Vienna's Castles

Belvedere and Schonbrunn castles are truly unique places in Vienna, Austria. Combined, these two castles draw nearly 10 million visitors a year, and it is easy to see why visitors are charmed by the beauty of these venues. Part of that beauty is the maintenance of the grounds around the castles. From seas of perennial flowers to acres of finely manicured turf, visitors can easily see how involved just maintaining the grounds can be.

walker-talk-volume-15-8_1.jpg"We have to use only the best," explains Peter Pinzenohler, a co-manager at Schonbrunn. "We looked at everything else, and we found that the Walker was the only one that we had no negative remarks about." Pinzenohler, who is responsible for finding the best equipment to maintain the grounds at Schonbrunn, says he gives the Walker an "optimal" rating in his book. He says that is the best rating he has, and not many pieces of equipment receive his best rating.

As a 25-year veteran of Schonbrunn, Peter says his years of experience make him the perfect candidate for choosing the right equipment. "I have seen many different kinds of mowers in 25 years at Schonbrunn," tells Pinzenohler. "I have walked behind mowers and I have ridden mowers. But none of them compares to the Walker for productivity and cut."

Manfred Hovezak, a gardener at Belvedere, says virtually the same thing about the Walker. "We have people from all over the world coming to see our property," says Hovezak. "The Walker is a piece of equipment that works fast. But more importantly, it makes the turf look beautiful."

Belvedere takes pride in the vast number of perennial flowers which they plant each year. So, mowing the grass around them should be done carefully, as Hovezak explains.

walker-talk-volume-15-9_12.jpg"We put a lot of time into maintaining our flower beds, so we need to use a machine that makes trimming around the beds easy while doing a good job." Hovezak says the Walker has become the tool they have found that gives them the kind of cut they need to complement their beautiful flower beds.

Both castles have full-time staffs; Belvedere employs 15 people to maintain its four-acre site, while Schonbrunn maintains its 1.5 million-squaremeter property with 170 employees - 40 of which are apprentices who must have three years of previous experience to work there.

Sixty of Schonbrunn's employees work in the gardens and parks while the remaining employees work in the numerous greenhouses throughout the property. Many of the gardening employees are involved in a bookkeeping process of each plant that starts in the greenhouses and is followed through to planting.

When the mowing is all said and done for Pinzenohler and Hovezak, they both agree on one thing - these castles are rich in history, which they admit is the main attraction. But they are eager to tell anyone who will listen that the grounds surrounding these pieces of history are also an integral part of attracting tourists.

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