(International) Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, friends!

Because we've just returned from two weeks of visiting family in Europe...

Because the mountain of laundry I'm tackling reviles the Swiss Alps in size...

Because, after two weeks, our gardens are an unruly mess...

I've decided to share with you lovely window boxes and small space gardens of Switzerland and Northern Germany, instead of the blooms in my own weed-laden, spotty-leafed gardens.

(Really, you would think that after all of the care and attention I've given our gardens over the past months that they could just BEHAVE for two weeks. Yeesh.)

So, while you enjoy reading the Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day posts at

May Dreams Gardens

, I will be in our gardens, drowning in 100% humidity, wishing I was back in the sweater and jeans weather of Switzerland.

Honestly--is there anything more quintessentially Swiss than window boxes filled with geraniums?

A lakefront home from 1705.

A window box tucked outside the tiny dormer.  The farm where we stayed sported window boxes along the barn.....and even blooms by the dog house. **

With acreage at a premium, homes in the areas we visited don't include large yards. Instead, blooms and vegetable gardens are tucked into any bit of soil or space available.

Grapes trellised up to the balcony.* Perennial bed overflowing by the front door.*

My mother-in-law's garden, overflowing with flowers in a narrow two-foot wide strip... ** ...and her patio, filled with blooms...*...as well as blooms climbing to provide vertical color. *

*Even street signs are embellished with blooms. *

In Ermatingen, Switzerland, the centuries-old lakefront homes often have a small garden across the road, overlooking the lake. Again, the majority of these small spaces are overflowing with color and foliage.

Some of them are guarded by vicious sentries.

Vegetable gardens border the street, oblivious to the American homeowner associations' "rules" that edible gardens belong in the back yard, tucked away out of sight.

Beautiful, practical, orderly Swiss vegetable gardens...

What surprised me the most, though, were the roses in Eckernförde and Arnis, Germany. In a patch of soil not bigger than a crusty loaf of German bread, stunning roses grew up walls, around doorways, through trellises. What was even more baffling--alleyways with nominal light were the home of many of these gorgeous blooms.

The lovely home where we stayed in Northern Germany, with roses climbing every wall and perennials in every corner.

Traditional thatched roof home in Northern Germany, with roses adorning the walls.

In Arnis, Germany, Peter and I found our future retirement community. The entire town consists of one street, with old, traditional homes. Here, though, many of the homes face the sea--a sailing mecca for my obsessed husband. But the magic of the community is that many of the homes facing the water also include beautiful gardens, with space for my dirt cravings. Plus, a community with wind generators?

Be still, my green heart!

It's tempting...but I suppose I would finally need to learn German.

Some day.

For now, though, the nasty laundry and ugly, weedy garden await.

Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

XO ~