The Year of the Garden 2016 is blossoming in SouthWest Germany as the State's Heritage Agency celebrates the beauty and history of the state's most beautiful places. Glittering fountains, elegant statues, wide landscapes, and exhilarating colors dominate the landscape throughout the year. This is an anniversary the whole family can enjoy from young to old; the precision and care that was taken to create these historic gardens is appreciated by all ages. These gardens were made to entertain, heal, restore and beautify and today they are enjoyed as unrivalled oases, places to play and be restored. 
Eighteen exquisite gardens are offering exciting activities ranging from open-air concerts and art exhibitions to unconventional and quirky tours.  Just as each of the palaces and gardens in Baden-Württemberg has its own history and style, the activities at each garden are equally unique. Hosting this year's events is the State Heritage Agency of Castles and Gardens, which is responsible for the maintenance of 59 historic monuments in SouthWest Germany including Heidelberg Palace, Schwetzingen Palace and Palace Gardens, Ludwigsburg Residential Palace, Weikersheim Palace and Gardens, the World Cultural Heritage site of Maulbronn Monastery, Salem Monastery and Palace and the Hohentwiel Fortress Ruins among others.  
In February, a new "Schlosscard Plus," or Castle Card Plus, is available for purchase that includes entrance into 24 monuments and four different 'Year of the Garden' events. The card costs 36 Euros and can be purchased in any of the participating monasteries, gardens or palaces. 

Photo: Schwetzingen Castle Gardens - Copyright Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg