Man with the green thumb

Man with the green thumb

Take: a portion of blooming imagination, 32 hands that can grab, green thumbs, a boss whose profession is his vocation, and a lot of idealism. The recipe with which kitzingen not only mastered the small state horticultural show with flying colors in 2011, but also won the national entente florale competition in 2013, is now complete.

Without wanting to beat about the bush, kitzingen wouldn’t have won a pot in this competition without the manners of the municipal gardening department. The work of city gardener johannes lindner and his employees has fallen on fertile ground in recent years, and that is by no means something that has to be said only in passing.

Throughout the year, the 16 employees, including three trainees, are busy adding color to the cityscape of kitzingen. The field they have to plow for it is a huge one. It starts with the grass surfaces of the city’s 30 or so playgrounds, plus four school sports facilities and sports fields, from the florian geyer hall to the sicker stadium, the open-air swimming pool on the moon lake island, the aqua-sole, grass surfaces in traffic traffic circles, and various coarser and smaller grass surfaces in the city and its suburbs.

The fact that the konigsplatz, the partner city square, the rose garden and the gustav-adolf-square delight the eye of the beholder with their floral splendor from spring to autumn is just as much due to the work of the city’s gardeners as is kitzingen’s blooming showpiece, the garden show grounds.

Around 50 flower clusters, which repeatedly add new splashes of color in the city in spring, summer and fall, which need to be replanted at the turn of the year, watered daily and cared for, are just as much the work of men in their green suits as the flower decorations at the town hall, the tourist information office, the public swimming pool, the upper main quay or the open-air swimming pool. Also at events in the synagogue, in schools or in the town hall, it is the town gardeners who provide the blooming hall and stage decorations.

What most kitzingers may not be aware of is the fact that there are around 7000 trees in the city. They have to be checked regularly and pruned if necessary, reports city gardener lindner. Cemetery maintenance also falls within the remit of the municipal gardening department.

Now come the christbaume

Whoever thinks that the men and their green thumbs have a break at the latest with the onset of winter and can enjoy the fruits of their labor and rest on their laurels, is mistaken. No sooner are the last autumn flowers planted and the summer foliage cleared from the beds than the christmas trees are literally in front of the door. The large trees that are to shine in christmas splendor on the market square, konigsplatz and the square of the partner cities, for example, are mostly donated by burgers. They must first be cut and picked up before they are set up with rough working sand. In addition, there are smaller trees in the suburbs and in front of the churches. "If you add up all the christmas trees we’re putting up this year, there are about 35 of them," says lindner.

Once the christmas tree battle is over, it’s time to get to work in the nursery, repairing damaged flower boxes or building new ones, taking care of the machines and getting them ready again. It may take a while, because as soon as the first snowflakes fall, the city’s gardeners are deployed in winter maintenance and must then ensure that no ice flowers grow on roads and paths.

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