A Gardener’s Paradise in Freising

I had the rare opportunity to go to the one and only proper plant sale in Bavaria last weekend: Freisingergartentage. Freising is a large town just north-east of Munich, and well over an hour’s drive from me, and every year this festival takes place in early May – the same weekend as the German Mother’s Day.

Most garden festivals/shows in my region sell around 90 percent garden decoration, tools, gadgets or food, and just 10 percent plants… this sale in Freising is probably 95 percent plants! When I walked through the gates my eyes opened wide and a broad smile took over for the next 3 hours!


Stand after stand, nurseries and specialist garden centres from Berlin to Leipzig and Belgium to Austria were offering their well-cared for and properly labelled plants. Sempervivums, roses, hostas, irises, grasses, water plants, annuals… they all had a spot somewhere in the grounds of the Freising County Hall. Everywhere I went the people selling the plants knew the answer to all my questions, offered planting advice, and were genuinely caring and knowledgeable about all they had on display. I felt like a child in a sweet shop! I felt like weeping!


I managed to get through the first 30 minutes without buying anything, but then I saw this Corydalis flexuosa ‘China Blue’. There were several blue ones to choose from, but this seemed bluer than all the others.

Corydalis flexuosa ‘China Blue’


And next to it a Dicentra formosa ‘Burning Hearts’ caught my eye, which is supposed to bloom all summer… I have been looking for one for several weeks.

Dicentra formosa ‘Burning Hearts’


At the next stand a chocolate mint and a pineapple sage – both of which I had also been looking for nearer home, were added to my basket… I had come prepared with several bags and a large shopping basket!

Chocolate Mint


Pineapple Sage


A pale pink Epimedium was one of the plants on my list, as was a pale Aquilegia. I found an Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Lilafee’


… and a small rose Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Nora Barlow’ – which will have rosy pink flowers with a tinge of white, yellow and green. I chose a small plant as I was worried a larger one might get damaged while walking around.


Imagine how happy I was to find this though…


An Eastern Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)!

I have never seen one in Germany before and several people asked where I had found it as I walked around the stalls a second time. This is real treasure for me… even if we don’t get any hummingbirds to hover around it. (See Susie’s post here!)

The stall where I found Nora Barlow also had an Echinacea purpurea Orange Passion.


This stand was from a southern German nursery which actually specializes in irises… next time perhaps I will look at the wide choice of irises they have.ย  I also bought a red rock rose Helianthemum x cultorum ‘Red Orient’ from them. It’s actually a deep pinky red…


This is Anthyllis vulgaris –ย  a member of the pea family with a resemblance to clover – which should love the warmth of my rockery in summer and hopefully set seed.


And my final purchase was a white Cymbalaria pallida ‘Albiflora’.


I debated some time about a Geum, but decided I couldn’t carry any more! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Phew, my arms were aching as I walked back to the car with my bags, but the smile was still there, and to cap it all I was allowed to leave the car park free of charge because my ticket wasn’t accepted in the machine!

That was my idea of a Grand Day Out!


How about you? Do you often get the chance to visit a really good plant sale?


50 thoughts on “A Gardener’s Paradise in Freising

  1. Cathy, wow! I would be in heaven there! Great selections you made. And it is too bad you don’t have hummingbirds for you have some favorites there. I am specially fond of pineapple sage, it’s smell is so exotic and tropical. Like a little piece of the tropics in the garden.
    I hope you are well. I see you are as plant crazy as ever and I mean that in the best way possible. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Cathy, thanks for mentioning my post. What a wonderful day you had selecting new plantsโ€“your excitement is palpable and makes me want to head to garden centers right away. I’m so happy you found Aquilegia canadensis. Epimedium is something I would like to try growing. You made a lot a nice purchasesโ€“it will be fun to see them grow up. Susie

  3. So nice to hear you had a great day! And so many new goodies ๐Ÿ™‚ the corydalis and the dicentra would have been on my list too.
    I can relate to your happiness in being surrounded by serious plant people, they’re few and far between here too and I welcome any chance to hang out in a plant paradise. Enjoy planting!

    • The other visitors were clearly mostly plant lovers too, and not just trailing round with the kids for a day out! Yes, it was good to see there are a lot of plant people out there, and the fun with planting will begin as soon as the weather cheers up! ๐Ÿ˜€ (I know exactly where each plant will go already! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

  4. The joy you experienced surrounded by beautiful plants and people that love them jumps right off the page. I haven’t been to my reader much lately but I am glad I did not miss this post.

  5. What a wonderful time you had, pure heaven! I am growing some Aquilegia Canadensis for my sunset border, super little plants aren’t they, pity they don’t come complete with humming birds!

    • A sunset border sounds quite a romantic idea and I look forward to seeing some photos Pauline. I am very excited about my columbine! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. What a wonderful event and the plants looked beautifully presented too. You must have been very disciplined, I’d have needed an army of porters for my purchases. I’m sure the plants will do very well in your garden.

    • Thanks Christine. I have grown wiser over the last few years and resist the urge to buy plants that won’t stand a chance in the rockery in summer – it gets so hot and dry. So it will be interesting to see how these fare!

