May 2013

Fascination of Plants Day at Trauttmansdorff - 18.05.13

Garden visitors were attentive, curious and eager as they plunged into the fascinating world of plants on 18 May. For the first time ever, the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle participated in Fascination of Plants Day, which was initiated in 2012 under the auspices of the European Plant Science Organization (ESPO).

South Tyrol joined the 54 countries around the globe that participated in Fascination of Plants Day 2013: the international celebration saw a total of 988 events and campaigns. The first Fascination of Plants Day at the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle was an experience for all the senses. “The goal of our Fascination of Plants Day campaign is to bring people closer to the fascinating world of plants – to their beauty and to their complexity. Every Trauttmansdorff visitor should learn about plants in a sensory way and take a lasting impression about plants and about the gardens home with them,” says Karin Kompatscher, curator of the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle. At three interactive stations, garden guides shared strange and interesting facts about plants and gave participants an up-close-and-personal experience of the botanical world.

The Amazing World of Grass

Strange sounds soon began emerging from Forests of the World: garden visitors were trying out pipes made of bamboo. About 30 species and varieties of the evergreen bamboo plant thrive at the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle. Did you know that bamboo is actually a grass and is used by humans in countless ways, even as a young shoot? Houses, musical instruments, and tools: the list of things that can be made out of bamboo is simply astonishing.

                                       Fascination of bamboo

Where does aroma come from and how can it be captured?

The aromas of oranges, lemons and kumquats attracted visitors to the Limonaia, the perfect setting for an in-depth study of plant aromas. Visitors transformed into researchers, peering through a stereomicroscope at the oilstorage reservoirs found in sage and geranium leaves. A specially constructed distillation station demonstrated the process of essential oil extraction; visitors could then take the cream produced home with them.

Garden visitors viewed the essential oil reservoirs found in sage and geranium leaves through a stereomicroscope. Curator Karin Kompatscher answers questions from curious participants.

In Search Of: The Colors of Nature

Another hands-on station about the fascination of plant day showed visitors that flowers are colorful and variegated for more reasons than just to please us humans. Brightly colored flowers attract bees, for example: they carry the plant’s pollen to the next plant, thus ensuring progeny. Human beings also find another use for colorful flower petals and dyestuffs found in plants: painting. Vroni S. Meraner made the first Trauttmansdorff flower paintings from natural colors. Garden visitors, especially the kids, followed her lead – and then took their handmade portraits of flowers home with them as a souvenir.

                                       Painting with natural colors

“Painting with natural colors ... a great way to bring visitors of all ages closer to nature! We always love coming to the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle," wrote Vroni, Ewald, Jonas and Nina in the guestbook.