Civic and Commercial Projects

German American Friendship Garden

Washington, D.C. • Ongoing since 1983


Oehme, van Sweden & Associates
Wolfgang Oehme
James van Sweden

Designed pro bono by Wolfgang Oehme in 1983, this small garden occupies a prominent place on the National Mall. Symbolizing the bond between Germany and the U.S., the plant palette comprises species native to each of the two countries. In 1988 President Ronald Reagan and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl formally dedicated the garden, whose design contrasts highly textured, diverse plantings with an orderly, geometric form. The project was restored in 2014.


[T]he garden features two ‘walk-in-fountains … [and each one] has three columns of water, designed to erupt like geysers from the paving through flush bronze grates.[1]

James van Sweden


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  • 1600 Constitution Avenue, NW
    NW Washington, D.C. 20006

Bold Romantic Gardens, Gardening with Water, Ornamental Grasses, Process Architecture No. 130. see resources

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[1] James van Sweden, Gardening with Water (New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 2007), 88.