It’s that time of the year again: the time of the transitional jackets, the pollen and above all – the time of gardening. The Munich nurseries notice this especially since and after Easter. But the enthusiasm for flowers is apparently not only sprouting up because of the upcoming gardening season. In her family’s nursery in Giesing, florist Alexandra Berchtenbreiter has found that plants have been appreciated more and more in recent years.
During the corona pandemic, the demand for flowers increased sharply. “You couldn’t go on vacation, there were no events, you couldn’t buy anything nice to wear. The flowers were then for the soul,” says Berchtenwider. Especially in difficult times, she noticed that people rewarded themselves with flowers and beautified their homes. “When I started 15 years ago, there was a time when plants were more for older people. But for some time now I’ve noticed that younger people – including young men – are also interested in them.”
No wonder so many jump into gardening: gardening is a good distraction and can have a calming effect. The master florist also radiates this. Although there is a lot to do in the shop at the moment, she is calm herself. She traces this back to the flowers. “A plant is something absolutely positive,” says Berchtenwider.
Why you can also hear plants
But how can you get this feeling in your own garden or on the balcony? In order to create the perfect retreat, different impressions should be combined, recommends the florist. With a mixture of useful and aromatic plants, your own balcony becomes an experience for all the senses. Because plants can do more than just look beautiful. Crops such as strawberries or tomatoes also taste good. If you sow the seeds yourself, you will even have a sense of achievement at the end.
Plants that can be eaten are particularly popular on Munich balconies, “because you can put something small and enjoy it,” explains Berchtenbreiter. Scented plants exude a pleasant atmosphere on the balcony. There are no limits to nature here: “For example, there are types of geranium that smell like cola, bubble gum or lemon,” says the gardener. But plants are not only there to see, smell and taste, but also to hear. With bee-friendly plants you get a real party on the balcony, says Berchtenwider. And that already at noon and in the middle of the city.
According to the florist, people mainly perceive the different colors and smells subconsciously. The most calming effect on her is the sound of the wind blowing through leaves and flowers, along with the humming of insects. “I think it’s the whole game.” Lavender also has a relaxing effect. But customers shouldn’t be fooled: “On its own, it doesn’t smell. You always have to rub the leaves a little, then the smell really comes out.” This means that the last sense is used on the journey through the world of flowers: the sense of touch.
Despite the variety of plants, flowers that are beautiful to look at are still the most popular. Berchtenbreiter’s favorite and a “must have” on every balcony: the geranium. The easy-care summer plant is always well received by customers. The respective Bavarian plant of the year is also in demand. Every year, a special flower is selected and cultivated by the Gardeners’ Association. This year’s winner: the “Sunny Sisters”, a special variety of garden gerbera. With its colorful range of colors in purple, yellow, pink or orange, it is an eye-catcher in every garden.
A customer favorite in the nursery is also the “Rockin’ Rosi”, a dahlia variety that brings color to the garden as early as April with its pink flowers. The eucalyptus plant has recently become less colourful, but just as popular. The green stalk has become a fashion accessory in recent years, says Berchtenwider.
In general, however, “whatever you like can be planted and tried out,” she says. The nice thing about the selected plant environment is that there are no rules. The most important thing is to enjoy flowers and nature. This also applies to the plants: “Plants are incredibly adaptable and if you enjoy them yourself, then it often goes well,” says the florist.
However, plant lovers should pay attention to a few things so that the plant splendor on the balcony lasts. Summer plants such as geraniums should preferably be stored in a warm place, especially during the still cold Munich nights. Berchtenwider’s tip: “Really follow the weather forecast. For me, the limit is already four or five degrees. Better to wait another night and then be really happy about it.” Because that’s actually the most important and most beautiful thing about gardening: “simply enjoy and let it come to you.”