    • Well, I had to consider what I could carry, which limited me a little. I saw a lady there with a little wagon and was rather envious! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Hi Cathy, sounds a wonderful day out, when you wrote that it made you feel like weeping I knew absolutely how you felt. I like all of your choices, including the Epimedium. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you Julie. It is so good to know that there are other people in the world who feel like crying at the sight of a plant sale… I am not alone! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • The sage and mint are already in pots, and the rest will go in the rockery in the next few days, as soon as our weather settles a little. I will then celebrate with a cup of pineapple sage tea! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • And the columbine is the plant I am most excited about! I do hope it will seed itself and maybe cross with some of our native ones… ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Oh what fun!! You are so lucky Cathy to have a huge plant sale like this one near you! I have been reading and enlarging your photos to see all the plants that were for sale. I spotted a bunch I would have purchased, I probably would have spent a hundred of dollars for sure and would have enjoyed every minute of it!

    Our Master Gardeners group has a plant sale in the spring every year, very similar to your sale but I don’t think we have as many plants as your sale. We do have a lot of rare trees too. Plant sales are a lot of fun and a great place to meet people that love gardening!


    • I consider myself very lucky too – it was such an enjoyable experience! I had to be restrained as I knew I had to carry everything, but next time I might just have to take a porter with me… ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Have a great weekend Michael!

  9. What temptation! Such beautiful flowers! I think all my resolutions about finding the space first then getting the plant would have flown out the window. I coveted them all but the Dicentra and Anthyllis vulgaris are real eye-catchers. Amelia

    • Well, I recently sorted out all my plant labels collected over the years and realized how much I have spent on the garden and how many plants haven’t survived… I have got wiser! I still have to be disciplined though – there was such a lovely choice there!

  10. Oh Cathy what a treat! For you and for me to see your purchases and share your joy in attending such a great plant sale – I’m surprised you got away so lightly ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’m with you about wanting to weep – totally understand!

  11. A grand day out indeed! Your garden is going to be brimming with colour this summer. Will you be going back next year, but taking a trolley with you for even more purchases?!

    • They actually offered a service where you can place plants in a “cloakroom” and collect them with your car later. I think you need someone with you though as you can’t leave your car unattended in front of the entrance… The alternative would be to take a non-gardening friend along who could help me carry everything! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. You found your people! The ones who thoroughly love the plants they’re selling and want their “new homes” to be suitable, so they answer your questions. I can tell you had a wonderful time and I’m delighted. I haven’t been to a plant sale in such a long time, and you make me wonder what I’m missing! I’m also looking for some chocolate mint. It isn’t that easy to find, I’ve discovered! I may need to grow from seed, but I’d prefer not toโ€ฆmaybe I will need to find a plant sale after all! ๐Ÿ™‚ So nice, Cathy!

    • Oh yes, you definitely need to go to a plant sale Debra – even if you don’t buy much it’s so nice just to enjoy all the flowers on offer and see all the happy faces! ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. What a treat, Cathy! And looking at your choice of plants I feel once again that we’re soul sisters ;). Just spotted this blue Corydalis during a shooting the other and loved it right away. I have chocolate mint too – my favourite as it goes well with many things, you’ll love it! I now look forward to all of these treasures settling into their new home. We too have plant fairs but the one in Freising must be great.

    • Hi Annette. I had a chocolate mint earlier this year actually, but the snails devoured it completely! This one is in a safe snail-free place, near the kitchen! ๐Ÿ˜‰ The weather was so cold and damp last week, but this coming week looks more like outdoors weather, so I can get the last few in the ground.

  14. It may be a one and only plant sale Cathy but it looks and sounds a great one. You certainly bought a treasure trove home with you. Time to start saving up for next year ๐Ÿ™‚

    • You know, it’s the only place I know where I can find what’s on my plant wish list. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So hope I’ll be able to get there again next year too!

    • We don’t have very good garden centres here, and even the nurseries are lacking, so a sale like this is a real treat. I wonder what it’s like in Italy? Are the Italians gardeners? In any case I think the UK wins hands down for plant choices!

  15. Bliss, you were very restrained in the circumstances, though I love everything you came away with. Am eagerly awaiting delivery of some geums, no decent garden centres near here, so most plant shopping is done via the Internet.

    • I order quite a lot on the internet too and have two very good suppliers, but the plants are always quite small and delivey is not always when I have time to deal with them. Oh well, we can’t have it all!

  16. Your found all kinds of treasures for your gardenโ€ฆif only you had your new wagon while shopping. I’ve actually been to Freising as we stay new the airport on our last day in Munich each year before flying home.

    • I would feel a little self-conscious pulling my trolley around with me! LOL! But it would have been sooo useful, and I could have filled it up, no problem! ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. What a delightful day out! The plants you chose are so lovely. I would have had a very hard time limiting myself! I love the open market, and the distinct German/European feel to it. Beautiful.

    • Glad you ejoyed the post Dana. I suppose the carrying limit helped my restraint! I wandered round in a bit of a daze at first before I started buying! LOL!

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