Greetings from Bavaria. I’m here to celebrate my favorite aunt’s 80th birthday and am having tremendous fun with the federation of cousins.
But I did take the time to tour the gardens at Weihenstephan, which are on the site of a former abbey, as well as the oldest continuously operating brewery in the world, now state-owned. (My cousin’s wife teaches at one of the universities in Munich. Her children don’t get a break on their tuition because of it, but she does get a discount on Weihenstephaner beer. A culture with its values firmly in place!)
Today Weihenstephan is also an Ag school, which makes its public garden much more interesting than your average stiff public garden.
And there are experiments throughout, such as window boxes planted with vegetables with varying amounts of fertilizer added that make it clear that there is some optimum point beyond which too much is just too much.
There is a general fascination here with plants that are simply too big for their britches, such as the ‘Green Acres’ hosta below.
But by far the best part of the garden are the sunny perennial borders, which are entirely yellow now:
There is nothing here but humble prairie plants: goldenrods, towering varieties of Rudbeckias, a neat yellow helenium I haven’t seen before, plus loads of different sunflowers.
Put them together, and the experience is dazzling. Makes me want to dig some goldenrods out of my fields and concentrate them into horticultural sunshine.