June 19, 2010

Report from Switzerland -Day 1

Greetings from Switzerland, where Joe and I are hiking, botanizing and catching up on some well needed rest ( if you can call it that!). I thought that I might throw some pics up on the blog that might be interesting to my readers, so most are plant related. 

Apparently this part of Switzerland ( Lauterbrunnen/Wengen) has been experiencing some rather unseasonal cold and rainy weather this year, with most tourists complaining about their lost week or two, to the rain and fog, and the residents, laughing at them (politely) because rain is not unusual here during the flora weeks in June and early July, they admit that this year has been very rainy. It's cold too, with temperatures around 0 degree C ( 32 deg. F) at the hiking trails, 45 degree temps where we stay. But, for one of the most beautiful places on earth, even when it rains, one cannot complain that much, I find the clouds, mist and fog restful, and even peacefully relaxing. 

Gardens in and around the tiny alpine village of Wengen, are in peak bloom. The rarer gentians and alpines that we know are blooming up on the cloud-cover alpine meadows may be calling us, today, we are taking a day of rest, and still enjoying some of the more common flora in the local chalet front gardens. Lupines, saxifrages, poppies, all seem to grow much nicer in the cool, moist mountain air.
The Swiss seem to find places on these steep slopes for vegetable plots that are so tidy, and weedfree, that I am in envy. 

Check out these spruce tops used for pea supports, I wonder if these are recycled Christmas trees since each is clearly the top of a spruce tree, a number of gardens used these as vine supports.
The rain on a quiet Wengen road early in the morning. I love rain, so this doesn't bother me, even through one of the planets most stunning views is across from this scene. In a way, the rain makes us focus on other things.Sun is scheduled for Tuesday, and a little snow is forcast for tomorrowwhich is rare here in June at this elevation, so stay tuned, everyone here is excited.  Wengen is a small alpine village which one must reach by alpine railroad ( cog) so there are very few vehicles, maybe only an electric car or a scooter. All you can hear, are goats, cowbells and cuckoo birds. Me likey very much.
Allium in a swiss garden.

Edelwiess at a small florist in town. I saw these last time we were here growing in large bowls on a door stoop, and I noted that I wanted to try some in a container in my garden. I think I have about 5 weak stems. These specimens are the size of  sheep, and are sold in 1 gallon pots for around US$28.00.( 30 Swiss Francs)


  1. Matt, it's in the nineties here...enjoy that fantastic, cool, wet weather!! Happy botanizing, eat some alpine strawberries for me...B

  2. Looking forward to a vacation and a reminisce. We visited Lauterbrunnen and stayed at Hotel Stabbach. One site we visited was Alpengarten Schynige Platte, enjoyed the plants and the sounds of the cows ringing their bells down in the valley below. We didn't see edelweiss on our trip(too late), but I have had it for a fews years now in a container at home.

  3. 32-45F! We could use just a bit of that cold weather here, another round of heat and humidity is on the east coast.

    The trip sounds great and the gardens and flora wonderful.

    Keep us posted!


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