continuous water

We’re drowning here in Southern Germany! The past four weeks it has rained non-stop and at the check-out counter of my local gardening center almost everyone in line included a box of slug bait. Yes, it’s very green but even if it were to stop raining, the garden is inaccessible due to extreme slugginess!

Amazing to contrast this with the dry Southern Spanish climate we recently visited where water is the central feature of most of the designed gardens. It’s difficult to imagine we would desire the sound of water here but a pond seems like a good idea to house some predators for those slugs. But as garden fashion goes…crucial in the design of any ‘water feature’, is the sound of the trickle. Without being too descriptive, you don’t want it to sound ‘human’ unless it is the point of the feature (think: Manneken Pis).

Here are some examples of quiet, meditative water gardens;

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not just tulips

It’s the change of season which reminds me of our visit to Keukenhof in the Netherlands last year. When I tell my Dutch friends I actually enjoyed this they picture my tall frame amidst the many Asian tourists posing on my hunches in front of thousands of pastel-colored tulips and laugh, of course!

Yes, the tulips are an important element of the park but there is plenty of inspiration for real gardeners as well. Just to show you a few examples…

oktoberfest botanical

This Sunday is the last day of the annual three week Oktoberfest celebration in Munich. The entire town smells like beer and is decorated in Bavarian colors. Just about every shop window participates, including this flower shop close to Marienplatz. Dried hops, the most important ingredient of beer, is the focus of its Oktoberfest display as seen in these hops wreaths;

hops wreath

these planters are made of barley (used for malting beer) flowers ;

hops planters

and driving recently from Munich to Frankfurt we passed many fields where hops is grown

hops fields