One day tour in Bohuslän
A full day with garden inspiration, a visit to a female gold digger’s life’s work and a beacon of sustainability.
We begin our garden journey in Munkedal at the inspiring family run garden Runtminknut. We enjoy exploring this large 2000 m² site with its many creative solutions. What a nice start to our day. You’ll find pergolas, several places to sit, raised flower beds, a kitchen garden and a wonderful greenhouse here. The garden has been divided into several pretty rooms, each with its own character. It’s noticeable that this is a garden designed to be in, socialise in and be stimulated by. The hens clucking around the garden add to the lovely atmosphere. As refreshments are included in the entrance fee, we end our visit with tasty coffee and cake. Then we are ready to set off on the next stage of our garden journey.
Today's second destination is a spectacular, very special place. We are on our way out to the Alaska Garden, located on an island about 20 minutes by boat from Norra Hamnen in Strömstad. When we step, salt sprayed, off the charter boat it feels like we have landed on a fairytale island. This place is the life’s work of a female gold digger, whose name was Hilma Svedal. Hilma went to Alaska in 1897 to dig for gold, which she did really successfully. 30 years later, she returned to Bohuslän and built her own Alaska on her estate. Gradually she turned this rugged island slowly but surely into a lush oasis. Hilma used lots of cement on the island that she herself rowed to Strömstad and back to pick up. Years of toil finally paid off. It is now a fantastic rockery garden with bridges, buildings, barbecue areas, terraces, stairs and of course rockery plants, but also geraniums, peonies and other floral delights. Walking around thinking about Hilma and being in the middle of her life's work feels truly magical. After a refreshing swim we enjoy our packed lunch, buy a cup of coffee in the café and then decide that we should all embrace Hilda Svedal's motto which reads: Don’t worry! (It's on her gravestone). I think we've got a new idol. On the boat trip back to Strömstad, we have a lot to think about.
Today's third and final destination is Koster's Gardens. We just get off the boat from Alaska in the North Harbour and head straight for the Koster boat. Our stop is Långagärde on South Koster and when we get off, all we have to do is walk about 400 meters straight ahead. Once there, we are met by a large 8 hectare site teeming with activity. You’ll find, among other things, fantastic vegetable beds, a forest garden area, a bakery and a restaurant and what holds it all together is the desire to inspire us all to live a sustainable and good life, which they definitely succeed in doing here. The key word is permaculture, a contraction of PERMAnent agriCULTURE which means in short that all growing should take place in harmony with nature. In this way, biodiversity benefits. To really understand what that means, we take a closer look at the pond that has been dug. It captures both surface and groundwater, functions as a habitat for frogs and in winter is used for ice skating. It’s a great example of permaculture in practice. Various animals such as sheep, bees, chickens, cats and a dog also live here in Koster's Gardens. We go in the greenhouse and are in luck as there’s a preview of an art exhibition today. Now we’re ready for a good dinner which we enjoy in the restaurant. We choose from the tempting menu consisting of dishes made from garden ingredients. Replete, we end our visit with a trip to the two farm shops where we buy freshly baked bread, a delicious jam and a lovely herbal salt. Brimming with ideas, we go back to Långagärde and take the ferry to Strömstad where we intend to spend the night. Accommodation suggestions can be found on vastsverige.com.