The Harbinger of Autumn
Mainau Island welcomes autumn with a dazzling annual display of 12,000 dahlias representing 270 varieties. In September, the lakeside garden overlooking shimmering Lake Constance is ablaze. But which dahlia is best? Pompom or ball? Cactus or decorative? Each year, visitors vote to see which will be crowned the Mainau Queen of Dahlias.
Robust, luxuriant and long-flowering, perennials are always a favourite. Mainau’s herbaceous garden, sheltered by the vineyard walls, boasts 800 varieties and 16,000 plants. The sheer numbers guarantee inspiration in autumn and winter, let alone in spring and summer. Willows and beech hedges add structure; paths meander past lawns, benches and exuberant flowerbeds. Relax; linger; take stunning photos.
In autumn, spend time in the Arboretum, when leaves are changing colour. The heart of Mainau dates back 150 years. This was when Grand Duke Friedrich I of Baden bought the island as a summer residence; he planted the first exotic trees here in 1864. Today, there are 250 tree and shrub species, from native deciduous and evergreens to exemplars from Asia, North Africa and America. Among the most impressive are the giant sequoias, tulip trees, Atlas and Lebanon cedars, plus a 145-year-old gingko tree, next to the church.
The Count’s Castle Festival (September 29 – October 3, 2017)
One highlight on Mainau’s calendar is the Count’s Castle Festival, a classy shopping event. In palace rooms normally closed to the public, exclusive jewellery and fashion is for sale.
More details: https://www.mainau.de/de/opening-hours-prices.html