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Isle of Mainau 2017: Numbers game and added colour

Isle Mainau at Lake Constance - Photo: Isle of Mainau/Peter Allgaier
Isle Mainau at Lake Constance – Photo: Isle of Mainau/Peter Allgaier

The Isle of Mainau that spans 45 hectares is one of the most significant excursion destinations at Lake Constance. Lennart Bernadotte designed the former summer residence of his great-grandfather, Grand Duke Friedrich I of Baden, into the flower and plant paradise and already opened it up to the public in the 1930s. Mainau has been run as a limited company since 1974.

As in the past years already, in 2017 the flower island has also introduced a motto for the flowerbed designs, installations, exhibitions and campaigns. The motto is “(Island x palm)² – numbers game and added colour on the Isle of Mainau”. This year the visitors are to get to know the close connection between nature and maths under a wide range of aspects. For this purpose the island is being transformed into a playing field comprising of plants, numbers and colours.

On strolling around the park and gardens one finds out which role numbers play in botanics and where geometrical shapes can be found everywhere in nature. For example, two flowerbeds on the Eastern tip of the island thematise the most perfect geometrical shape: the sphere – perfect because in terms of its volume it has the least possible surface. The flowerbed shows plants that grow spherically or whose blossoms are spherical.

(Island x palm)² - Photo: Isle of Mainau/Peter Allgaier
(Island x palm)² – Photo: Isle of Mainau/Peter Allgaier

Furthermore, the visitors will receive information about the most important mathematicians and their theories – always in connection with nature. This also includes an exhibition on number-related records from the world of plants. The gardeners already planted the flowerbeds of the island’s dahlia garden in the spring, so that in the course of the year two well-known mathematical formulas will become legible: the Pythagorean theorem and the second binominal formula. The Pythagorean theorem will also play a role in the summer when it will be on display as a right-angled triangle of plants in a flowerbed in front of the butterfly house.

The Seasonal Garden which will be presented for the 15th time already from 12 May to 22 October 2017 has also be newly designed. These experimental areas that are limited down to a surface of around 100 square metres, are the result of the award-winning garden designs of landscape architecture students from the Nürtingen-Geislingen University of Applied Science and from the Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro in Portugal. Under the motto “1+1=3 or the whole thing adds up to more than the total of its parts”, it will be vividly demonstrated in five gardens, how nature also defies all strict geometrical rules.

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