Tag Archives: Flowers

blooming plants

Chrysanthemum Festival

Fall is a time of festivals in my part of Germany.  It’s possible to visit a different one every weekend with each having a unique theme.  On a dry sunny day recently, we visited the Chrysanthemum Festival set in Lahr, a historic village situated on the edge of the Black Forest.  This festival appears to draw people in droves, perhaps due to good advertising on the part of the planners.  Before noon on a Saturday morning, there were already half a dozen tour buses parked on the outskirts of Lahr.  While there was no shortage of ‘official’ guides providing tours of the festival itself as well as the historic city center, it was possible to simply wander at leisure enjoying the various displays.

In addition to figures covered in Chrysanthemum blossoms which appeared to have been adhered with glue, there were themed gardens with Chrysanthemums artfully placed throughout.

What I found most appealing however, were Fall displays using Chrysanthemums and other Fall-blooming flowers, bales of straw, and colorful gourds.

Most businesses and many homes also had baskets of Chrysanthemums sitting at the front door.  This is a village that truly embraces the beauty of Fall.

Aside from the Chrysanthemum Festival, Lahr is picturesque with parts of the old city wall still intact, historic buildings, and half-timbered houses.  What’s not to like?

Keukenhof Gardens

IMG_2673IMG_2636A feast for the eyes and a balm to the soul.  I couldn’t take enough pictures!  The Netherlands has been growing tulips for 400 years and those Dutch people know how to ‘do’ bulbs!  Centuries ago, tulips were so valuable that a single bulb was worth as much as a canal house in Amsterdam!  At Keukenhof Gardens (near Lisse, Netherlands) 100 participating companies showcase their living catalog of bulbs.  Every year, beginning in September, 7 million bulbs are planted – all by hand!  IMG_2625There are 30 gardeners and it takes 3 months to plant all the bulbs.  This park is only open for 8 weeks – during the bloom time of the bulbs:  daffodils, hyacinths and tulips.  When the park closes for the season all the bulbs are dug up and destroyed.

Hoping to avoid crowds, we intentionally visited the park on a weekday and in addition to all the privately owned vehicles, there were 30 tour buses in the parking lot when we ended our visit.  However, with the exception of simply getting through the entrance, it never felt crowded.

IMG_2693On our drive from The Hague to the Keukenhof Gardens we passed numerous farm fields growing colorful bulbs.  It looked like a rainbow in the fields.  The Netherlands exports 45 million flowers…every day!

This post is dedicated to my friends who are anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring!