This weekend, I paid a visit to an island around Lake Constance near the border of Germany and Switzerland: Reichenau. In the early middle ages, Reichenau was well known for its abbey. It was established by the Irish Saint Pirmin, and became one of the most important cultural centers in the Carolingian age. The most famous abbots of Reichenau in the ninth century was Walahfrid Strabo, whose biblical commentary for Deuteronomy is one of the major primary sources for my dissertation.
Horticulture and vegetable cultivation are major business for Reichenau today, as it was more than 1200 years ago. Walahfrid Strabo once wrote a famous Latin poem Hortulus , Little Garden, describing and praising the different plants in the garden that he usually worked on. During my visit, behind the Münster of Reichenau, I found a little garden called Strabos Kräutergarten, created in memory of Walahfrid Strabo’s famous poem: