Tiere im Teich entdecken: Beim Tag der offenen Tür im Ökologischen Lerngarten der PHKA am Adenauerring. Foto: Dorothee Benkowitz
Institute of Biology and School Gardening

TLL Learning Garden - Ecology and Teaching

The Learning Garden: Ecology and Teaching is part of the Institute of Biology and School Gardening and has been established already in 1985.

Here, students learn through direct observation and hands-on experience. They design, sow, maintain, cultivate, and harvest under the guidance of their instructors. Through practical work they develop an interest in biological diversity and start asking questions about the phenomena they observe. In the course of a garden year, the participants learn how to garden in a sustainable way, how to design and organise school and other learning gardens, and how to integrate them into the curriculum in a meaningful way.

Opening hours

April to July: Mondays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon;
August and September: Mondays from 8 a.m. to noon, Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to noon

The Learning Garden: Ecology and Teaching is a campus garden that has been established with the purpose of educating students and was designed together with them. We ask visitors to be considerate of ongoing courses. 


By bicycle or on foot: Walk from the University of Education Karlsruhe via Moltkestraße in the direction of the castle, straight on through the castle grounds to Adenauerring (east), then about 180 metres to the left (traffic lights); from there, turn right into the cul-de-sac.

By public transport: Get off at the Durlacher Tor stop, from there walk north along the Adenauerring for about 500 metres. Cross the street “Am Fasanengarten” and after another 180 metres (along the Learning Garden) turn right (traffic lights) into the cul-de-sac.

By car: Access via Adenauerring, parking facilities are available on the KIT forest parking lot, Campus Süd. Search address for navigation devices: Waldparkplatz, Adenauerring 20, 76131 Karlsruhe.

Plan and concept

Design concept

From urban ecology (partially sealed, built individual elements) to near-natural design (kitchen garden, sensory garden) to “wilderness” (biotope and ecological zones)

Didactical design

Joint design, maintenance, and further development of the garden by students and lecturers, linking practical gardening work with technical and didactic content.

Elements of the Learning Garden: Ecology and Teaching

Raised beds, compost, wild shrubs with edible fruits, herb spiral, herb garden, pruning hedges, stone oven, beds of useful plants, herbaceous borders, greenhouse, tool shed, spindle fruit trees, sensory garden, ornamental shrubs, display beds for useful wild plants, meadow orchard with fruit trees, arid habitat, pond, stream, herbaceous mound, landscape hedges, Central European deciduous forest with native early-flowering plants and trees, nesting aids, honey bees

Summerhouse with teaching and learning materials, outdoor teaching and learning space (pergola)


Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft Schulgarten Ba.-Wü. (LAGS) [Working Group for School Gardens of the Land of Baden-Württemberg],

Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Schulgarten (BAGS) [Federal Working Group for School Gardens],

City of Karlsruhe [Floriculture, Gardens and Parks Department],

Botanical Garden of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT),

Heidelberg University of Education and University of Education Weingarten


University Teaching Award of the University of Education Karlsruhe 2017 (former team of the Learning Garden: Ecology and Teaching),

UN Decade on Biodiversity 2016 and 2018 


You would like to learn more about our Learning Garden: Ecology and Teaching? Please do not hesitate to contact us at: lerngarten(at)ph-karlsruhe.de

Studying and Teaching

At the Learning Garden: Ecology and Teaching, courses are held for various Teacher Education programmes in Biology as well as in other subjects. 

Teacher Education: Biology

  • Primary school: Practice-oriented project (BAP-Bio-3A, BAPEu-Bio-3A)
  • Secondary level I: Practice-oriented project (BAS-Bio-2C, BASEu-Bio-2C)

The projects take place every summer semester. Since the garden year cannot be fully synchronised with the semester schedule, however, students taking part in a project in the respective summer semester will attend meetings from as early as the end of January until November. This way, the participants will have the opportunity to experience the seasonal aspects of an entire garden year.


Benkowitz, D. (2023): Schulgärten als Lernorte für BNE- Chance und Grenzen. In Lang-Wojtasik, G., König, S. (Eds.) Große Transformation und Bildung für Nachhaltige Entwicklung. Weingartener Dialog über Forschung 6. Ulm: Klemm & Oelschläger, pp. 101-114.

Benkowitz, D. , Retzlaff-Fürst, C .(Eds.)(2023). Der Schulgarten als Lernort für BNE. Unterricht Biologie 483

Benkowitz, D., Retzlaff-Fürst, C. (Eds.) (2023). Nachhaltigkeit im Schulgarten. Unterricht Biologie Kompakt 484

Hellinger, F., Benkowitz, D., Lindemann-Matthies,P. (2022): Do Radishes and Carrots Grow in a Bunch? Students’ Knowledge about the Growth of Food Plants and Their Ideas of a School Garden Design. Education Science 2022, 12(5), p. 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12050299

Benkowitz, D., Köhler, K. (2019). Lernen im Schulgarten - Werden vorhandene Potentiale genutzt? http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:751-opus4-1855

Lindemann-Matthies, P., Köhler, K. (2019).Naturalized versus traditional school grounds: which elements do students prefer and for what reasons? Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, Vol. 46.

Benkowitz, D., Schulz, S., Lindemann-Matthies, P. (2018). The Impact of Gardening Experiences on Children’s Intake of Vegetables. Journal of Health, Environment and Education (11), 1-5. https://doi.org/10.18455/19001

Wenzel, D., Benkowitz, D., Köhler, K., Lehnert, H.-J. (2017): Schulgarten und Slow Mobil: Planung, Durchführung und Evaluation eines Projekts zum Thema gesunde Ernährung. In: GDSU-Journal 7(7): pp. 93 – 103. http://www.gdsu.de/gdsu/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/7_Wenzel-Benkowitz-Köhler-Lehnert.pdf

Lehnert, H.-J., Köhler, K., Benkowitz, D. (2016): Schulgärten anlegen, pflegen, nutzen. Ulmer, Stuttgart.

Benkowitz, D., Köhler, K. (2016): Naturzugänge vor der Schulhaustür. Schulgärten bieten viele Benefits in Sachen Naturerfahrung. In: Green Care 3 (2): pp. 14-16.

Benkowitz, D. (2014): Wirkung von Schulgartenerfahrung auf die Wahrnehmung pflanzlicher Biodiversität durch Grundschulkinder. Schneider Hohengehren, Baltmannsweiler.

Köhler, K., Benkowitz, D. (2014): Supporting Awareness of Urban Biodiversity: School Garden, Schoolyard and School Surrounding. In: Kabisch, N., Larondelle, N., Reeve, N., Artmann, M. (eds.): Human-Environmental Interactions in Cities. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: pp. 100-114.

Ministry of Food, Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (Eds.) (2012): Umwelterziehung und Nachhaltigkeit. Fächerverbindendes Arbeiten im Schulgarten. Heft 1. MLR/MKS, Stuttgart. https://mlr.baden-wuerttemberg.de/fileadmin/redaktion/m-mlr/intern/dateien/publikationen/Bro_Umwelterziehung_Heft1.pdf

Ministry of Food, Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (Eds.) (2012): Umwelterziehung und Nachhaltigkeit. Fächerverbindendes Arbeiten im Schulgarten. Heft 2. MLR/MKS, Stuttgart. https://mlr.baden-wuerttemberg.de/fileadmin/redaktion/m-mlr/intern/dateien/publikationen/Bro_Umwelterziehung_Heft2.pdf 

Last updated: 04.01.2024
Content responsibility: webredaktion@ph-karlsruhe.de