Neckarblühen – the Garden Show in Horb am Neckar

Horb am Neckar is a town in southern Germany, which lies – as the name suggest – on the Neckar river, just south of Stuttgart and on the edge of the Black Forest.

This summer the town is playing host to a garden show, aptly called the “Neckarblühen”“Blühen” means to blossom, and the river bank as well as several private gardens in the town are open to the public for the event.

Aerial view of part of the Neckarblühen Garden Show in Horb am Neckar 2011

Aerial view of part of the Neckarblühen Garden Show in Horb am Neckar

Most of the events and things to see are located along the river bank itself.  This has not only been planted, decorated, or improved specially for the occasion, but in many places it has been re-built completely to give it a more natural feel and remove some of the constraints on the river that were installed in the past.  At the same time, a new water-powered generating station has been added, which contrasts nicely with the water wheel exhibit at the other end of the grounds.

In total, the length of the river bank in use for the Neckarblühen is 1.6km, and while most of it is on the town side of the river, the other side also has exhibits such as the local forestry commission and even a small railway has been installed to take tired visitors part of the way home.

Along the route there are not just decorative flower beds to see, but also sculptures and exhibits, even arts and crafts stands.  There is also a water playground for children, which is located near a stage where concerts and debates take place.

Mosaic balls in one of the flower beds at the Neckarbluehen Garden Show in Horb am Neckar 2011

Mosaic balls in one of the flower beds

One of the most interesting exhibits is about the Flößer, literally the raftsmen.  These were the men who made rafts from timber coming from the Black Forest and took them downstream along the Neckar and eventually the Rhine to the Netherlands, where they were used to build ships for the Dutch navy and merchant fleet.  As they passed along the river, the raftsmen would join their rafts together, making them wider and longer and worked as teams to get to their destination.

Outside of the main area, some other gardens within the town have been opened for the summer, including a cactus garden and the cloister garden.

Water playground at the Neckarbluehen Garden Show in Horb am Neckar 2011

The water playground

Many of the exhibits are only at the showground for a limited time, so where one week you might find an aquarium showcasing the fish in the river, the following week it might be replaced be someone demonstration a traditional craft.  This means that no two visits to the show will be the same and gives visitors a good reason to keep returning week after week.

The Neckerblühen garden show is on until 18th September 2011.  Details of prices and opening times can be found on the homepage (in German) www.gartenschau-horb.de.  It is easily reached by car using the A81 motorway or by train from Stuttgart.

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About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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