About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Gardens - Scandinavian Style

Early one morning the last week in August our tour bus left the hotel in Loen, Norway in time for us to see frost on the roadside fields! And then there was still snow on the lower mountains left over from last winter. To say the growing season is short would be an understatement. Still, we did see some exuberant plantings all over Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

The most extensive garden that we toured was at Sofiero Slott (castle, I think) in southern Sweden. This castle was the summer home of King Gustaf VI Adolf and a young Crown Princess Margaret (one of Victoria and Albert's many descendants). Gustaf and Margaret lived here as a young couple in the early 1900s and quickly filled the castle with five small children in their 20 year marriage. Margaret died when pregnant with their sixth child. Both she and the king were very interested in botany and gardening and established an extensive garden at Sofiero:

This is the young Princess Margareta:

Sofiero is now a public attraction, gifted to the people of Helsingborg by the king. People enjoy the gardens, public concerts, art exhibitions, and the castle restaurant. The day we toured workers were setting up tents and decorating for a big event. Still, we were able to enjoying the garden closeup. This gatherer was going through the gardens with her basket looking for inspiration:

The chrsysanthemun beds were at the height of bloom:

Hollyhocks were trained on wires to make separate garden rooms:

This was a long view of an elaborate ornamental and functional vegetable plot (used in the castle restaurant, probably--we had lovely asparagus for lunch and I saw the asparagus ferns):

Here are a couple of closeups of artichokes, first the globe:

And then the bloom:

How about some black kale?

I saw several varieties of fruit, grown both as trees, like these plums:

And then this beautiful espaliered apple:

Finally, at the end of the season, it all ends up in the cleanup bin (reminded me of those paintings of dead fowl):

In Oslo, I saw this late season planting of annuals at Vigeland Park among all the sculptures:

And finally, a different garden experience could be had at Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens, which is probably more amusement park than public garden. This shot was taken after dinner in the park:
So, the Scandinavians may have to garden fast, but the result is worth the effort, wouldn't you agree?


Sayre said...

Oh, those are beautiful! You know I'm a fan of English gardens, but those Scandanavians seem to know what they're doing.

and of course, I am always jealous of vegetable plots that actually produce vegetables...

Jan n Jer said...

They sure do know what they are doing...gorgeous gardens!

Living Life said...

They sure have some elaborate gardens. Good you took some photos, so maybe you can "copy" one of their gardens this spring!

Debs Carr said...

What an amazing place and what a sad ending to their life together.

EG Wow said...

Love the garden. It's interesting to see what grows at in their climate.

Pamela said...

are some of those dahlias?
I love walking in others gardens and not having to worry about pulling weeds. Went to the pond and garden tour last weekend. Always such a pleasure.

Faye said...

pamela-actually some of them were dalhias, not mums. I was too distracted trying to figure out how to spell chrysanthemum--should have just called all dahlias! :-)

KarenB said...

Sounds like an awesome trip!

Emille said...

Thanks for sharing your trip -this was a royal treat:)