Sunday, July 15, 2012

(International) Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, friends! 

Because we've just returned from two weeks of visiting family in Europe...

Because the mountain of laundry I'm tackling reviles the Swiss Alps in size...

Because, after two weeks, our gardens are an unruly mess...

I've decided to share with you lovely window boxes and small space gardens of Switzerland and Northern Germany, instead of the blooms in my own weed-laden, spotty-leafed gardens. 

(Really, you would think that after all of the care and attention I've given our gardens over the past months that they could just BEHAVE for two weeks. Yeesh.)

So, while you enjoy reading the Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day posts at May Dreams Gardens, I will be in our gardens, drowning in 100% humidity, wishing I was back in the sweater and jeans weather of Switzerland.

Honestly--is there anything more quintessentially Swiss than window boxes filled with geraniums? 

A lakefront home from 1705.

A window box tucked outside the tiny dormer. 

The farm where we stayed sported window boxes along the barn...

..and even blooms by the dog house.
With acreage at a premium, homes in the areas we visited don't include large yards. Instead, blooms and vegetable gardens are tucked into any bit of soil or space available.

Grapes trellised up to the balcony.

 Perennial bed overflowing by the front door.

 My mother-in-law's garden, overflowing with flowers in a narrow two-foot wide strip...

...and her patio, filled with blooms... well as blooms climbing to provide vertical color.
Even street signs are embellished with blooms. 

In Ermatingen, Switzerland, the centuries-old lakefront homes often have a small garden across the road, overlooking the lake. Again, the majority of these small spaces are overflowing with color and foliage.

  Some of them are guarded by vicious sentries.

Vegetable gardens border the street, oblivious to the American homeowner associations' "rules" that edible gardens belong in the back yard, tucked away out of sight. 

Beautiful, practical, orderly Swiss vegetable gardens...

What surprised me the most, though, were the roses in Eckernförde and Arnis, Germany. In a patch of soil not bigger than a crusty loaf of German bread, stunning roses grew up walls, around doorways, through trellises. What was even more baffling--alleyways with nominal light were the home of many of these gorgeous blooms.

The lovely home where we stayed in Northern Germany, with roses climbing every wall and perennials in every corner.

 Traditional thatched roof home in Northern Germany, with roses adorning the walls.

In Arnis, Germany, Peter and I found our future retirement community. The entire town consists of one street, with old, traditional homes. Here, though, many of the homes face the sea--a sailing mecca for my obsessed husband. But the magic of the community is that many of the homes facing the water also include beautiful gardens, with space for my dirt cravings. Plus, a community with wind generators? 

Be still, my green heart!

It's tempting...but I suppose I would finally need to learn German.

Some day.

For now, though, the nasty laundry and ugly, weedy garden await.

Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

XO ~



  1. Love those European windowboxes always crammed with goodies!

    1. Aren't they lovely? And then I came home to my shriveled up window boxes...sigh...

  2. Europeans know how to container garden for sure! I enjoyed looking at your photos. It brought back good memories of my time in Europe. My aunt is visiting us from Germany and enjoying our heat and humidity :O)!

    1. Oh, your poor aunt! I was thinking how much I missed the sweater and jeans weather from our vacation. Hope you have a lovely visit with her!

  3. I remember the way those window boxes were so exuberant and overflowing! I was also intrigued by the lace curtains that hung just behind the boxes. Your photos are a lovely reminder.

    1. It's so true--there are always lace curtains in the windows! Honestly, I always thought only the older generation sported those lacy window dressings--but it seems to be de rigueur for all windows! ;-)

  4. I love all of those European " mini-gardens!" I also was in Northern Germany recently, and am planning my next post to be pictures of the window boxes that graced nearly every home and apartment. I can certainly relate, too, to all of the catch up work in your own garden now that you're home. Couldn't those roses just have cut themselves back after the blooms died?

    And yes, returning to this hot, humid weather was an unpleasant shock!

    1. Can't wait to see your photos! Where were you in Northern Germany? It was my first time in the area, and I would have loved to explore more--but we were there for a family reunion. Look forward to your post!

    2. We were based in Hannover, where my niece is doing post-doctorate work. We also visited Hamburg (mostly to see the world's largest model train set-up!) and Berlin. Don't know whether you saw it yet, but my post with the window and balcony gardens is up, as well as the first part of a series about the Herrenhauser gardens.

  5. Ah, wonderful pictures! Thank you for sharing your trip with us. I can almost smell those roses!

    1. Thank you! The roses were so lovely--makes me think I might tuck a few more bushes into our garden European-style, since we have such limited sun. Crossing my fingers that they grow!

  6. I've enjoyed looking at your photos of European planters and rose gardens. They have a very nice way with planting boxes on each window and the color combinations are so sweet and wonderful! Thank you for sharing and a Happy GBBD!

    1. Thank you! It's funny--with as many articles as I always read about designing containers, there truly is nothing a pretty as a Swiss window box filled with simple geraniums. Sometimes less is more.

  7. I've enjoyed looking at your photos of European planters and rose gardens. They have a very nice way with planting boxes on each window and the color combinations are so sweet and wonderful! Thank you for sharing and a Happy GBBD!

  8. It's amazing what a person can fit into a small space. I like one of the early photos of geraniums and lobelia. The photos of the pots lined up with spheres interspersed between is charming. It's a shame we don't grow veggies in the front yard.

    1. You know, our window boxes have geraniums and lobelia...and when I came home, they looked terrible! I think the heat and humidity took a toll on them while we were gone. I'm trying to pamper them back to health. And yes, it's a complete shame that people are intimidated to grow veggie gardens in the front. We have edibles throughout all the gardens, front and back. (We just have more sun in the back, though, which is why the big veggie garden is there.)

  9. Hi Julie,
    What a nice and surprising GBBD from Europe. I love the window boxes and all the flowers. You really have a nice collection of them in your post. It's nice how so many people care for flowers in such different ways.
    Thanks for the tour.
    Happy GBBD!

  10. Julie, I miss Europe!! Love the window boxes and allllll the blooms!! Can't wait to hear about your trip!