Two day garden journey in Härryda, Borås & the Storån valley
A cut flower nursery, creative landing strips and a garden that used to be a potato field.
We start our garden journey at Råda Säteri in Mölnlycke just outside Gothenburg. The first thing we see after we’ve parked is the manor house itself. It’s currently being renovated and it’s easy to picture it in its former glory. The gardens stretch out in front of and to the side of the house. We spot rows of beehives and the little beach at Hästviken looks tempting for a dip. There’s both a kitchen garden and an ornamental garden here. We walk around admiring the lovely borders created by well-known garden designers. In front of one of the buildings you can pick your own cut flowers, something we happily do. We also check out the craft shops, and find a slightly unusual example of wire craft that makes us reach for our wallets. We end our trip to Råda Säteri with a walk on the Labbera peninsula, along a lovely path where we find a nice spot to eat our picnic. The lake glitters in the sunshine and life is good.
Magnificent rhododendrons at Råda Säteri
After a fifteen minute drive, we arrive at Härryda Churchyard. In addition to the usual religious functions, biodiversity and creativity are the hallmarks of this destination. How about butterfly graves!? We think it’s a very innovative idea. There are also healing "runways" (named with a nod to Landvetter Airport which is nearby). Here, however, it’s not planes that land, but the people walking there. You can either go on a grounding walk alone or in the company of a priest or deacon, the choice is yours. Along the runway flowers bloom, the bees buzz and peace reigns. This is truly a place marked by new ways of thinking and respect for both people and the environment.
Butterfly graves in Härryda Churchyard.
The last destination of the day is Sammels Farm. The road here from Härryda Churchyard is winding, probably a dream for motorcycle lovers. The farm is in the middle of the countryside and it feels peaceful as soon as we get out of the car. The actual garden has grown from what was once a potato field and winter sheep pen. But the owners have not gone for a traditional look, instead they’ve used their own imagination and vision. The result is gorgeous. We wander around the flowering fruit trees, fantastic borders and scented plants, not to mention the orchard and greenhouse. The farm café has a tempting selection and we plump for the home made pie on today’s menu. Delicious. Before we leave Sammels we get some things at the farm shop. We buy rapeseed oil, honey and home grown veg direct from the farm. Satisfied, we head off to Borås where we plan to stay the night. For accommodation options, see vastsverige.com.
A place to rest at Sammels Farm
Peonies, concrete art, a protector of pollinators and a garden for us all. It’s going to be a memorable day.
Pionterassen i Annelundsparken, Annelunds parkväg, 503 36 Borås
Röda stugans njuteri, Dalängsvägen 12, 511 68 Hyssna
Hultets trädgård, Backa Hultet 170, 438 97 Rävlanda, Sverige
Rävlanda trädgård, Hedvägen 7, 438 51 Rävlanda
We wake up in Borås and after a fantastic breakfast are ready to go and look for the Peony Terrace in Annelunds Park. This is a large well organised park with lovely plantations of everything from azaleas to rhododendrons. The gravel paths meander around and we set off to find Annelunds Villa. Below the villa lies the famous peony terrace, where we can enjoy about 80 kinds of peonies, each more beautiful than the other. It’s a breathtaking sight. Luckily we chose to visit the week after midsummer, as we were told that this was the best time to see the peonies in their full glory. We finish with a walk in the orchard where a discussion arises about different pruning methods, the best secateurs and other things that we garden enthusiasts like to talk about.
Beautiful peonies on the Peony Terrace in Borås.
We leave Borås and drive to Hyssna. Our destination is Röda Stugans Njuteri, where both our vital pollinators and anyone who likes concrete art thrive. The garden's perennials are chosen based on their ability to attract pollinators. We walk through the kitchen garden and we know that we’ll find bumblebees and bees here too as the smell of the herbs is intoxicating. The garden’s surroundings are also bee friendly. Dandelion and flower meadows, forest and arable land frame Röda Stugans Njuteri. Both useful and decorative concrete objects are made here. Naturally, we each buy a concrete bowl and decide we’d like to learn how to cast in concrete ourselves. We may well come back soon to do one of their courses. Before leaving the area we follow the owners’ advice to have a coffee at Lockö Mill, three minutes’ drive from Röda Stugan.
The owners of the garden at Röda Stugans Njuteri
We have read that it’s stunningly beautiful. And that it’s a harmonious garden. That’s more than enough to persuade us to go to Hultets. The garden is located in the Storån valley, with a ridge at its back and deciduous forest on each side. It quickly becomes clear that here too it’s the pollinators setting the agenda. The plant choices, the pond and other features are all designed so that bees, bumblebees, insects and birds will prosper. We walk around the beautiful garden and on the ridge that has become a natural woodland. We also get to know the various animals that live here, horses, dogs, cats, chickens and the fish in the pond. But let’s check again. Did the description of Hultets garden that we read match? The answer to that is a resounding yes!
Rose bower in Hultets Garden
Now we are nearing the end of our journey. About 5 minutes from Hultets is Rävlanda Garden. This garden was laid out in 2017 and work to develop it is ongoing. It’s divided into different rooms, with a sensory garden, an apple orchard and a school garden. Rävlanda residents can come and grow things here and in the garden the local beekeepers association, Rävlandaortens Biodlareförening, has hives that take pride of place. We sit down on the garden furniture and enjoy the beauty of the place. Rävlanda Garden has succeeded with its ambition of being an inclusive garden with room for everyone. We end our journey by drinking the last of the coffee. Thank you for that, and for this lovely journey.
The childrens’ part of Rävlanda Garden.