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Display Gardens: Schachengarten visit 13 October 2010

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Started by: Kate Price

a final seed collecting visit before the snow arrives

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Contribution from Kate Price 16 October 2010, 17:28top / bottom of page

I was lucky enough to be in Munich this week for what is likely to be the last visit to the Schachengarten in 2010: on Wednesday we had beautiful weather, but today the forecast is for snow on Mount Schachen, and this may well lie until June next year!

We drove south from Munich to Garmisch-Partenkirchen under low cloud, but soon climbed above it on the path to the alpengarten

As we walked up through the spruce zone, we saw the last remaining plants in flower, including Gentiana ciliata, Ranunculus alpestris, Carduus defloratus, Gentianella germanica and Adenostyles alliariae.

Climbing higher, we got a marvelous view of the Koenigshaus, which lies just above the alpengarten, with the glacier behind it.

Coming out of the woods, at 11.30am the heavy frost hadn't yet lifted from the more sheltered spots - Rhododendron hirsutum clearly shows the reason for its name!

The primary purpose of Munich Botanic Garden horticulturist Jenny Wainwright Klein's visit is to collect seed for Munich BG's index seminum.

Here are towering stems of Meconopsis napaulensis, seedheads of many primula species, Leontopodium alpinum, fruit of Gunnera magellanica...

The Schachengarten had a dismal summer, so many species are only now blooming. When I worked here in 2008, it did my head in rather to see plants from such far-flung corners of the globe, flowering happily on a Bavarian mountainside. This visit was no less bewildering - who could imagine climbing a mountain in southern Germany and finding Kniphofia caulescens, Gentiana paradoxa, Raoulia albosericea, Primula dradifolia and Centaurea macrocephala?

And, what a thrill, Cremanthodium ellisii!


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