Bonnie and Armin
Bonnie and Armin
Two nature lovers and their beautiful home in Königstein, Taunus just outside Frankfurt.
FF: What do you associate with your house and your beautiful „natural" garden created by a landscape architect?
B&A: For us our house was "love at first sight". Because it is unique, authentic and carries the essence of everything we had searched for the last 10 years before. Best location with perfect views directly into the nature, not visible to the neighbors - therefore high privacy - and an absolutely quiet idyll to relax and unwind with fantastically beautiful sunsets. Our light-flooded home is south-west facing with floor to ceiling windows and offers very good distribution within walking distance to the city center, fantastic walks in every direction from the house - an absolute paradise for children and nature lovers. Our landscape architect has succeeded in creating a gliding transition from the flowers on the terrace across different levels to his own forest and creek. Over 5 levels we are literally slid down into nature to maximum grounding with increasing naturalness. There are many options for cosy sitting on the several terraces or the different garden levels, reading on the lawn, under trees, in the own forest, but also for celebrating in large groups or spontaneous barbecues in the evening sun - depending on your position with another genius loci. In the lower garden area are mainly planted a potpourri of local plants as well as bird and bee-friendly plants and various fruit trees. The garden is also easy to maintain: from year to year the wild roses, perennials and cover plants bloom more abundantly, so that the bad weeds were almost completely displaced. The lawn can be mowed in about an hour and tree and shrub cuts for a gorgeous flowerage over the entire season need only 2 weekends garden work. And in winter: A stone’s throw behind our garden gate, we strap on the cross-country skis for a round through the Taunus. Very peaceful.
FF: What does owning a house with its own forest means to you?
B&A: From a purely legal point of view our property is limited by the forest and the little creek. And indeed, on the one hand, they are an effective screen against prying eyes. Emotionally, they are also a bridge in the limitless nature: our trees are only a small part of the surrounding forest and without it not viable. Also the water of the brook belongs only for a moment to our property on its several thousand-year-old way through the quartzite rock of the Taunus to the sea. So we are literally connected to the flow of earth history.
The forest also allows time travel in human history: In some warm summer nights in the hammock between the trees it’s just the best place on earth. The sounds of the forest and the murmur of the creek unfolds such a sense of peace that it would be too annoying to get up and go to bed. And when we sleep we are sure that we will feel the same as our prehistoric ancestors: the deep sense of security in the forest. And this feeling you get just a few steps away from the high-speed Internet, TV, cell phone and freezer of the 21st century.
FF: What is your understanding of a perfect plot -a perfect location?
B&A: Most of these prime locations rarely reach the market and are previously sold privately. We exactly a location like that - not observable, with unobstructable views to the south and west. We absolutely wanted these spectacular sunsets. As a bonus, there is the peace and security of the dead end, the 3 minutes away walk to the forest swimming pool and the footpath through the Woogtal to the city center, the best schools in Germany and nice til sophisticated restaurants. Naturally, Königstein is located perfectly. Nature and tranquility with all the amenities of a well-developed small town and only 20 minutes from Frankfurt or the international airport away - whether by car, train or plane. Also culturally, the Rhein-Main area is one of the best places in Germany. The gastronomic scene as well as the range of cultural circles, events, museums, exhibitions, theaters you can’t hardly find so compromised in any other German city. In fact, the Rhein-Main area has the highest density of first-class opera houses in the world.
It’s this twist of the city and Taunus: nowhere else do hiking boots and patent Jimmy Choos stand so harmoniously next to each other. And don’t forget the high quality of water and air, especially in Königstein as a internationally renowned health and recreation resort.
FF: What is your relationship to environmental protection? Topic bee meadow and butterfly tree in your own garden?
B&A: Natural regulation is just smart. In practical terms, the benefits of natural balances are resource efficient. It takes the intelligent use of old knowledge. On our orchards we hold bees and sheep. There has never been fertilized or applied pesticides. Through clever construction of biotopes nature regulates everything by itself. It’s the same principle our garden architect used in designing our garden. He has selected ornamental plants that feel comfortable in the terroir (soil, microclimate and minimal horticultural intervention). He has supplemented it with supporting plants, so that the biotope elements protect each other and provide ¾ of the year for blooming splendor. All in all, he has created 5 biological worlds that never need fertilizer or crop protection and have meanwhile displaced almost all weeds so that we can now manage easily the garden within two weekends.
The questions also arise aesthetically: Is the flawlessness of golf course lawns and exotic plant cultivation, which can only be kept in a state of perfection with great effort, the definition of beauty? Or are the plants, which are adapted to the natural circumstances, natural balance itself and the variety of symbiotic relationships the real beauty? It is the old dispute between manerism and naturalness. But also the philosophical question: Do we want to dominate the world according to our ideas or do we want to fit in as an integral part of the natural world? We have decided very clearly for simplicity and naturalness. And our bees, butterflies, and earthworms thank us by eagerly participating in our little paradise.
FF: Why do you want to sell your dream property? And what does the perfect buyer or target group look like for such a jewel?
B&A: On the one hand, our focus in life has simply shifted further and further: from management professionals who make honey, cider and premium beef to farmers who also offer professional advice. We move to our new farm in the Hochtaunus and want to invest more in agriculture. But you are of course right: With a historical rental income of 60T €, at 0.3% interest p.a. firmly over 10 years, a consumer inflation rate of 1-2% and a price trend for assets that is significantly higher, it would be economically rational to borrow and rent. However, it would be difficult for us when a tenant would redesign the house or would not maintain it as carefully as we as the owner. The house and the land have developed a bit with us each year. This special place simply deserves the caring attention of its owner. It should be someone who has a sure sense of nature and aesthetics. And he/she should fit in the neighborhood, which is extremely down to earth. Most are financially sorted and have some important positions. But you never talk about it. Monday morning, when the drivers gradually pick up one after the other in full business outfit and already in the spell of smartphones or tablets, you nod only briefly. And on the weekend, when a casual dress code is more en vogue we talk about gardening and home improvement projects, bees, birds, orchards, cooking, culture or sailing trips with historical navigation instruments. I think it has to be this way: the higher you get, the thinner the air gets - the more you have to rely on your own creativity, judgment and intuition. And this requires grounding, which offers this wonderful place so generous.