Where water and green meet – The Arboretum

Posted on May 18, 2010


Here in Zurich, green spaces are nothing much during the winter time, partly because nothing grows in them, and also because it’s usually too cold to hang around there anyway. But in spring, boy do they make up for their earlier misgivings! The Arboretum, on the Western bank of Lake Zurich, sets up a spectacular show for me the first time I come across it.
For a girl who practically grew up on a beach, the site of grass near water is a strange one, as is that of sunbathing on a lawn. But other than that, the boats bobbing gently on the water and the lake stretching on and on beyond my sight, easily fools me into thinking of it as a mere harbour continuing into a sea. Meanwhile on the extensive lawn, under the shadow of blooming Magnolias, the young and trendy are busy chatting away, barbequing the hell out of their Bratwursts and drinking cold beer. A more family oriented lawn spot features a large, strangely-shaped tree, with branches growing so close to the ground (often touching it) that it gives the impression of having sunk under the weight of its own bulk. And as is usual all around Zurich, small, pretty and delicate flowers sway along the wind, their short-lived blooms glistening in the sunshine.


Beyond the Arboretum, a lakeside promenade flanked by a marina and a few restaurants and cafes plunge me into a summer mood. Against a backdrop of happy coffee drinkers and lunch eaters, a dog barks at a swan, which holds one of its legs at an angle, as if injured. A man reads a book and a couple rows past him in a rich blue coloured boat. This is all heart-warming for me – the sun, the water, the promenade vibe – because it feels a little bit like home and I’m slightly home-sick. And it all makes me wonder whether I’ll ever get used to the feel of grass, rather than sand, between my toes on a summer’s day.


– Text and Photography by Denise Pulis @ www.travelwithdenden.wordpress.com

Posted in: Zurich