T H E  L U X U R Y  T R A V E L E R

Gunnebo House and Gardens will reconstruct the formal garden according to the
original drawings and establish a new Kitchen garden, all organic.  Photo: Staffan
Johansson (Gunnebo-Castle)

(Encore Edition)

Experience the Very Best of Scandinavian Garden Design

Start making plans today to visit what promises to be the great horticultural experience of 2008!  From June 28 to September 28 2008 four key sites in the city of Gothenburg in West Sweden will play host to thousands of garden lovers from Scandinavia and abroad.  Four stunning but highly diverse parks will each play a part in the Gardens of Gothenburg Exhibition. Gothenburg Botanical Garden, Gunnebo House and Gardens, Liseberg Park and the Garden Society of Gothenburg (Trädgårdsföreningen) each will offer a totally different experience for visitors and there will be something of interest for amateur gardeners, horticultural academics and even those with a mere window box to tend to.

The new entrance area to Göteborg Botanical Garden will include a new
composition of annuals. This is also the place for the Linneaus jubilee garden.
 Foto: Eva S Andersson

Horticultural purists will make a dash for the city’s famous Botanical Garden – a place of beauty and learning with more than 20,000 different species of plants. During the exhibition visitors will be greeted by a piazza full of greenery set in stone borders by Ulf Nordfjell. Also his Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal winning Tribute to Linnaeus Garden has found its resting place here. The exhibition will showcase lots of new perennials including a special focus on Dahlias both wild and cultivated. Annuals will take pride of place in a flowering setting in the newly designed main entrance area. All will bid a colourful welcome to visitors who come to the lectures, admire the award winning rockery or just to gaze at the wonder of the special carnivorous plant exhibition.
Botanical Garden

Gunnebo House and Gardens (pictured above) invite you to view an eighteenth century park in a modern light. The House and grounds, all carefully restored are resplendent in a state as close to the architect’s original blueprints as possible, and is considered one of the foremost neo-classical country estates in Northern Europe. The house boasts three styles of gardens, kitchen garden, formal garden and landscaped parkland. The formal garden will feature decorative elements which are true to the Gustavian period. Temporary light installations and concerts will add a contemporary touch. 

Three kitchen gardens will be created at Gunnebo answering the ‘brief’ to create a kitchen garden of the future.  American Topher Delaney, Swede Monika Gora and Brit John Tizzard have each come up with different concepts. 

Topher favours the kitchen garden as a labyrinth, Monika’s is a novel mobile kitchen garden and John’s goes back to the roots of an authentic kitchen garden, providing as much food as possible for the family. The restaurant and coffee house at Gunnebo House relies on home grown organic produce from the kitchen garden for all of the food served.
Gunnebo House and Gardens 

Tage Andersens pavillion will take pride of place in the new park area at Liseberg Park.
Photo: Eva S Andersson

Previous visitors to Gothenburg will no doubt associate Liseberg Park with fun fair rides and Christmas markets but Gardens of Gothenburg 2008 will present this iconic city park in a new light, with a greater emphasis on the beauty of the natural landscape.  Along with the already popular Promenade Park, Gardens of Gothenburg will unveil 20,000 square metres of previously undeveloped park land, a collaboration of Swedish and English landscape architects. This area will be transformed into an exciting area of natural beauty giving room for the visitor’s own imagination and interpretations.  Artists will be invited to take part in creative workshops to complement the planting and landscape, some of which will become permanent. The White Falls, Shadow Walk and Deep Woods will all be resplendent with colourful blooms, a delight for mind, body and soul – a new oasis in Scandinavia’s favourite park.
Liseberg Park 

The Rose garden at the Garden Society of Gothenburg (Trädgårdsföreningen) is
developed and a new rose garden added. Exhibition architect is Ulf Nordfjell. 
Photo: Eva S Andersson

Ulf Nordfjell is the exhibition architect for the gardens at the Garden Society of Gothenburg (Trädgårdsföreningen), where there is a truly international presence with designers from Britain, Sweden, Denmark, Holland and Germany all putting their individual stamp on gardens and woodlands.

The Garden Society has been an ornamental garden since 1842. For 2008, preservation, reconstruction and renewal is in focus. During the exhibition the aim is to offer visitors a journey through time in a park currently being restored to its former glory but with some contemporary additions such as a modern rose park designed by Ulf and consisting of old fashioned roses in meadows of perennials and grasses.

