As part of a joint two-year project, Latvian and Lithuanian rural tourism organisations and horticulturalists have created seven routes tracing the historical gardens of the two countries, according to Asnate Ziemele, president of the Latvian Rural Tourism Association, reported LSM.lv on August 5.
“Horticulturalists and botanists have opened the gates of over 50 historic gardens around Latvia and Lithuania, allowing visitors to delight in the beauties of roses, peonies, dahlias and various other ornamental plants abloom in the summer months, and disclosing a variety of practical tips for plant cultivation. Orchard owners also welcome visitors, and are pleased to provide them with advice on growing and selling fruit and plants. Manor owners who are currently rebuilding their historic properties are adoring the grounds with appropriate gardens and parks to create a manor environment not only in the interior and architectural exterior of the buildings, but in the overall estate ensemble,” Ziemele said.
The “Lauku ceļotājs” homepage has a special section dedicated to the gardens, which contains information on the historical gardens found in Kurzeme, Zemgale and Latgale, and in Lithuania, as well as insights into the history of horticulture and the seven routes through the gardens.
“We have connected the historic gardens through seven tourist routes which would take visitors through Latvian and Lithuanian lands. Tourists will be able to visit a variety of historic gardens on these routes, from manor gardens to orchards, learn about their histories and receive valuable gardening tips,” said Ziemele. These journeys, which are of different lengths and last for several days, are made by car, with separate sections being suitable for cycling. The routes will include historic gardens and various horticultural sights along the way, as well as places we recommend to stay overnight,” said Ziemele.
The map comprises 109 gardens. These include historical gardens, botanical gardens, orchards, and berry and fruit processing farms.
Garden owners have indicated that interest in historical and contemporary gardens is growing, in particular during the blooming periods of particular flowers and harvests, when visitors come to buy and sample farming produce and attend cooking workshops. The hosts also noted that the most common visitors are families with children and senior excursion groups.
The Latvian-Lithuanian joint project is part of the Interreg Cross-Border Cooperation Program 2014-2020. The total budget of the project is 830 733 euros, of which the European Regional Development Fund provided 706 123 euros.