The Nepal Himalaya Park

Last week we had a bank holiday here in Bavaria – Ascension Day. This meant that an ideal spot for meeting up with friends would be open… the Nepal Himalaya Park near Regensburg.

I have never visited a garden in Germany that captivated me quite like this one! It is most certainly not a traditional ‘show garden’, where plants are placed for effect and labelled with care. No, this was more of a plant fanatic’s paradise, a playground for the owner of the park to see what he can grow, with a mostly oriental theme; a little chaotic, quite wild in places, but absolutely charming in my eyes!

The Nepal Himalaya Pavillon

Photo from the Pavillon website: http://www.nepal-himalaya-pavillon.de

The garden is set into a south-facing hillside in part of a former quarry, and the main ‘attraction’ which inspired it is the Himalaya Pavillon. This temple was actually the Nepalese exhibit at the Expo 2000 in Hanover. It was painstakingly dismantled and rebuilt here in its new home. The garden then arose around it a few years later, so is still relatively young.

My photos are not brilliant as I used my mobile phone, but I think you can get the idea of what the temple looks like surrounded by enormous trees, rhododendrons and azaleas.

I was so pleasantly surprised when I walked through the gate, as it was not at all what I had expected. Along with the traditional perennials, native wild flowers and many herbs there were a lot of unusual plants unknown to me, which I had to look up when I got home. So if you see I have made a mistake, please feel free to correct me!

Only recently I had looked up Amsonia, when Jason from Garden in a City mentioned them. Then there they were – the first flower I laid my eyes on and the first time I had seen one.

Amsonia illustris

I found the foliage particularly striking.

As we walked down a slope past a pond, I noticed Anthericum everywhere, along with patches of blue Corydalis and various Euphorbias.

This plant kept popping up too… I believe it is a type of Echium, although I personally only know the blue sort that grows by the roadsides here.

Echium amoenum

The Japanese garden didn’t do much for me, but as we passed that we came to a shadier area where hostas and ferns were thriving…

I wonder if anyone can tell me what the tall plant is between the yellow irises and poppies… It looks kind of familiar.

Along the way there were small temples, bells and a prayer wheel – all original pieces shipped from Nepal. But I was focussed on the plants!

Lilac

The newest part of the garden is the Chinese Garden – it is very wild, overrun with native wild flowers, but still managing to make quite an impact with the wooden bridges and gateways placed at intervals and the setting itself in the rockiest part of the old quarry is fairly dramatic…

Finally, the plant of the day: Lupins!

On our way home we noticed blue ones growing by the roadsides – something we don’t see in our valley at home.

The website is unfortunately all in German, but there is a virtual tour of the garden here, navigable without any language.

And should you ever visit this part of the world, I would definitely recommend this to serious plant lovers! What kind of gardens do you like to visit best – wild and weedy or formal and tidy? 😉

In a Vase on Monday: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of you!

img_3714

I am joining the now famous Monday meme hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden: A single Amaryllis flower (Lemon Star) in a cocktail glass seemed to capture the spirit of New Year yesterday. The accompanying mini Sekt bottle is empty…. 😉

img_3717

I hope you had a lovely break over Christmas and are refreshed and ready to start the new gardening year with optimism. It is still frozen here, with a light sprinkling of snow, so my garden will be slumbering a little longer.

Have a good week and a good start to the new year 2017!

In a Vase on Monday: Lemon Star

When I walked into my dining room this morning I knew something was not quite right. It was only later, while having breakfast, that I noticed that the first of my Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) to flower this winter was bent over at a dangerous angle threatening to uproot the bulb and put the second bud at risk. So I cut it immediately and put it in a tall vase. Then I realised it is not only Boxing Day, but also Monday – serendipity! I have a vase to share with you after all!

‘Lemon Star’

vase26th1

A neighbour gave me this bunch of red Amaryllis which are also lovely and cheerful on my windowsill.

vase26th2

Do take a look at some of the other festive vases posted for Cathy’s meme on Rambling in the Garden.

🙂

In a Vase on Monday: Happy Halloween!

I wanted to find something spooky this week for a Halloween vase, as I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her weekly meme…

vase31st2

No, not spooky enough. Let’s have another try…

vase31st1b

Aah, now that’s better! The seed heads of the Clematis tangutica are just like little spiders…

vase31st1a

or a bit ghostly, like the hair of a very very VERY old person…

vase31st1c

And with some slightly creepy seed heads of Anemone japonica, the almost black Crocosmia and Echinacea, and the bright orange Physalis alkekengi I hope I managed to capture the ‘spirit’ of the season!

vase31st1f

The pumpkin was a present from a friend, and the butternut will be made into butternut ‘steaks’ this week (I will post a recipe soon!). Last week I called my fern ‘toffee’ coloured, but I think ‘butternut’ is probably an even closer description.

vase31st1

Other ingredients to my vase were some orangey pink Epimedium foliage and a Sedum flower. Did you know Sedums were also renamed? (Actually some time ago but I was slow to catch on!) And of course the new name is much longer and more difficult to pronounce… ‘hylotelephium’. And at the front is the reddish pink seed head of the Ricinus communis that I had to cut down this week – the cold and damp had got to it, but it had lasted so well.

vase31st1d

I won’t be celebrating Halloween myself, but for all of you who are…

Have a wonderful spooky Halloween!

😀 😀 😀

In a Vase on Monday: Sea Fever

A visit to the seaside last week was a real delight – here in Bavaria we are pretty much landlocked, so the smell of the sea air and the sight of such a huge sky, the glittering sea and the long horizon were quite magical. Memories of childhood holidays on the North Norfolk coast have been flooding back since, so now that I am back home I thought my Monday vase should adopt the seaside theme…

Vase5th1

“I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky”

(from Sea Fever by John Masefield)

Vase5th2Cosmos Xanthos, Scabiosa ochroleuca, Succisella inflexa, Miscanthus, Tanacetum (Feverfew), and Ceratostigma (Leadwort).

Vase5th4Cosmos Purity, Caryopteris, Feverfew, white Lavender, and lilac Aster.

Vase5th7Zinnia, Tithonia and Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’

“I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied…”

from Sea Fever by John Masefield (Read the whole poem here)

The two little vases and the beach hut were found in a gift shop next to Blakeney Quay, and the windmills possibly came from the same shop many years earlier! The shells were collected on Norfolk beaches over the past years as well. 😀

Vase5th8

I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden once again for her Monday meme. Do visit her to see her rich choice of flowers this week, as well as all the other vases linked in from around the world!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Have a good week!

The Tuesday View: 30th August 2016

I am still in the UK this Tuesday –  so before you start wondering, this week’s view is a little different!

image

The red plant in the centre is, I believe, the beautiful Lobelia cardinalis that Frank featured in his post last Thursday. The plants at the back of this border must be almost three metres tall!

The Lobelia is in this border too…

image

These photos were taken on Monday at Coton Manor Gardens in Northamptonshire – a stone’s throw from my parents’ home.

image

The borders are beautifully kept and I always think they look fabulous in late summer. (The Spring gardens are, however, also quite lovely.)

image

Some of the planting combinations in this traditional English garden are just stunning. Look at this pale orange Dahlia, pink Echinacea, and the purple Asters behind.

image

If you would like to join me in sharing a single view of your garden each week to follow the changes across the seasons, please leave a link in the comments below so we can all take pleasure in it. I will be back to my familiar view next week, where my rockery may just possibly be showing some signs of stress as a heatwave continues for the second week in Bavaria.

Have a good week everyone!