Stroll through newly planted rose gardens by luminaries such as Piet Oudolf, and marvel at the themed and woodland gardens. Patterned flower beds will be recreated and new ones reflecting modern trends will be planted by the very best designers in Sweden.
Garden Society

Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winners Julie Toll and Philip Nixon have designed a  woodland garden and more modern, conceptual garden respectively. Julie is working in association with Dutch designer Jacqueline van der Kloet.  James and Helen Dooley are Swedish residents who have previously designed gardens for Paul Smith and Petersham Nurseries and for Gardens of Gothenburg they have come up with a modern vegetable garden in cooperation with Gardens Illustrated magazine.  The garden will revisit the classic English Kitchen garden and give it an up to date spin. 

Swedish landscape architect offices 02Landskap (Göteborg) and Sydväst (Malmö) are doing contemporary Swedish gardens.

Gothenburg Botanical Garden

Garden spaces that combine knowledge and diversity

Gothenburg Botanical Garden is one of the foremost of its type in Europe. It covers 40 hectares and boasts around 20,000 plants from all over the world, but  is made up of a series of enchanting garden spaces, each of which offers individual beauty and drama.

Examples include the internationally renowned Rock Garden, the Japanese Glade with its unique collection of plants gathered from the wild in East Asia, the atmospheric Rhododendron Valley with its plethora of species, the Bulb Garden with one of the world’s biggest collections of bulbs and tubers from the Mediterranean and temperate steppe climates, and the Kitchen Garden, crammed with plants that have been used for centuries for food, medicine and magic.

The greenhouses are housing among other things Sweden’s largest collection of tropical orchids, a globally unique calcareous tufa section with plants that erupt straight from the rock, and the rare Easter Island tree (Sophora toromiro), which is extinct in the wild but has been saved for posterity by Gothenburg Botanical Garden.

Over a period of several years the garden has purposely been renovated. Last year, the entrance was given a facelift, and now presents an open piazza with stone slabs surrounding large circular borders that overflow with bulbs or annuals depending on the season. Next to the new entrance, created by Ulf Nordfjell, is also the contemporary garden “A Tribute to Linnaeus”, which won a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show 2007.

This year the entrance area has the added attraction of a large flower meadow (with 60,000 flowering bulbs) and new perennial borders where visitors can see entirely new breeds. Perennials are also one of the recurring themes of the garden during the summer exhibition, during which demonstrations, workshops and seminars will explore the practice and aesthetics of breeding perennials.  Special attention will be given this year to dahlias. Around 70 different cultivars will be on show along with many wild species – Mexican beauties that are rarely seen growing in Europe.

Another theme is annual boarders. Over the past 10 years or more “annual boarders à la Botanical Gardens” has become a popular event on the Swedish horticultural calendar. Each year visitors are greeted with new compositions that explode with colour, with names such as “Witches’ Fever”, “My Africa” “Purple Haze” or “King’s Coat”. The theme for this year will be a very special floral event!   Once again this year there will be demonstrations and workshops during the Gardens of Gothenburg exhibition.

Events that focus on the more theoretical aspects will include a series of lectures on plant expeditions. Over the years the garden has sent plant hunters to just about every part of the world.  There will be a number of special displays too. In the greenhouse you can see “Gluttonous Beauties” – a display of insectivorous plants more popularly known as meat eaters. Out in the park we have “The Little Garden”, which demonstrates how to garden organically. Gothenburg Botanical Garden also has an art gallery where painter Ilva Wallström and photographer Eva S. Andersson have set up an exhibition called “In the Garden” consisting of paintings and photos from Ilva’s own garden.

Last year we celebrated the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl von Linné. That gave us a taste for more, so this year we are following it up with “Linnaeus 300 plus” with walking lectures on Carl von Linné as a person, and about plants with links to him and his students.  A number of shows will also be held each day during the exhibition. These can be given in English if requested. Anything less would be inconceivable in a place where knowledge and beauty are so intimately linked.

Gunnebo House and Gardens

Where the 18th century meets the present

Gunnebo House and Gardens is one of the most beautiful 18th century estates in Sweden. The house was built as a summer residence for the wealthy merchant John Hall and was completed in 1796. The entire estate of Gunnebo was designed by Carl Wilhelm Carlberg, town architect of Gothenburg, from the house and its furniture and interior decorations, to the gardens and surrounding buildings.

The estate has been preserved and maintained over the centuries and more recently restored to its former splendour with the aid of Carlberg’s original architectural drawings.

Gunnebo is a site of special historical value and enjoys the highest degree of cultural protection. In 2002 Gunnebo received the EU’s Europa Nostra award for preservation of cultural heritage. In 2003 Gunnebo was designated a cultural reservation.

