Our main reason for going to Europe this summer was to re-visit my mother's hometown and to see family that still lives there. It has been 26 years since I last visited, and 40 years since my sister was last there, so you can imagine how eager we were to return. While we were there we traveled to the neighboring towns where our ancestors lived taking photos of their old homes, cities and cemeteries. We were even able to discover one more generation back (my 3rd great grandparents) in the local archives.
One of my fondest memories from childhood is discovering these red poppies growing in the open fields along the Main (pronounced 'mine') River. Today that open area is filled in with businesses, but we did manage to see poppies alongside some of the roadways.
When you live within a walled city, you don't always have much of a yard to garden in. So many of the yards are small and filled with roses and other blooming flowers.
This person has managed to maximize their gardening space, what little there is of it.
Here we have a couple of people maximizing every inch (with the exception of the walkway) of soil to grow flowers and/or vegetables.
What do you do when you don't have any garden space . . . Ahh, you build a raised garden bed. Isn't this adorable?
This home definitely belongs to a gardener. I lingered here for a while taking in all the whimsical features of this adorable mini-garden.
There are colorful little patches of flowers wherever there's space.
The area where my mother is from is in Bavaria and was originally known as Franconia. This area is known for its wine, and you will find the sides of the hills covered in grape vineyards. I was so happy to see that development has not caused these hillside vineyards to disappear.
As far as the eye can see the hills are covered with vineyards.
This small hawk was posing for us as we ate lunch perched atop the vineyards enjoying the view.
The largest neighboring city is Wurzburg which is popular with river boat cruises. In addition to the historic city it has two other beautiful buildings to see. The first is called The Residence. It housed the prince bishops of the Catholic Church at one time. During World War II 90% of the City of Wurzburg was destroyed by bombs. The Residence has, luckily, been restored to its past grandeur.
The above photo is of the backside of The Residence where you will find a pretty garden.
How would you like to be in charge of keeping these trees trimmed? I know, I wouldn't!
We enjoyed our stroll through the perfectly maintained formal garden.
On the other side of town is the Marienberg Fortress. This was built for the prince bishops when they needed to escape to a more secure place. These prince bishops lived like kings in these beautiful, richly decorated and furnished buildings. More vineyards are covering the hillside beneath the fortress.
The Fortress also has a very small but pretty garden.
And what a wonderful view the prince bishops had from atop their Fortress.
Last, but not least, are the window boxes. I couldn't do a post on gardens in Germany without including the pretty window boxes that adorn most homes and buildings. Most are planted with red geraniums, but I also saw a few with pink geraniums and some petunias.
I hope you enjoyed a taste of the gardens in the area of Germany where my mother grew up.