Between lakes Vänern and Vättern
A three day tour round two of our biggest lakes. How about an arboretum, a rural garden centre and an afternoon in a town park? Join us on a varied and fascinating garden journey!

Three day tour between lakes Vänern and Vättern



A whole day in Falköping, with visits to two completely different residential gardens and a place where we learn about being patient.

Villa Lindström & Kikongo Gardendesign, Torstensonsgatan 52, 521 31 Falköping
Oves trädgård, Solhemsgatan 12, 521 30 Falköping
Tunhems trädgårdar, Tunhems trädgårdar, Åsen, 521 94 Falköping

This trip starts in Falköping at Villa Lindström & Kikongo Garden Design. The first thing we see when we get here is the impressive reflecting pool, a wonderful welcome! We stroll round among flamboyant flower beds, paths of lavender, roses and dahlias. In the orangery it smells of sun-warmed tomatoes and the cucumbers compete to be the biggest. There’s a lovely harmonious feeling, everything is so neat, well thought out and inspiring. We can tell that a garden designer lives here. After seeing both the impressive pool and the kitchen garden, we’re intrigued by the African theme in the form of textile products, trays, baskets and other things made in the Congo. We learn that when we buy these products, we directly support young Congolese entrepreneurs, which of course feels good. Happy with the trip's first destination, we move on to another, completely different, residential garden here in Falköping.

Garden view in Villa Lindström.
Ove’s garden has been called a paradise for pollinators and we’re inclined to agree. Here nature is left to itself and the bees are the main focus. Although the area is relatively small, there are lots of different species. We come across berry bushes, fruit trees and other nectar-rich plants. Ove himself proudly shows us his hives and we are impressed by both the bees' hard work and Ove's ambition to provide them with the optimal conditions to thrive. Both honey and apple juice are sold here, and we happily buy some to take home.

Ove welcomes both you and pollinators.
We stay in Falköping and head to Tunhems Gardens. The garden is located in beautiful farmland on the slopes of Mösseberg table mountain. The so-called Slow Flower method of growing is employed here, which means that everything is home grown with a lot of thought for the environment. Growing is sustainable because flowering is not forced. Waiting patiently is an essential part of the Slow Flower movement. We walk around the garden beds and just enjoy all the beautiful sights. We marvel at what an amazing designer nature is. The smallest petal is a miracle of perfection when it comes to colour and shape. After we have had our coffee on a seat in the garden, we’re tempted to explore the greenhouse where a local artist has an exhibition. It’s been a great day and we’re now ready to recharge for the upcoming adventures. For accommodation in the area, see

Sanna with tulip harvest in Tunhems Gardens.


We start and end the day at an arboretum. In between we’ll visit a nursery and a historic abbey.

Alphems arboretum, Rolkebacken, 521 56 Floby
Gustafsons plantskola, Vartofta-Åsaka Solliden, 521 97 Vartofta
Varnhem, Varnhem, 532 73 Varnhem

Day two begins with a visit to Alphems Arboretum.  Three acres with around three hundred different species of trees and bushes, very impressive. Several of them are rare species which come from all corners of the globe. This place which started with a few American spruce in 1903 has grown into a fantastic arboretum. But something else other than the trees enticed us here. We had heard that the cottage which the dwarfs’ house in Disney’s Snow White was modelled on is in the grounds. And it is! The arboretum’s founder, rural postman Frans Johan Gergerfeldt’s cottage still stands for all to see. It’s not every day you get to admire a cottage with such a distinguished history.

The cottage which inspired the dwarfs house in Snow White.
From Floby we travel on to Gustafson’s Nursery in Vartofta. Amongst other things the large pelargonium display, consisting of 250 unique varieties, has lured us here. The nursery has been around for 80 years and a better example of its kind would be hard to summon up.  Everything garden enthusiasts would want can be found here. We wander around the extensive beds of summer flowers housed in five well filled greenhouses. It’s a peaceful setting, and before we leave Gustafson’s we buy berries and fruit to take home. The Bigarreau cherries are sweet and juicy, the perfect travel snack as we drive on to Varnhem, about 30 minutes by car from here.

Large selection in a lovely setting at Gustafson’s nursery.
Varnhem is the last destination of the day and we have chosen to spend extra time here. It’s a big site containing a lot to see and we don’t want to miss anything. Varnhem is located at the foot of Billingen table mountain and the well-preserved abbey complex is pretty spectacular. In the grounds lie Ryttargården, Varnhem Abbey, the fantastic Herb Garden, the monastery ruins, the monastery museum and Kata Farm. The first thing we come across are the impressive dahlia beds located at the entrance to the complex. In the herb garden, it’s the monks' selection of medicinal plants that pique our interest. The Rosenstigen trail winds around the whole area. We decide to walk this two kilometre trail and, as its name implies, we get to enjoy all kinds of roses along it. There is both a café and a restaurant here, with a tempting selection to sate our hunger. After enjoying a tasty lunch we visit the church, the ruins and Kata farm and learn all about its fascinating history.

As we still have some energy left we decide to finish the day as we started, at an arboretum. Remningstorp’s Arboretum (Valles) is about ten minutes from Varnhem. Sawara cypress, walnut, Chinese Sequoia and many other varieties of tree can be found here. Satisfied, we leave Remningstorp and head to Skövde where we will stay the night. For accommodation go to

The Pilgrim Path at Varnhem.


The morning in a rural garden and the afternoon in a wooden town by Lake Vättern. 

Sinnlig Trädgård, Gallegården 2, Varola 541 94 Skövde
Hjo stadspark, Stadsparken, 544 30 Hjo

Our third and last day starts in a rural idyll not far from Skövde. We’re visiting Sinnlig Trädgård, a sensory garden which charms us with lilies, peonies and dahlias to name but a few. The surrounding farmland adds strongly to the feeling that we’ve truly come to a place where all our senses will be engaged. Getting to enjoy around 200 different day lilies, walk around the cut flower beds and completely immerse ourselves in the dahlias’ majesty is definitely what we’d call sensational! We also go round the lovely show garden where we’re impressed by the garden rooms, all with different designs and characters. Before we set off we’re tempted into a visit to the garden centre. Who can resist a peony just standing there and calling to you, or a clematis that begs to come home with us. Happy with our visit we drive on to the wooden town of Hjo, about 25 minutes away. 

We easily find a place to park by Hjo’s Stadspark, where we’ll spend the afternoon. The park was laid out in 1877 as the grounds of the town’s health resort. People came here for many years to take the waters. In the middle of the 1930s the spa was closed but the park remains. We wander around this magnificent place which contains around 1500 trees. On the extensive playing fields there are both tennis courts and minigolf. Winding gravel paths stretch around the park and alongside the lake. There’s a fun playground for little ones and an outdoor gym for fitness enthusiasts. Us garden lovers head to the flower beds laid out in German garden style, with masses of roses. But what we find most impressive are actually the imposing wooden villas with beautiful carpentry detail found here. Incredibly well-preserved, they adorn the whole park. We end our day by visiting the German restaurant Biergarten, strategically located in the park next to the cosy hostel. We might stay here for a long time!

Relaxing garden rooms overlooking  Lake Vättern.

Have a great garden journey!