Hellbrunn Palace is a Renaissance villa in Salzburg, Austria’s outskirts. It was built between 1612 and 1615 by Markus Sittikus von Hohenems, the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg. Today the palace grounds cover approximately 148 acres (60 hectares) with alles of trees, beds of roses, swirling baroque-style flower beds, and small lakes.
In Bavaria, a land of fairytale castles, there’s a fantasy island of flowers. Mainau Island of Flowers is located on Lake Konstanz, a body of water spanning the borders of southern Germany and Switzerland. This temperate climate provides ideal growing conditions for this garden of floral beauty, fanciful creations, and unique features.
It’s had a long good life and made a magnificent statement in my front garden. All this ended this week when I had it removed for fear of it toppling over into the street.
Returning to Floriade this year was the culmination of a ten-year goal. The last one was so exciting, so beautiful, and inspiring I was determined to return.
I gave up growing roses in my Arizona garden years ago. I found them demanding and disappointing. I virtually stopped buying cut roses as well since their life span seemed incredibly brief. But I have just returned from a trip to Ecuador, where roses reign supreme, and I have an entirely different view of the world of roses.
I have been at home in my garden for over 14 months. I have been untouched by the direct loss of loved ones. I’ve not been ill. I’m vaccinated, comfortable and companionable with the love of my life sharing this experience. There are many things I haven’t liked about this forced seclusion, but my good fortune has been apparent to me.
Kiftsgate Courts Garden, Chipping Campden, England
Sometimes the most striking gardens are not those perfectly plotted on flat ground. Hills, valleys, and rocks may seem like less than favorable conditions, but gardeners are not easily deterred and will find a way.
Gardens are, as they always were, a retreat. Centuries ago, humans retreated from the wildness of nature, seeking protection from “lions, tigers and bears.” Today the garden is a retreat from the wildness of 21st-century life. Encouraged to shelter inside because of the pandemic it seems the world is looking out a window wondering what the way forward will be.
For over 40 years, we’ve enjoyed the scenery just outside our backyard; a city golf course. Now, we’re not golfers, but this picturesque course gives us plenty of enjoyment as we watch the comings and goings of the wildlife there.
Spring is a date on the calendar. The feeling of spring is what happens in the garden. Whenever it arrives at your door, it is a season of hope, renewal, buds swelling into blossoms, and new leaves unfurling color on the landscape. Spring summons joy in the soul. Even in this moment of COVID-19 when everything seems upside down, the garden grows, ignoring the noise and responding only to the changing light and awakening life.