The Nepal Himalaya Park

Last week we had a bank holiday here in Bavaria – Ascension Day. This meant that an ideal spot for meeting up with friends would be open… the Nepal Himalaya Park near Regensburg.

I have never visited a garden in Germany that captivated me quite like this one! It is most certainly not a traditional ‘show garden’, where plants are placed for effect and labelled with care. No, this was more of a plant fanatic’s paradise, a playground for the owner of the park to see what he can grow, with a mostly oriental theme; a little chaotic, quite wild in places, but absolutely charming in my eyes!

The Nepal Himalaya Pavillon

Photo from the Pavillon website: http://www.nepal-himalaya-pavillon.de

The garden is set into a south-facing hillside in part of a former quarry, and the main ‘attraction’ which inspired it is the Himalaya Pavillon. This temple was actually the Nepalese exhibit at the Expo 2000 in Hanover. It was painstakingly dismantled and rebuilt here in its new home. The garden then arose around it a few years later, so is still relatively young.

My photos are not brilliant as I used my mobile phone, but I think you can get the idea of what the temple looks like surrounded by enormous trees, rhododendrons and azaleas.

I was so pleasantly surprised when I walked through the gate, as it was not at all what I had expected. Along with the traditional perennials, native wild flowers and many herbs there were a lot of unusual plants unknown to me, which I had to look up when I got home. So if you see I have made a mistake, please feel free to correct me!

Only recently I had looked up Amsonia, when Jason from Garden in a City mentioned them. Then there they were – the first flower I laid my eyes on and the first time I had seen one.

Amsonia illustris

I found the foliage particularly striking.

As we walked down a slope past a pond, I noticed Anthericum everywhere, along with patches of blue Corydalis and various Euphorbias.

This plant kept popping up too… I believe it is a type of Echium, although I personally only know the blue sort that grows by the roadsides here.

Echium amoenum

The Japanese garden didn’t do much for me, but as we passed that we came to a shadier area where hostas and ferns were thriving…

I wonder if anyone can tell me what the tall plant is between the yellow irises and poppies… It looks kind of familiar.

Along the way there were small temples, bells and a prayer wheel – all original pieces shipped from Nepal. But I was focussed on the plants!

Lilac

The newest part of the garden is the Chinese Garden – it is very wild, overrun with native wild flowers, but still managing to make quite an impact with the wooden bridges and gateways placed at intervals and the setting itself in the rockiest part of the old quarry is fairly dramatic…

Finally, the plant of the day: Lupins!

On our way home we noticed blue ones growing by the roadsides – something we don’t see in our valley at home.

The website is unfortunately all in German, but there is a virtual tour of the garden here, navigable without any language.

And should you ever visit this part of the world, I would definitely recommend this to serious plant lovers! What kind of gardens do you like to visit best – wild and weedy or formal and tidy? 😉