Thursday, May 10, 2007

19 April: Lovely Ludwigsburg

This afternoon I drove to Ludwigsburg (without a navi, no less – and I only made one wrong turn) to check out the tulips in the Baroque gardens. I had been putting this off for a while, but I am really glad I went today because I just caught the tulips towards the end of their prime. All of the daffodils were done and the rhododendrons were starting to bloom. They had a whole different color scheme of tulips in the formal gardens, which means they must rip out the bulbs every year and plant new ones – what an enormous job! I was surprised and saddened to see that the gorgeous white flowering tree (which I still haven’t identified, but I think is some sort of Asian magnolia), which was in full bloom on the 25th of April last year, was completely leafed out already, with not a single petal remaining. However, there was another tree in full bloom – a cherry tree loaded with clusters of fluffy cotton candy pink blossoms – that almost made up for missing the magnificent white tree.

I made my rounds of the lower gardens, then climbed up to the Ostergarten, where all of the purple hyacinths were long gone, but the wisteria vines were about to explode into full bloom. The most spectacular tulips were near the greenhouses, where I encountered a veritable sea of blossoms in shades of yellow, red, and pink. The tulip beds on the south facade of the palace had been planted this year in a candy-colored scheme of pink-and-white and red-and-yellow tulips over a bed of purple-centered white pansies. It was not quite as dramatic as last year’s deep purple and red color scheme, but still stunning. After walking the length of the gardens to get some nice long-distance shots of the palace, I headed back to the parking lot and home. I had a feeling I might get lost if I tried to retrace my route through Feuerbach, so I just took the B-27 all the way into Stuttgart and came home via Schlossstraße. (And yes, I checked, it really is spelled with a triple “s”!).

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