Three day tour of the heart of Halland
Our first day is all about dahlias, imperfection that’s actually pretty perfect, and a place which despite its name is far from little.
We start our garden tour by heading to lovely Älekulla in the county of Mark. Our first destination is Lunden’s Garden, a paradise for dahlia lovers. Pretty stone paths wind through the garden and we walk round admiring the magnificent floral display. Every year around 1000 dahlia tubers are planted here, which flower captivatingly during late summer. Apart from the dahlias, we’re impressed by the beautifully designed beds and the pond with its waterlilies. As we stand on the little wooden bridge Monet’s garden springs to mind. What a start to our trip!
Dahlia border in Lundens Garden.
After about half an hour's drive, we arrive at today's second destination, which is Eksäter Garden. Inspiration and the joy of change are the bywords here. Nature sets the tone and perfection and tight control are not sought after. We walk around among the themed garden rooms, all of which are separated by tall hedges. One moment we’re in the Hard Rock room and the next enter an Asian inspired area. We go from room to room and each time we turn a corner there’s a surprise. In addition to the lovely flowers, ponds and fruit trees, there are also vegetable beds full of tempting specimens. And luckily some of the harvest is for sale. It’s time for a fika, so we find a seat and enjoy coffee from our flask, whilst reading up on the story of Hilda at Eksäter, who looked after the garden in the 40s. It feels good to honour her with a visit here.
Footbridge in Eksäter Garden.
Next we head off to Varberg and Lilla Skapargården. The word Lilla in the name, meaning little in Swedish, may lead you to believe that this is going to be a small place, but it is actually just the opposite. Lilla Skapargården is a unique garden spread over two hectares, with so much to see you’ll need a longer visit to take it all in. We put on good walking shoes and set off. The first thing we do is go round the arboretum where we get to see trees from all corners of the world. Next we proceed to the Japanese inspired area, with plants that thrive best in a slightly milder climate. After that the lake with its rich bird life calls us. Accompanied by birdsong, we sit and gaze at the lake and its islands. Is that an elk drinking on the other side of the lake? Yes it is. It feels very special to sit here and be part of this nature. We stretch our legs and head towards the impressive Rhododendron grove, then are charmed by the romantic Rose Garden with its heady scents. We are now coming to the end of our visit, but of course we have to make time to visit the cosy café which, among other things, serves great waffles. You can also buy seasonal vegetables here, and honey from the garden's hives. The honey is said to taste extra good as the bees collect nectar from all the plants in the garden and they come from all over the world. Finally our first garden day draws to an end, and we decide to spend the night in Varberg. For info on hotels and other accommodation options, see vastsverige.com.
Roses in Lilla Skapargården.
Today we’ll visit a pollinators’ paradise, enjoy gardens surrounded by a beech forest and buy top quality plants. A wonderful second day on our journey!
The first garden we stop at is as large as yesterday’s last one, in other words a huge two hectares. We’re at the Garden by the Viskan. This park like garden is bordered by the river Viskan and its not an exaggeration to call it a pollinators’ paradise. The air buzzes with bumble and other bees, and the butterflies flutter around showing us their beautiful wings. We wander around the site, which used to be an orchard but is now full of flowering borders. The summer flowers are incredible, such splendour and colourful magnificence. Around 70 dahlias also clamour for our attention. After a lovely morning walk around this captivating place we’re ready for our next stop.
The Garden by the Viskan in all its glory.
We now find ourselves in the heart of Halland, more specifically in Källdalens Gardens, which is today's second destination. The place buzzes with activity and biodiversity and organic farming fans will feel they have come to the right place. The garden is surrounded by beech forests in a beautiful cultural landscape. Fortunately, we have plenty of time to spend here because there is so much to see and enjoy. We visit the nursery, the herb garden, the greenhouses and finally the forest garden. The latter is a peaceful spot to rest for a while, and the way it is designed invites you to sit and just be. We get out our picnic. Anyone who doesn’t have their own food can buy light refreshments from the farm shop, as well as vegetables and flowers, which we are obviously tempted by. Relaxed and happy, we’re ready to move on.
