The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 3: European Gardens (500AD-1850)

Swedish flower gardening

Previous - Next

438. The most popular flowers in Sweden are, the common; sunflower, common and French marigolds, pinks, carnations, and sweetwilliams, yellow lupines, garden poppy, and mignonette. Sage, lavender, and box are domestic shrubs, much in use for the decoration of churches on holidays. The double dahlia and the Coreopsis tinctoria were introduced by Morsch. The author of the Manual of Floriculture (Hanbok i Blom-sterkulturen, &c.), published at Stockholm in 1831, enumerates many of the common hardy herbaceous plants of England, as fit for the open air in Sweden. This author, Wennstrom, is a commercial gardener, and an intelligent man; and, as we are informed, one of the few gardeners in Sweden who read English, and receive publications from Britain on the subject of their art. On the whole, however, a taste for flowers is not popular in Sweden; if a farmer or cottager has any spare room in his garden, he prefers rearing a few plants of tobacco. But the study of every branch of natural history is in repute among the higher classes and literati; and the celebrity of the Swedish botanists, and of the Upsal garden, is universal. It was difficult, Deleuze observes, to form vegetable collections in the northern countries; but industry can conquer obstacles, and the more precautions that are necessary to secure the plants from the rigour of the climate, the more will culture be perfected. Among the rare native plants in the neighbourhood of Alten are. the Pedicularis lapponica, and P. Sceptrum Carolinum. The latter has been found five feet in height. Rhododendron lapponicum, which resembles in miniature the R. ponticum, is there found in abundance, and so extremely small, that Capel Brooke found one shrub, apparently very old, and bearing, perhaps, 500 flowers, which might be covered with the palm of this hand.