Spring Avenue

A true ocean of tulips

The Spring Avenue stretches from the Rothaus-Seeterrassen restaurant past the Children’s Land up to the Grand Duke Friedrich Terrace and then on to the fountain arena. It’s here that the annual firework of colours starts on the Flower Island. The first spring flowers like snowdrops and aconites appear in February or March depending on the weather conditions. Crocuses then announce spring’s awakening at the beginning of April. These are followed by countless narcissi, hyacinths and tulips in a whole host of different shapes and colours.

You will undoubtedly go into raptures at the sight of this ocean of colours in front of the backdrop of the deep blue lake and the snow-clad Alpine peaks. What seems as if it is left to chance is in fact the result of exact planning. The gardeners prepare more than 450 tulip varieties alone for the start of spring. Each autumn, they plant out a large number of new flower bulbs. More than a million plants are in blossom during the peak flowering time around the end of April.

The Spring Avenue near the fountain arena came about out of necessity. Frosts arrived early and lasted much longer than usual in 1956. The soil in the prepared flowerbeds was so deeply frozen that the flower bulbs couldn’t be planted in them in time for the spring display. Lots of tulips and other bulb plants still needed to be planted. Luckily, someone discovered that the meadows under the sweet chestnuts and plane trees had been protected by a layer of leaf fall and so were not frozen. The gardeners hurried to make holes in the soil using iron bars and so the bulbs were indeed planted in time. The flower bulbs thrived in the light shade of the trees so well that it was decided to extend the Spring Avenue along this stretch. It has since become one of main attractions and is a firm feature on Mainau’s flower calendar.

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