The Flower Island
The Prince who became a Landscaper
Close to the Swiss boarder, on the other side of Lake Constanca you will find the 45 hectare large Island Mainau. Prince Lennart Bernadotte from Sweden moved to this overgrown Island after he married a commener and gave up his royal title in 1932. The Island was turned into a Flower Paradise and opened to public, mainly with the support of his 2nd wife Sonja in the 70es. Lennart had studied horticulture but he was also a talented filmmaker and photographer – many photos of the island were taken by himself. If you live near the Lake Constanca or you make a visit nearby – secure a visit to Island Mainau. I admit, it’s quite touristic with loads of bus trips, families with children, and a looong walk from the parking to the entrance of the island. However, for someone looking for special plants and inspiration, you will be at the right place. I have visit Island Mainau several times the past years – and every time I am fascinated by the thousands of plants and colors. Just make sure you put on your sneakers – this is a full day trip!
In May and and early June there are over 200 species of Rhododendrons flowering on the Island. Close to the shores on the east side of the island, there is a Rhododendron Walk – a mixture with huge and small species on both sides of the road. There is not a specific color scheme – more an explosion of all possible colors.
The Dahlia Show
The Island Mainau is well known for their Dahlia collection, and every year the visitor can vote for the “Dahlia-Queen” of the year. Around 12’000 Dahlias are re-planted every year right after “Tulips & Co.” had their performance in early spring. Very helpful is that each specie has their own “name-tag”, a quick photo, and you will remember the beauty also after the visit.
No – there is no section that is named this way, the correct address is “Platenenweg 5”. This section is dedicated to all Hobby Gardeners and created in cooperation with German Garden Magazines or Garden Partners. Examples of pots, different styles or new products are well presented. A good idea is the “Green Garden Hotline” – pick up the phone and ask the Gardener for advice.
The whole Island shows loads of Perennials, luckily all with “name-tags” so that you can follow up on them after the visit. There is a huge area with different Peonies, an Italian Rose Garden, a roof top garden, a Hydrangea Road and much more. I was not even aware of the Hydrangea road, I missed it as it’s situated on the other side of the island. I have now noted it for my next visit.
Big family Day
The Island Mainau is a great alternative to fun/play-parks and an opportunity for the whole family, including grand-parents to do something together (OK, the “teenagers” might not find it too cool…). The children will love the big flower statues, cuddle the animals in the “Kids Mini Farm”, or simply run around in the “Kids Play-land”.
Plan your trip
Located in Germany, close to Austria and Switzerland, the Island is well visited. Make sure to come early rather than late, then you won’t end up in traffic jam on the return. Below the link for the easiest way to get there – directions here.
Address: Insel Mainau 1
78465 Insel Mainau