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One of my favorite afternoons in Germany was spent at the Herrenhauser Gardens, in Hannover.  Dating from the late 1600s, Herrenhausen Palace was the home to the Electress Sophie of Hannover, who commissioned a French garden designer to build the expansive Grosser Garten. Here is the Orangery, near the entrance.  I understand that in the winter, all of these potted orange trees are moved inside to the gallery:

The Great Parterre, with its intricate and symmetric patterns of painstakingly clipped boxwood,  is widely considered one of the world’s best examples of French Baroque garden design:It is particularly impressive when viewed from one of the platforms on its perimeter.  One of those platforms is on top of this, the Grand Cascade:

In this picture, you can see, in the background, the Grand Fountain, which shoots water 80 meters into the sky.  Inexplicably, the fountain was turned off soon after I shot this long distance picture, even though closing time was still three hours away:

Here are some of the flowers along the edges of the Great Parterre.  Many are the same flowers one would find in a garden here in Northeastern Pennsylvania:

Petunias, marigolds, snapdragons, Nicotiana, canna lilies, and alyssum were prevalent.

One of my favorite sections of the Grosser Garten was this herb garden.  The scent of all this lavender was intoxicating!Additionally, there was sage, rosemary, and a wall full of mint:Along one wall stood a row of apple trees.  The sign says they are research apples; please do not pick!
Here is the entrance to a labyrinth.  My niece and I ventured through it.  We found the center gazebo twice before finally making our way back out!Here are the Lime Tree Rows.  I think they are not the fruit trees, but rather what we in the US know as Linden trees.  If anyone knows any better, please correct me!Here is the woman responsible for all of this beauty, the Electress Sophie, memorialized in Carrera marble in the spot where she suffered a fatal heart attack in 1714, while on her daily stroll.  Not an altogether bad way to go, if you ask me!Finally, here is something I had not seen before, Lantanas in tree form:I don’t know how these are grown.  My guess is by grafting.  Again, if anyone knows better than I, please speak up!  Here is a close up shot of one of the trunks and branches:I hope you’ve enjoyed this little botanical tour.  Come back soon to see some very interesting garden art, and the so-called “Special Gardens!”  Parts III and IV of the tour will take you through the cactus house, the orchid house, and a special exhibit of fuchsias.  I leave you with one more lovely Lantana tree: