01 August, 2014

Swiss on the First of August

 - gardening for biodiversity 
in Cape Town, South Africa

The Swiss National Day. Erster August.

Schönenwerd church 

Schönenwerd is where the Ungardener was born.

Swiss flag on our lake steamer

(As an avid blogger, you check your stats, where are my readers at home?) Up popped an EU flag. Zoom in on the map. It is in Switzerland, in a corner where there is 'nothing' there. No roads where that flag is flying. Only the name of a tiny town Romoos.

Steamer on Lake Brienz

From Brienz to Interlaken on Lake Brienz in July 2009 for a day at Ballenberg Swiss Open-Air  Museum.

Steamer on Lake Brienz

The Entlebuch Biosphere is at the foot of the Alps between Berne and Lucerne. The first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Switzerland with moorland and karst landscapes.


A four hour walk Erlebnis Energie Entlebuch and a link to the German site with a map karte. I first saw solar panels used in Switzerland, despite their winter weather and our blue sky winter.

Alpine pastures, which have been farmed for centuries (the Heidi books I read as a child, are set in Maienfeld near Liechtenstein). Kneipp cures. Pilgrimage to Heiligkreuz. Sphagnum moss forests. Fossils in the karst landscape.

Train on the Golden Pass from Zweisimmen to Montreux

Switzerland wouldn't be Switzerland without its trains. Spectacular scenery from the Lotschberg Railway down the Centovalli valley to Lake Maggiore, is a journey I remember.

I wish Swiss readers and Heimwehschweizer - Happy First of August! 

Blue vase from the Ungardener's Swiss parents
with Tropical Sunset and Pearl of Bedfordview

Swiss flag

The reddest thing in the garden, is when himself feels his Swiss roots and flies the flag. Henri Dunant founded the Red Cross, and looked around for inspiration. He simply reversed the colours of his own country’s flag.

Swiss flag flying in our garden
in 2010 when we still had the pecan tree

From Wikipedia - The Red Cross flag is not to be confused with the St George's Cross which is the flag of England, Barcelona, Freiburg ... In order to avoid this confusion the protected symbol is sometimes referred to as the "Greek Red Cross"; that term is also used in United States law to describe the Red Cross. The red cross of the St George cross extends to the edge of the flag, whereas the red cross on the Red Cross flag does not. The Red Cross flag is often confused with the Flag of Switzerland which is the opposite of it. In 1906, to put an end to the argument of Turkey that the flag took its roots from Christianity, it was decided to promote officially the idea that the Red Cross flag had been formed by reversing the federal colours of Switzerland. Dunant arrived in Solferino (Italy) on the evening of June 24, 1859, on the same day a battle between the two sides had occurred nearby. Thirty-eight thousand wounded, dying and dead, remained on the battlefield, and there appeared to be little attempt to provide care. Shocked, Dunant himself took the initiative to organize the civilian population, especially the women and girls, to provide assistance to the injured and sick soldiers. They lacked sufficient materials and supplies, and Dunant himself organized the purchase of needed materials and helped erect makeshift hospitals. He convinced the population to service the wounded without regard to their side in the conflict as per the slogan "Tutti fratelli" (All are brothers) coined by the women of the nearby city Castiglione delle Stiviere.

Groot Winterhoek earning its name across the Berg River, with snow on 8th July

We stopped on the way home from Cape Town for this Abendglut, sunset on the snowy mountains. Wildflower Wednesday July in our Swartland garden.

Pictures by Diana and Jurg Studer  
of  Elephant's Eye on False Bay 

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  1. It was a great pleasure, when you've spent a few days in Boniswil with us. Andrea and Marcel

    1. happy memories, to be refreshed, one day!

  2. Switzerland is stunning, and I hope to make it there one day. My husband and I hope to get there (and Germany) very soon. Thanks for the virtual tour of a stunning part of the world.

  3. I have always dreamed of visiting Switzerland, the dream perhaps arising from my own reading of the Heidi books. I enjoy reading about Dunant and the Red Cross history.

  4. What a gorgeous post, and one that brought back memories for me of a time when we lived not far from the German/Swiss border, and when a trip to Switzerland was a normal thing.
    Like you, we fly a red flag with a white cross - the Danish flag, along with our Canadian Maple Leaf.

  5. I have wanted to visit Switzerland...and I see I was right to want to go as your images show the Swiss beauty.