Windbreak and wild fruit hedge

Community garden “Kraut&Blüten”


Windbreak and wild fruit hedge


The windbreak and wild fruit hedge is an ecological and educational element, located in the “Seestadt” – a newly established quarter of Vienna. It was planted in 2020 as part of the edible Seestadt research project and has since been maintained by members from the nearby community garden “Kraut&Blüten”. With its signposts it informs passers by about the function of a hedge and the different species.

1. Organisation hosting the activity


Community garden “Kraut&Blüten”

Legal status


Year of establishment



Next to Madame d´Ora Park, Seestadt, Vienna

The community garden Kraut&Blüten was founded in 2018. It is naturally a place of learning about various things for its 12 members but also for neighbours and visitors who can not be counted. It was founded by its members to make the neighbourhood greener and to foster neighbourhood relationships. It is organised collectively. Founding the garden was strongly supported by the neighbourhood management. They supported on an organisational level and financially through covering the costs of garden establishment at first. These costs are now paid back over a longer period by the garden members. Gardening follows ecological and permacultural principles. Part of the garden is a wild area, where insects and other animals shall find a refuge. Within the research project “Essbare Seestadt” some courses on ecological gardening could be organised in cooperation with the garden. Further knowledge transfer happens through engaged and skilled members of the group.

2. Activity detailed description

The hedge is taken care of by members of the community garden “Kraut&Blüten” and visited by residents and visitors of the Seestadt. It is interesting for people of any age and relatively barrier-free to reach (path with small gravel). Exact numbers of people benefiting can not be named.

Competences and skills desirable to establish such projects are knowledge of appropriate plants for local conditions and desired purpose (fruit bearing, edible, low maintenance, adapted to soil and climate), skills to plan and establish a hedge with the special purpose of wind breaking, knowledge about necessary maintenance measures, ability to calculate cost and time requirements, skills to communicate and work in a team.

The project was implemented in cooperation with the University of natural resources and life sciences Vienna and Bioforschung Austria.

Learning outcomes: People experience that edible plants can grow in a city and that great biodiversity is possible in a small space. The hedge is still young, but once it is larger, it will be able to provide a home and sufficient food for insects and birds, which can then also be observed by visitors. In the course of a guided tour or if you happen to meet someone from the neighbouring community garden, it is possible to learn about the function of the windbreak provided by the hedge.

Challenging was the limited financial and time budget. In the course of construction activities, the soil has been heavily compacted. It would be desirable if more attention was paid to environmental protection in urban planning. The care of the hedge after the end of the project and thereby the  long-term success depends on committed individuals. In order to ensure this, the question of future support should be considered from the very beginning and local residents and their ideas and wishes should be involved.

Implementation steps

  1. Idea development and planning in 2020 within the research project edible Seestadt.
    1. Assessment of the site
    2. Selection of suitable plants
    3. Research on suitable procurement sources
    4. Calculation of costs and time expenditure
    5. Planning of the planting
    6. Procurement / lending of necessary tools
  2. Site and planting preparation
    1. Loosen the soil
    2. Digging holes
    3. Delivery of the plants
  3. Planting in autumn 2020 + watering and mulching
  4. Planning of further maintenance measures
  5. Signage of the plants in the hedge and installing a general information sign about the project in which the idea for the hedge was born that also marks the hedge as part of the liz christy path.
  6. Regular care since then
    1. Watering for about two years – After that only during very hot and dry summer months
    2. Mulching once a year
    3. Cutting plants once a year
    4. Remove weeds regularly
  7. Inform people who have questions.
  8. In the future: Possibly add nesting boxes to support birds.

3. Gallery

4. Conclusions

The hedge functions as a windbreaker for the very exposed community garden and helps to reduce evaporation and the need for watering. It also raises awareness of how cities can adapt to climate change and shows examples of good practice that may encourage imitation. 

It is a useful element to raise consciousness for green and edible cities. Through its variety of different species, the hedge can demonstrate biodiversity and its importance. Furthermore awareness for the issue of protection from wind and erosion can be created with it. The information signs along the hedge can provide additional knowledge about the plants. All senses are addressed with the hedge. Especially through the different fruits of the plants new tastes can be explored. The hedge can inspire people to think about how cities could look like in the future and how they can adapt to climate change.

The feedback from the community and visitors of the Seestadt is very positive. People are visiting and enjoying the hedge. But growing bushes and trees takes time. The positive climatic effect and the windbreak still have to develop.

It is possible to implement such a project in other places if adapted to the local conditions.

Advice / Recommendation

"growing bushes and trees takes time and not all of them carry fruits already. The positive climatic effect and the windbreak have to develop".
“Involve the local community in the process and take the local conditions under consideration. Put plants that can cope with the soil and climate conditions. “Easy” plants should be preferred. The care should be simple and it should be possible for non-professionals to perform it".