Strolling along Stinzen, country houses and other special monumental homes is becoming a popular activity in early spring for more and more people. The first spring flowering plants, ‘Stinzenplants’, colour the estates and park gardens from mid-February. The Stinzenflora season runs until mid-May. There are differences between years for the optimal flowering times of these plants and therefore we created the Stinzenflora-monitor where you can see when, where what blooms. The Calendar in the Stinzenflora-monitor provides up-to-date information about Stinzenflora in Friesland and elsewhere in the Netherlands. This is a good tool for planning a visit to these areas.
This year’s motto is ‘OndersteBoven van Stinzenplanten’. The Dutch expression means something like ‘being flabbergasted’ but literally it means ‘downside up’. So this year the focus will be: what is under the ground? In order to let the colorful spring flowers bloom, the soil in which the bulbs and tubers are nested must be nurtured. The soil is the basis. Nowadays, Bokashi, fermented green waste, is the magic word. For example, experiments at Philippusfenne and Martenastate are ongoing and Stinze Stiens is also working on it. Furthermore, at Stiens we use rapeseed straw and compost to improve the soil structure. The dredging from the ponds on different estates is also good material to stimulate soil life. The Schierstins, is located in an area of the province of Friesland where soils are more sandy and acid. The same holds for Hackfort in the province of Gelderland. This requires another treatment than what is good for (calcareous) clay soils. Every terrain is different and that makes it interesting to observe these differences. During excursions and open garden days, the participants of the Stinzenflora-monitor can give you relevant information.
And then the bulbs themselves: what do they look like, how do I plant them? What is special is that in a distant past, in old herb and plant books, the bulb and the root were always displayed in beautiful, refined drawings. In the Stinzenflora-monitor these are regularly shown together with beautiful pictures of the Stinzenplants of today.
The Stinzenflora-monitor has correspondents at eight locations in Friesland and one beyond. In Gelderland, in the sheltered area of the estate at the Hackfort castle, there is a true Stinzenflora paradise. There you can see how the Stinzenflora is restored in such an old area. This location is also included on the Stinzenflora route map on the website.
The Stinzenflora-monitor is easy to read on the computer and on all mobile devices. Since last year there is also an English version. The Stinzenflora-monitor also regularly reports on the flowering of Stinzenplants in Europe. It is active from 9 February – 12 May 2019 on the website https://www.stinzenflora-monitor.nl/en . The participants in the Stinzenflora-monitor organize many activities, guided tours for groups, open garden days and packages, also excellent for staff or family outings.
Also a handy brochure ‘Stinzenflora in Friesland’ is available at the tourist centers and affiliated organizations. The folder provides information in Dutch and English and shows which locations are real hotspots in Friesland.
Nature2U created an app (only for Android) about Stinzenflora. The app is composed with Stinzenplant specialist Heilien Tonckens and photographs by nature photographer Wil Leurs.
And last but not least, a tip: unwind by staying overnight in one of the many Frisian B & B’s.