Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Gardens at Insel Mainau

Now that I am a working woman again (I have a short-term job helping write science curriculum) I am not gallivanting off into the Swiss mountains or the German countryside on a daily basis any more.  Sigh.  And since blogging about an eight-hour day at the computer isn't very exciting, I might finally catch up on my past adventures.

Today we are going back to Germany.  While Darrell was at his meeting at the University of Konstanz, I got an early start and took the ferry to the other side of the Bodensee (Lake Constance) to see a few more castles (ho hum).

Castle in Meersburg, Germany
I took a long hike through some darling towns, past a lovely vineyard, and then through a dark forest.  It could have been the forest where Hansel and Gretel met the witch, but I'm not sure.  I was definitely looking behind me as I walked!

Blooming windowboxes on the oriel windows 
People who live in the Bodensee area seem inordinately proud of it.  This driveway is tiled in the characteristic shape of the Bodensee!

Not a slug with tentacles, but the shape of the Bodensee!
When I returned to the Konstanz side of the lake I was close to Insel Mainau (Mainau Island) which has an amazing botanical garden that Vera recommended.  They have a very friendly entrance and welcoming flower!

I know you are smiling!
And this one is darling too!
Of course they had a garden in the shape of the (you guessed it) Bodensee!  They also had many gardens devoted to one kind of flower or shrub, such as the dahlias, rhododendrums, etc.  They had an incredible forest at the top of the hill in the middle of the island with Sequoia trees growing on it, as well as many other species.  They even had a large stump of petrified wood from Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona!

My favorite garden was an Italian style waterfall garden.  This picture does not do it justice.  There was water cascading down a long, long series of stone steps with magnificent flowers on both sides.

This garden made me want to sing!
There were also many sculptures, some out in full view and others tucked where only a few people would find them.

Romantic sculpture in a circular pool
Near the Baroque castle on the island, there was a large rose garden.  I am not very fond of roses but it was a pretty intoxicating experience to walk through so many bushes blooming at once!  Another personal favorite was a garden honoring Carolus Linnaeus.  I think it was planted like a blooming calendar but I'm not quite sure as it wasn't translated from the German.  Darrell and I are beginning to understand a little more of what it must feel like to be immigrants that do not speak the language, or even a small sense of what it must be like to be illiterate because the words just look like symbols that don't have any meaning to them.  I've bought a few food items based on the picture on the outside and been fairly surprised when I got home and opened the package!  It is a wonderfully humbling experience to be in another country!

Speaking of humbling, the last two pictures for today illustrate part of their garden that is easily wheelchair accessible.  They had vegetable gardens, flower gardens, places to sit and reflect or have a cup of coffee, and then they also had this interesting wall garden and an accessible water garden.  I found it very inspiring!

Accessible wall garden
Accessible water garden
The next blog will be a short one showing the butterfly garden!  I can still feel their delicate wings fluttering by me as I think about it...

No comments:

Post a Comment