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Batch CCXXXI. Schwarzwald, Sunday August 20, 2017 NO. 47
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Tales from the Black Forest - The Rose Village

Ideas Are Essential – Weilheim-Nöggenschwiel

The residents of a small, remote village on the plateau of the Hotzenwald forest had a clever idea for increasing the number of tourists that came to visit. In 1968, they brought the first 8,000 roses to Nöggenschwiel. It is now estimated that there are over 20,000 rose plants. The center of the village soon ran out of space, so the residents of Nöggenschwiel came up with a new idea for planting them and created the 36-kilometer long "Rose Trail." Since 2008, the rose village has even been of service to science. On the decorative plateau, over 180 different species are tested for their resistance to frost. The 1,500-square-meter site at the heart of the village has been planned by Josef Raff, the retired Gardens Director at the flower island of Mainau. The rose village now attracts tourists even at the most inopportune times, who then stand around the entrance looking somewhat perplexed. One could be forgiven for thinking that the residents of Nöggenschwieler are happy about this natural limit to their local attraction. Outside the flowering season, tourists have to drive back home without having achieved anything. All they find is a plain sign on display at the tourist information office asking them to appreciate that the roses are just taking a short break and would they please return in a few weeks. Or come to the large annual rose festival that takes place over three days in July. The opening day begins with a rose market and good food and the festival ends with a classical music concert. The big parade on the Sunday attracts thousands of visitors to the village and is the traditional highlight. It goes without saying that, just as the Markgräflerland region has its wine queens, Nöggenschwieler must also have its rose queen. Once the hubbub has subsided, the village residents don't then just sit back. Everyone continues to work hard, digging and creating borders to find space for new flowerbed compositions to fascinate visitors again the following year.

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