My husband just completed a five month teaching assignment at Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden. While work and family obligations kept me from joining him, I did manage to visit a couple of times, and we did a lot of travel around Scandinavia and the Baltic. For me, travel often means visiting gardens.
We saw several wonderful Baltic gardens and it will probably take a few posts to digest it all. You can learn a lot about a country and its history and culture by visiting public gardens. Take Copenhagen, for example. Just walking around, it seemed clear that Copenhagen was a vibrant, artsy city with lots of bike traffic and trendy dining (expensive, to0). But it’s also a city that loves its gardens — after all, it is home to Tivoli Gardens, the park that inspired Walt Disney to create Disneyland.
We didn’t make it to Tivoli, but loved walking through two side-by-side garden refuges in the city center. King’s Garden is essentially the front yard to Rosenborg Slot (Rosenborg Castle), the 1606 fortress built by King Christian IV of Denmark. The park is meant for strolling, but it has several elements of interest to gardeners, especially the large formal garden, anchored at one end by the statue of the Dowager Queen Caroline Amalie, who was carrying a bouquet the day we visited. For someone whose home garden is casual to the extreme, the boxwood hedges, perfectly aligned in a diamond pattern, with lavender and roses inside them, was impressive indeed. Sometimes order is relaxing.
Just across the street from King’s Garden lies the Copenhagen Botanical Garden. This garden is part of the University of Copenhagen and functions as a research garden as well as a display garden. It also had a cute garden shop, which sold plants. (Unfortunately, you can’t bring those home on a plane!) Inside the garden gates are three museums and an enormous conservatory for tropical plants. The grounds are expansive and include a large rock garden, a pond, a variety of test and display gardens. The paths took you through sunny areas and deep shade and a wide range of soil types. The rock garden was especially impressive and I recognized many of the plants there as ones that would grow in our climate as well.
Below is a gallery of photos from these two Baltic gardens. Do you visit gardens when you travel?
[…] I know it could be worse than we have it in Minnesota—my husband worked for several months in Uppsala, Sweden, and when we first got there in late January, the sun rose between 8:30 and 9 a.m. and set by 3:30 […]
[…] Mary is retiring in June after 17 years as editor of Northern Gardener. Her editorial leadership, timely articles and inspiration will be missed by many gardeners in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. As an editor, she has kept a close eye on the content and seasonality of articles in each issue as well as the total issues in a given year. When I discussed with her an article on the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s Hedge Collection, (55 years old in 2022), she loved the idea, but said, “Oh my, I do have other articles I am now editing on shrubs…. we cannot do a whole issue on just shrubs…I will have to sort out when to add this one in.” How and which tropical foliage and fruits can we grow in Minnesota? Mary has sought out growing citrus in Minnesota! And when she travels, we can expect a garden close up from Florida, or perhaps Sweden. […]