Monday, August 10, 2009

Blinded by Brilliant Blooms

During a brief trip to Switzerland in June, Michelle's parents-in-law, Kurt and Berta, took us to a huge garden centre a few klms from Basel.
Most of the plants were under glass. The potted plants, most of which were already in flower ready to be placed in window boxes, were displayed on large metal tables which also acted as shallow watering trays.
Hanging baskets adorned the walls and hung from the roof, while miniature gardens made use of a range of non-plant materials to complement a wide range of trees, shrubs, flowers, vegetables and creepers.

Spectacular mixed hanging basket.

Pelargoniums flowering ready to brighten a window-box.


Ivy-leafed geraniums.


A broader view.

Herbs and geraniums.

Mixed shrubbery outside the glasshouse.

A beautiful dark fuchsia.

Often regarded as a pest in the garden, the common Potato Vine makes an impressive hanging basket plant.

Colour as far as the eye can see.

With a much shorter growing period than we are blessed with in Australia, plants need to be fairly mature when purchased to maximise the time in which the flowers can be enjoyed.
We are not used to seeing fifty plants of the same variety in our nurseries, but many of these are used in window boxes where plants all of one variety create greater impact than a mixed selection.


'Bird of Paradise' in the foreground.

Basil of several colours.

The colours may clash here...

....but I'm sure they will brighten many a garden.

Now that's spectacular, I'm sure you'll agree.

The day before we left Belgium, I was telling a friend about visiting this nursery in Switzerland. Not to be outdone, Kathy quickly bundled me into the car and took me to her favourite nursery in Antwerp, which may have been even larger than this one and contained everything you could possibly want to decorate your garden from plants, statues, furniture, vases and urns, lights and decorations, and more things than I can remember.

Later still, whilst in England, we visited yet another huge garden centre which, as well as containing the usual plants, etc. sold books, clothing, gifts and had a restaurant.

All of these garden centres could easily entertain one for the entire day......and empty one's pocket as well.

But what a wonderful way to go broke!!!


diane said...

Gosh that certainly is a splendid nursery. The colours are just beautiful. Now I know why their widow boxes look so nice.

Kerri said...

Ross and I have had quite a discussion over several of your photos of this wonderful place, Alice. We're incredulous over that spectacular hanging basket, with so much packed into it! I wonder how long one could keep it looking beautiful.
By "common potato" I'm assuming you mean sweet potato vines in the hanging baskets, right? So pretty! I've never seen them bloom, but those flowers look just like the ones we noticed on our regular potatoes in the veggie garden a few weeks back. We've eaten new potatoes twice this past week. Delicious!
Oh my, look at all those fantastic geraniums!
I could really enjoy a place like another country, where I could just soak up beauty of the plants, and not have to make any decisions about what to take home. But at the same time, it would be so hard to have to leave everything there. :)
We loved the herb garden and surroundings in the last picture. That place looks spectacular too.
Garden centres are a place to dream, aren't they? I'm like a kid in candyland when I visit them :)
You certainly saw some beautiful sights during your travels. Thanks so much for sharing them through your wonderful photos. Really - wonderful! Thank you, thank you, dear Alice! I feel like I was there with you :)

Marlene Depler said...

What a wonderful greenhouse! So full of blooming things. I love to visit garden centers. Wish I had been there with you.

Titania said...

A very impressing Greenhouse. You know how all the windows are dressed in flowers in SWL, it needs many plants! When as a child living in SWL, every window was decorated with Geraniums and ferns. I agree with you a splendid way to spend the money!

Barbara said...

Thank you for presenting this nursery which isn't so far away from where I live. But I've not yet been to this nursery which seems to have a great variety of beautiful plants. I guess you were glad not to be able to spend your money there as you were travelling ;-) !! Nurseries and garden centers always are big temptations for me and this in every country I visit!