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The Grotto at Herrenhauser Gardens is a place where garden viewers can enjoy a refreshing pause to rest and cool down on a hot afternoon.  It is NOT where I expected to find this stunning modern art installation!

Given that the Great Garden (Grosser Garten) was designed in French Baroque style, I suppose it is fitting for it to include this creation by a French artist.  Niki de Saint Phalle apparently had a special relationship with the city of Hannover; her “Nanas” sculptures there have become a symbol of the city, and she was an honorary citizen.

Now, back to the flowers!  There is a section in the Grosser Garten called “Special Gardens.”  One of them is a rose garden, “Niederdeutscher Rosengarten” (Low German Rose Garden):It is a lovely little garden, but I did find myself wishing I had some clippers with me to remove the many spent blooms!  The rest of the gardens seemed so well-tended that this oversight surprised me.

Here are a Blue Rhapsody rose and a vivid pink and white one called Nostalgie:

This is the “Barockgarten”, ornate and well-tended.  Think of flute music heavy with trills, turns, mordents, and appoggiaturas:

Here is the “Rokokogarten,” similar, but not as heavily stylized as the “Barockgarten.”  That would be my lovely niece (and most superb hostess) posing at its entrance:
Finally, this is the “Rasengarten” (lawn garden.)  Just add a windmill and a replica of the Eiffel Tower, and they’d have themselves a nice little mini-golf attraction!
There were four more Special Gardens shown on the map, but frankly, we were a bit underwhelmed by these four, it was beginning to rain, and our time was running short, so we decided to move across the street to the Berggarten and its greenhouses.  I will highlight those in the next installment, so please return soon to see some giant cacti and beautiful orchids!(Hindsight is 20/20–How funny would it have been if I had struck a pose similar to the women on the walls around me?!)