In the 1950s the well-preserved formal garden around the house was restored. Since then, further elements of the formal garden have been restored and the ruined kitchen garden was recreated. Carlberg also designed a number of surrounding buildings including servants’ quarters, greenhouses and wings to the main building, which have also been restored.

Today, the two most important aspects of the gardens are their history and the focus on organic gardening. The ongoing history of the gardens provides inspiration and recreation opportunities to current visitors. The organic focus has natural links with the gardening skills of the 18th century, and the aim is to demonstrate that it is possible to create a beautiful garden using organic methods. We want to inspire our visitors to try gardening organically. All the gardens are managed organically and are certified organic.

Gardens of Gothenburg 2008 provides fascinating encounters between history and the modern day by showing off distinctly contemporary gardens against the contrasting background of this historical setting.

For the exhibition, Gunnebo’s head gardener will create a historical kitchen garden that is based on many years of research into the 18th century Swedish kitchen garden. In stark contrast, we will also create a futuristic kitchen garden that is freed from the rigid formality of the estate. This garden will consist of large field plantations made up solely of edible plants, broken up by sharp graphical lines in a meeting between natural and artificially abstract shapes. Trials will be carried out here to develop different planting arrangements for kitchen gardens and to explore exciting new combinations.

The kitchen garden is not only intended as a garden space filled with attractive and tasty plants, but also as an arena where existential questions are initiated and discussed. In the new kitchen garden we will present three Show Gardens by Topher Delaney, USA; Monika Gora, Sweden; and John Tizzard, Sweden/England. The three invited designers will each give their answers to the question: What will tomorrow’s kitchen garden look like?

Topher Delaney: Labyrinth kitchen garden

Monika Gora: Travelling kitchen garden

John Tizzard: Roots

In the old kitchen garden, tasty historical vegetables will be grown and later served in Gunnebo Coffee House and Restaurant. There is also a spice garden and section where flowers are grown for cutting.

In the formal garden around the house, further steps are being taken to restore the garden to its original beauty. Over the course of the year the garden’s finer details and small-scale decorations will be recreated in the form of urns, fences and decorative flower beds.

On the site where the magnificent orangerie once stood, Topher Delaney will create an installation that is inspired by the site, its history and the direction that Gunnebo is taking today.

To further accentuate the inherent characteristics of the estate, the entire garden site will be illuminated at night by lighting designer Torbjörn Eliasson. Artistic elements in the various green spaces of the estate will further enhance the evocative appeal.

Go organic – Go to Gunnebo.

Liseberg Park

New garden to feed the imagination

Liseberg opened in 1923, as part of the World Expo in Gothenburg and the city’s 300th anniversary. Set in a fertile valley, the area has been gardened since the 17th century, including a period of use in growing tobacco. In the early 19th century the land was bought by a Briton, John Nonnen, a passionate gardener who introduced the Dahlia to Sweden. From the beginning Liseberg continued the garden ethic as a green amusement park, with flowers and trees surrounding the attractions. An example today is the popular family attraction Kållerado, where a Swedish landscape is created around the streaming waterways. Also, the colorful summer plantations are characteristic for the park.

Today, Liseberg is one of Europe’s leading amusement parks offering entertainment, attractions and restaurants. It is the most visited tourist attraction in Sweden, with more than three million guests annually.

As part of the Gardens of Gothenburg exhibition, Liseberg has developed a new area, around 20,000 square metres of hitherto undeveloped hillside. This has been designed as a counterpoint to the lively attractions area, a space that visitors can explore at their leisure. Liseberg’s new garden is a space designed to inspire and feed the imagination.

The garden is accessed once you’ve entered the main park entrance. As visitors ascend the slopes they discover historic buildings nestling among the rocky outcrops. The winding paths take them through the Dense Wood, across the bridge over a streaming white drift of plants, with diverse flora to admire along the way. This is a place to discover mirror ponds, water rills, floral landscape and sculpture. Liseberg has invited artists to hold creative workshops and contribute to the landscapes and planting. Their work, both ephemeral and permanent, will be integrated within the landscape. Descending through the natural woodland, visitors will discover a pavilion by the Danish artist Tage Andersen before rejoining the park’s other attractions.

The gardens have been created by a team, headed by David Schofield, Liseberg’s Creative Director, working closely with Peter Törnberg and the Park’s horticultural department, based on ideas developed by Catherine Heatherington (Society of Garden Designers) and O2Landskap (a Swedish landscape architects’ office). The work has been coordinated by Andrew Fisher Tomlin, former chairman of the Society of Garden Designers.


