Monday, 14 May 2012

More Catching Up: Baroque Garden Days

In my previous post, I mentioned that my Mum and I went to climb the church tower on our way to the park, where a gardening exhibition was taking place. This is an annual event going by the name of Barocke Gartentage (Baroque Garden Days), using the "baroque" element because the palace and its grounds actually date back to that period.
In some years, the exhibition should have rightly been carrying the name of Baroque Rain Days, but certainly not this year - the sun was shining from a brilliantly blue sky, and it was warm enough for us to go shortsleeved and barelegged.
Us being us, of course we dressed according to the theme and were both wearing flowery dresses, as you'll see further down.

But now, some impressions from the exhibition:
I quite liked this set-up with the hammock, although I actually am more in favour of old fashioned gardens and not so keen on a lot of what goes as modern features today. I especially can't see the point in those caged stone walls; they look so industrial. Why not simply have the stone wall alone, without the steel bars around them?

My mother-in-law in England used to have one just like the green bench in her garden at the old house in Wath before she moved to Ripon.

In my opinion, flowers and plants are decorative enough and you don't need more deco to clutter up a garden, but I do like the classic round glass ball (we call them Rosenkugel, rose ball, because they are mostly put into rose beds here). The heartshaped one made me think of Kay! (I am sure you know I am talking about "Georgia Girl with an English Heart").

These are called Margeriten in German, and I am quite sure their English name is similar.
I would have liked to show you more from the exhibition, but most stall holders did not allow photos, and of course I respected their wish.

After having a glass of rose champagne each (a very, very delicious drink, I assure you!), my Mum and I moved on to the other parts of the park.
This lilac was just glorious, and brimming with the hum of countless bees:

We then went into the large glass house / conservatory (called Orangerie here, because it stands in the place of the original orangeries from baroque times). There, all through the year, art and plants are shown in changing exhibitions. Right now, what they tried to sell us as "art" was, in my eyes, taking the mickey out of people:

When my Mum saw these, she said, "your Dad has several of those in the garage".
The prices they wanted for a bundle of entangled cables was ridiculous!
But there was more to see in the Orangerie, such as these orchids:

I am not that much of an orchid person myself, my favourite flowers being forgetmenots and roses, but I do appreciate the beauty of all flowers, really.

We had now seen enough exhibits to last us for a while and went to the part of the park that is called Märchengarten, fairy tale garden. It has a few rides and plenty of scenes with moving figures from all the German fairytales which (almost) every German child knows, the ones made public a long time ago by the Grimm brothers.
One of my favourite bits there is the boat ride; it is very safe (intended for small children, of course), very slow and very un-exciting - and that is why I love it. It's been there since 1954, and I must have been on one of these boats hundreds of times.

We had a lovely day, as I hope these pictures are able to convey!
(My Mum knows her picture is on here, she has nothing against it.)


  1. I have a feeling that if I was to put any of that art in my garden, a kind neighbour would put it away in the bin for me!

    1. He he Macy, and I wouldn't blame him...!

  2. Hello Meike:
    Somewhat as you, we tend not particularly to like the 'show' gardens at events such as this which are more concerned with being 'different', and therefore can appear very contrived, rather than illustrating innovative flower combinations or the ways in which plants may be used together for impact.

    But we are delighted that the weather held for you - it makes such a difference if the sun shines.

    1. Hello Jane and Lance,
      we have season tickets for the park, and therefore didn't have to pay extra for the show; otherwise I very much doubt we would have gone!
      Yes, the weather was perfect for such an event, and I was pleased for those who organized it all as well as the exhibitors; having a garden exhibition in the rain is simply dreadful.

  3. Your pictures of the orchids inspire me to make something more of my own collection, which is really just a group of pots - perhaps some nice spiky leaves would set them off better. I like your picture of the marguerites best, very pretty. Lovely summer frocks, too (I'm wearing two sweaters right now, lol!)

    1. Thank you, Geranium Cat! It's been cold enough for the past few days for me to only go out in jeans and with a coat, too...
      I am glad the orchid pictures inspired you.

  4. So happy the sun shown on you and Mum. Makes for such a pleasant day for moseying around among the flowers. I agree with Jane Hattatt that so often the show gardens, much like the designer rooms in home magazines, are just too contrived for my taste; I always want to clear the room out a bit and I would never put those decorative items in a garden. However, I did have a Gnome in my rose garden for years. My mother bought it in Germany in the early 1960s and he sat, and read his book, for years bringing much joy to my heart. He is inside now, in his old age, and still reading his book on a shelf in my library.

    1. Garden gnomes seem to be a typical German thing, although you see less and less of them nowadays. Terracotta objects were all the rage for the last 10-20 years now, I think, and still are. I like the idea of the elderly gnome enjoying his retirement in your library!

  5. Dear Meike,
    Lovely post! Oh, you thought of me when you saw the heart shaped decor, that tickled me! Like you, I don't usually like things in flower gardens, but oddly enough there is a garden on the way to Stone Mountain that has one of those "gazing balls" as we call them here and it is purple and it is PERFECT in that particular garden! So it all depends on the garden. Just as the one that you showed us, it is such a large garden that those decorative objects break up the flowers and give you something else to see. Kind of like an exclamation point!
    HA HA on those bundles of "art". Whoo boy, that is EXACTLY like something from our garage too, Meike's Mum!

    Now, you know I would love that fairytale garden. I even told you from your last post how much that chamber room reminded me of a fairytale! I think I never got over my children's books, I loved them so.

    1. Dear Kay, yes, some people seem to have a knack of getting it right - not too much deco, just enough to make a garden (or a room) look even more beautiful. A bit like using make-up and jewellery; too much makes a lady look ridiculous, but the right amount and colours just emphasize her beauty.

      The fairytale garden is still a place I love walking through, even though I have been there countless times from my earliest childhood. I must admit that I don't like some of the newer scenes built, but they have mostly done a good job in integrating new stuff with the old.

  6. Life is full of little coincidences. Whilst gabion sea walls are very common around where I live both here and in NZ I had not, until very recently (although, annoyingly, I can't recall where) seen gabions used as ordinary walls. I suspect the answer as to why they are used is speed and cost and a shortage of stone-wallers to build proper ones.

    Like you I'm not a great lover of orchids and I did remark not so long ago on a blog that Liverpool had had one of the finest orchid collections in the world. One of the more left wing administrations got rid of it on the grounds that it was elitist.

    Art can take many forms. In my book, however, what you have shown is, as you say, just taking the mickey.

    1. Thank you for teaching me a new term! Gabion walls - I shall remember that. If I had a garden and didn't have the time and/or money for a proper stone wall, I'd opt for a fence, or plant a hedge, but I wouldn't want to be surrounded by steel bars... too similar to a cage for my liking.

  7. We have a lot of those walls at work and the stone mimics the braided river beds of Canterbury. Architect speak for something rather cold and ugly! Ours have chicken wire not steel bars. The earthquakes distorted them a lot. I wish they would grow something on them to soften them.
    Nice to see your lovy Mum

    1. Fi, I think with chicken wire, they'd look less prison-like than with the steel cages around them. Maybe if they last long enough, eventually seeds will find their way into the cracks between the pieces of rock and grow there.