal and school gardens. The criteria of the Nature in the Garden movement stipulates that gardens are designed and maintained without synthetic pesticides, fertilisers or peat. Whole municipalities, private gardens and school and kindergardens can be awarded a Nature in the garden badge.

How is the project linked to climate change & sustainability?

Gardening without peat, using locally native plants and utilising rainwater for watering all help to create a sustainable and climate friendly space.  Understanding growing food also helps in making sustainable decisions. Having this connection to nature changes the problem of climate change to a more personal problem for each and everyone.

How are the participants involved?

With the award of the Nature in the Garden badge, over 17000 nature gardeners in Lower Austria have already shown that nature has a place in their gardens. Schools, kindergardens, municipalities and private properties who are part of the movement are all contributing to welcoming nature into their gardens. They get support from the “Natur im Garten” Initiative. Schools and Kindergardens can make use of publically sponsored on-site garden consulting that guides them towards creating a nature garden. Teachers are trained through specialised courses and seminars in cooperation with teacher training colleges to encourage them to teach and work with pupils in the garden.

Key steps

Interested schools and kindergardens register with Nature in the Garden.
The criteria are clarified during an on-site garden consultation. These include:

  • No use of synthetic chemical pesticides
  • No use of synthetic chemical fertilisers
  • No use of peat
  • Creation of natural garden elements including: Wild shrubs, meadow, allowing wild growth, wild corner, special habitats (wet, dry), deciduous trees, flowers and flowering perennials.
  • Maintanance & growing food including: Composting, beneficial insect shelters, rainwater watering, environmentally friendly choice of building materials, mulching,  vegetable & herb garden, orchard & berry bushes, mixed cropping / green manuring / crop rotation.
  • Outdoor learning and play including: Modelling and elements to encourage movement, natural spaces for retreat, sensual learning and creativity, outdoor learning facilities and equipment, environmental learning and gardening.


Nature in the garden




Photo by Natur im Garten GmbH

Useful links:

Garden Organic offers educational resources for schools wishing to grow organically in the UK


Organise a composting area and look for what can and cannot be composted.