Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Alpine Gardens of Switzerland

Week 2 was spent mostly in the little village of Zermatt, Switzerland where you will find fantastic views of the Matterhorn.

 For several days we took the ski lift up to the mountains where we enjoyed hiking about on the vast tundra - some grassy, some barren, some covered with patches of snow and pockets of pretty little alpine flowers.

The weather up here was sunny but quite chilly since there are still patches of snow dotting the mountain sides and aqua marine pools of glacier water.

There are pockets and patches of tiny alpine flowers everywhere. Sometimes it's hard to see them until you're up close because of their diminutive size.

All in pretty spring colors


Here's a really tiny pink one


A striking blue.

Look at this wonderful little tinkerbell-like flower that just gives a hint of what's inside. 

Who knew it would be this wild wiry puff of a flower inside.


This one looks like a succulent of some type.

 We also enjoyed hiking the city below . . .

including this boardwalk which took us up high into the trees to see a waterfall gushing with melted snow from the mountains. 

 

Eventually all that melted snow ends up as a river running at a brisk pace through the center of Zermatt.

All along the hiking trails are wild rhododendrons and roses.

Zermatt is a car-less town with lots of things to see and do in both summer and winter.

 There are plenty of geranium-filled flowerboxes.

So this is what you do with all those fallen trees. 

There are many pretty flower gardens,

as well as, interesting gutter decorations.

We even found a small nursery.

 And small but might vegetable gardens growing in their tiny yards.


These super-sized poppies were a favorite of mine. The flowers were almost as large as my hand.


 Lavender is planted everywhere and is alive with the sound of bees getting drunk on the nectar. 

 Hydrangeas are another popular flowering plant.

 These folks opted to keep a postage-stamp sized piece of grass in their orderly little garden.

 We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Zermatt with its Swiss chalet style homes, pretty flowers, fresh air and beautiful vistas. 



Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Gardens of Austria & Germany

This summer we headed overseas to see the sights in Austria and Switzerland, and to visit family in Germany. We were lucky to miss the hottest weeks of our summer, but now are readjusting to the heat and humidity.

Europe has two types of gardens - - -

Formal


and informal

Informal is more my style, but I can appreciate the structure and neatness of a colorful formal garden, as well. During our first week we split our time between southern Bavaria (Munich area) and Salzburg, Austria.

Our first stop was at the formal gardens of Linderhof Castle near Oberammagau. As far as castles go, Linderhof is small and has a small, but nice garden to go along with it. 


You can see in the background that they let the meadow grow naturally. 

The views of the countryside surrounding Linderhof and Neuschwanstein Castle are breathtaking. I visited this area 40 years ago and thought this was one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen at the time. Forty years later, I still feel the same way. 


This is Neuschwanstein the fairytale castle built by King Ludwig of Germany. They thought he was insane because he was obsessed with building unbelievably beautiful castles. 

As we traveled by bus and train the roadsides are au 'naturel. They don't mow which I think is fabulous! They have a mix of native grasses and wildflowers blowing gently in the breeze. 


We headed to Salzburg, Austria because my daughter and the 2 daughters of my friend that we travel with LOVE The Sound of Music movie, and they wanted to see some of the sights.  You might recognize this house. It is the backside of the Captain's house. Today it is a hotel.

Mirabell Gardens is another location that was used in the  movie. This beautiful garden is located in the heart of Salzburg. 

They definitely love their statues and decorative touches.

The fountain is also in the movie






This Allee' is in one of the scenes.


The City of Salzburg, like most large European cities, is beautiful with its castle up on the hill, cathedrals and ornately decorated buildings.

  The summer weather was perfect (low to mid 70's) and Austrians can be seen strolling alongside the river or relaxing in the small cafes on weekends. We were happy to join in!








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