If you think Switzerland is all about snow-capped peaks and ski resorts think again. On private tours of Switzerland in spring and early summer you can also see some spectacular bloom displays that will take your breath away.
|The Tulip Festival in Morges|
The Tulip Festival, Morges
From mid-April for six weeks more than 120,000 tulips of 300 varieties burst in bloom in Parc de l'Indépendance in Morges, on the shore of Lake Geneva. This much anticipated free event attracts thousands of locals and tourists alike who come to the town to admire the riot of spring colours that the festival is. The event has been organized by the Lake Geneva Horticultural Society since 1971 with horticulture apprentices tending to the tulip bulbs in the park. Morges itself is a very pleasant town with several historic sites such as prehistoric pile dwellings, a castle, old inns and Bronze Age settlements.
|Jardin des Iris|
The Iris Garden at Vullierens Castle, Vullierens
In the Iris Garden (Jardin des Iris) 50,000 irises of over 500 varieties bloom for four weeks from mid-May at the private Vullierens Castle. American-born Doreen Bovet, the owner of the castle, started the irises collection in 1950 opening her garden to the public in 1955. Set against dramatic views of the Alps, you can admire irises in all imaginable shades and colours: honey, purple, orange, mahogany with many new varieties added every year. At the castle, you can also taste the excellent wines produced on its grounds and see a large collection of sculptures. After the irises finish blooming, the garden fills up with fragrant lilies until the end of August.
Alpine Garden, Schatzalp
From June to September the two-hectare Alpine Garden (Alpinum Schatzalp) becomes a colourful display of blooming high-altitude flowers from the Pyrenees, New Zealand, China, Nepal and Tibet. The garden, which is part of the historic Hotel Schatzalp, is surrounded by dense forests, alpine pastures and is a pleasure to walk in listening to the sound of birds and running mountain brook at a distance.
Photos by: Maarten Danial, Jardin des Iris/Facebook, Peter Stevens.