The Garden Society of Gothenburg

An enchanting journey through time and space

The Garden Society of Gothenburg is one of the finest gardens in Sweden.  Work began on the gardens in 1842 and reached its peak around the turn of the century. In 1992 the park was listed as a historic site. With its splendid Palm House the park provides a much-loved oasis in the heart of the city and is a popular attraction for tourists.

As part of the exhibition we want to restore the Garden Society of Gothenburg as a focal point for horticulture and gardening. This is being done by preserving old areas that are intact and reconstructing and renovating other parts of the park. By doing so we want to lay the foundation for a site that will regain its former glory and atmosphere, but also allow it to develop and reflect contemporary architecture.

With the aid of excavations, old photos and drawings, the area around the Palm House and the Director’s House in the central part of the Garden Society of Gothenburg has been restored to its original condition when the park was at its most beautiful in around 1900. Serpentine paths, wooded areas and traditional symmetric flower beds echo the grand old days of the park.

Multilayered planting methods have been used to give added variety and depth to the park. The new woodlands have been designed by some of the most prominent landscape architects and plant designers in Europe. Our intention with these woodlands is to demonstrate the possibilities that exist for restoring and improving old parks and overgrown gardens. The designers of the planting schemes include Piet Oudolf, Holland; Julie Toll, England; Jacqueline van der Kloet, Holland; Nicholas Delahooke, England/Sweden; Heiner Luz, Germany; Rune Bengtsson and Ulf Nordfjell, Sweden. All the woodland areas have different characters and plant choices that demonstrate diversity and relationships with the environment.

Symmetrical flower beds were a popular form of planting in the early 20th century and are experiencing a resurgence in interest. Traditionally they consist of beds planted in decorative patterns, often with Mediterranean plants at their centre. Visitors to the exhibition can see historical reconstructions as well as totally modern planting arrangements created by Sweden’s leading garden designers.

Since the Rose Garden was created in the mid-1980s the Garden Society of Gothenburg has increasingly become associated with roses in all their diversity. Recently, the Rose Garden has undergone a major overhaul. The modern roses have been gathered in their own sections and new rose pergolas and themed rose gardens have been created. These show how roses can be used together with other plants in different types of garden settings. The rose gardens have

been designed by some of the best-known architects and landscape architects of our time, including Piet Oudolf and Jane Schul from Denmark.

In the second half of the Rose Garden the historic roses are gathered in a unique Rose Park designed by Ulf Nordfjell. The design reflects contemporary tastes, with roses set against a backdrop of thousands of perennials and grasses, as well as bushes and trees. There is a specially built pergola, mirror pond and seating in granite, steel and wood, framed by deep green hedges of yew. The design is timeless and the species roses and historic collection of older roses are displayed in chronological order. With its new approach and content we believe that the Rose Park will be a great success among eager rose experts and the garden-loving public, and well worth a visit all year round.

During the summer exhibition several of the buildings in the Garden Society of Gothenburg will open temporarily, including the Water House in the Palm House and the original seed store, which will become a shop. Various buildings will house three smaller exhibitions by Swedish designers: "Master Gardeners through the Ages" by Ia Schildt, "Today’s Garden" by Synnöve Mork and Ulf Nordfjell, and "Green pleasure under glass" by Hannu Sarenström.

For the duration of the exhibition the large lawn in front of the Palm House will also provide the setting for a number of theme gardens created by internationally recognised UK designers such as Philip Nixon and Helen and James Dooley in collaboration with Gardens Illustrated magazine. Several Swedish designers will be working with students from a variety of colleges to create five student gardens. A Garden Avenue will show off modern Swedish greenhouses for private gardens and will sell plants, garden products and Swedish art and crafts goods. The Garden Avenue will provide a meeting place with various themes during the summer:

  • Roses, Romance and Red Berries, 28 June – 3 August

  • Garden Spaces, Rocket and Rose Anemones, 4–31 August

  • Rosehips, Neon and Fresh Harvests, 1–14 September

  • Enchanting Bulbs and Exotic Tubers, 15–28 September

The exhibition and landscape architect for the restoration of the Garden Society of Gothenburg is Ulf Nordfjell, previously also exhibition architect for Gardens of Gorthenburg 2000 and for "A Tribute to Linnaeus", the gold-medal-winning garden at Chelsea Flower Show 2007, which has now been recreated at Gothenburg Botanical Garden.