When modern guerrilla gardening and alternative methods of roadside planting have reached their limits, only professional horticulture can make our world more colourful and worthwhile! My name is Sonja Strobel, and I am Stefan Strobel, and as gardeners we enjoy investing a great deal of energy and passion into making Bavaria bloom. Our family business has been cultivating ornamental plants and shrubs for several generations. In concrete terms, this means that we do everything from sowing and watering to fertilising and planting. We take great care of our plants from when they are seedlings to the time of sale, ultimately ensuring that the end customers have fantastic plants for themselves and their balconies. We also tend and look after gravesides. This is a task that comes with a particular responsibility, as it is important to be very sensitive to the feelings of grieving relatives. In addition to the cultivation of ornamental and graveside plants, Bavarian horticulture has much more to offer: For example, there is also fruit and vegetable cultivation, with the season beginning every spring when the fruit trees blossom. After apples, strawberries are the most economically important fruit in Bavaria and, of course, are extremely popular with the fruit-pickers. The main vegetables are asparagus, onions, carrots and white cabbage. Under glass, that is in a greenhouse, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce thrive. The marketing of fresh vegetables is of great importance because consumers are attaching increasing importance to regional, fresh produce grown locally. Of course, this is great news to us horticulturalists and this is why I’m happy to be at the wholesalers at five o’clock each morning. In order to ensure that we can also continue to offer the best and healthiest produce in the future, there is also the Bavarian State Institute for Viticulture and Horticulture in Veitshöchheim. Research is carried out at the Institute into sustainable methods of cultivation, ecological yield optimisation and new varieties – especially with regard to climate change, which now poses a particular challenge to plants. The Bavarian Academy of Horticulture provides hobby gardeners with free tips and specialist information about everything to do with gardens and allotments. Horticulture and landscaping also benefit from the State Institute’s research. This sector deals with all the green outdoor areas in Bavaria, including sports fields, roundabouts, parks and private gardens. By looking at any plant, you can immediately see whether it is in good or bad condition. And, as gardeners, we have the green fingers needed to make the plants perfect for the end customer. This also shows the customer that there is a clear difference between a plant of highest gardener quality and a typical purchase from a discount store. When every corner of Bavaria is in bloom, the people flourish too – this is clear just by looking at them. And, for me as a gardener, experiencing this is simply the best motivation that I could possibly imagine.