Herb pots in Källdalens Gardens.
After about 20 minutes’ drive, we arrive at Eriksgård in Tvååker, today's third destination. As we have pre-booked a tour of their private garden, a guide takes us around their unusual trees, many shrubs, hedges, perennial flower beds, a plant tunnel and impressive pool area. In addition to the private garden there is a large perennial nursery growing varieties that can withstand the Swedish climate. These are sold to wholesalers, so private customers are encouraged to look for the perennials sold in plant shops and garden centres. A visit here gives us a unique insight into what happens before the plants reach us in the stores.
Garden art at Eriksgård.
As, after our visit to Eriksgård, we suddenly feel a strong desire to buy plants, it’s opportune that we end the day at Hörsåsen’s Nursery, which conveniently is also situated in Tvååker. Excellent quality plants of are sold here, everything from the smallest perennial to the largest tree. Their love of horticulture is obvious and our shopping basket fills up quickly. Hope everything fits in the car boot! The nursery is in a beautiful setting not far from the sea and the Åkulla beech forest. Our second garden day has come to an end, and we turn again to vastsverige.com to find suitable accommodation.
Aquilegia at Höråsen’s Nursery.
The Mediterranean, England and Japan in one and the same day. And a garden described as a canvas for creativity.
Runevads Trädgård, Askhult 130, 311 90 Morup
Sannagårds B&B and Gardens, Sannagård 122, 311 95 Falkenberg
Läjets Trä & Trädgård, Fiskaregatan 6, 43275 Träslövsläge
Williamsro Garden, Ekegatan 11, 43246 Varberg
We stay around Tvååker for today's first visit, which is to Runevads Garden. Feeling as if we’re in the Mediterranean, we walk around among palm trees and other heat tolerant plants whilst admiring the inviting pools. In the large pond, goldfish swim around reflecting the sun in their shiny scales. We enter the octagonal greenhouse surrounded by roses. Just strolling around here is balm for the soul. The large orangery is a joy to be in, with so much to inspire in just one place. The entrance price includes fika which and we enjoy inside the orangery. The flower beds just next to the orangery are full of PYO flowers, which naturally we find tempting.
Dahlias in Runevads Garden.
Sannagårds B&B and Gardens is in the Vinån valley, a 15-minute drive from Runevads. We’re met by a charming English style garden. Sannagård is a former lay judge’s farm, built in the 19th century, and around it are ten or so different gardens that together create a small park. There is a distinct English garden feel and the borders are colour themed. We walk around, stopping at both the bower and the greenhouse, as well as the arboretum with its fascinating trees. There’s a wonderfully old-world atmosphere at Sannagårds. We sit down and enjoy our picnic in the magnificent park. Refreshments are available for anyone preferring to buy food. Even though we are only five minutes from the E6 motorway it’s peaceful here, and we can picture how lovely it must be to stay at their Bed and Breakfast.
Tulips at Sannagård.
We continue on to Träslövsläge, more specifically to the harbour where Läjets Trä & Trädgård (Läjets Woodwork & Garden) is located. Coming here is like stepping into another world. The garden is Japanese inspired, with a lot of wood, stone and other natural materials. Greenery is from all corners of the world and conifers dominate. It’s clear to see that the owners of the garden are fascinated by odd plants and rarities. The natural elements stand out and we feel calmed just by being here, almost as if it’s a sacred space. Pretty chickens complete the impression, as do the lovely roses, summer flowers, rockery plants and much more.
Gravel path in Läjets Garden
We end the day (and complete this garden journey) with a visit to Williamsro Garden. This family garden is situated on Lugnet in Varberg, The Lagerstedt family open up their private garden for us and we walk around the perennial borders and smell the herbs in the kitchen garden. Wherever we look, its aesthetically pleasing. The owners’ creativity shines through. Lavender, roses and peonies are just some examples of the lovely flowers here. We sit by one of the murmuring fountains and enjoy the moment. How wonderful summer, foliage and gardening are!
Garden table at Williamsro
Have a lovely garden journey!