Three day tour of Bohuslän
From a rectory garden to a herb garden, with a shoreline walk and a ginkgo tree in between.
Bergfeltska trädgården, Västra Gatan 8, 442 31 Kungälv
Strandparken, Strandgatan, 442 31 Kungälv
Tante Bruins trädgård, Häljeröd 190, 442 91 Romelanda
Lödöse museum, Örtagården, Museivägen 1, 463 71 Lödöse
This garden journey begins in a rectory garden located in Kungälv's idyllic old wooden town, more precisely on Västra gatan street. We’re here to see the Bergfeltska Garden. The garden climbs Fontinberget in terraces and from the top of the hill the view is fantastic. We see Kungälv, the Nordre Älv river and Bohus Fortress with the garden below. The reward is well worth the small effort it takes to get up the stone steps. The garden has, among other things, a peony border, a shade lovers corner, a fruit terrace and a pretty rockery.
Terraces in the Bergfeltska Garden.
From here there’s a short walk to the next garden, Strandparken, also in Kungälv. This shoreline park is in fact a trail exploring the remains of former villa gardens. We see fruit trees, stone quays and garden plants testifying to an earlier garden history. The perennials are fantastic, with about 70 different kinds of flowers and narcissi and scillas in the thousands. Pollinators also thrive along the water's edge. There are three beehives to look at. We walk among the brightly coloured flowers, buzzing bumblebees, fountains and sculptures. When our legs start to feel tired there are both nice park benches and tempting sun chairs at our disposal. Reclining here in the sun and drinking our coffee feels great.
Blooming perennials in Strandparken
We get in the car for the ten minute drive that takes us to Romelanda and Tante Bruins garden. This is a garden that has gone from being a patch of weeds to a flowering paradise. In this 4000m² garden, we walk around among magnificent perennials, meadow flowers and inspiring garden art. Naturally we have to see what the owner describes as his personal favourite, the little ginkgo tree. The Göta Älv river and the garden are neighbours, which gives the place an extra dimension. When we’ve seen everything, we head back to our car which had to be parked about 300 metres from the garden. Something completely different awaits us now.
View of the river from Tante Bruins garden.
The Herb Garden at Lödöse museum is the last stop of the day. We walk along gravel paths, enjoy the splendour of the flowers and study the many plants that the Herb Garden boasts. We head to the centre of the Herb Garden, because we’ve heard it’s a very special place. And indeed it is, with gently babbling water in a well. We sit down and take in the surroundings with calm breaths. This is an oasis for all the senses and quietly and thoughtfully we contemplate all the beautiful things we have seen on this, our first, garden journey day.
Roses in the foreground by Lödöse Museum.
Magnificent Tofta Manor and picturesque Marstrand, with a peaceful haven away from the crowds
Today we start our garden journey at Tofta Manor Magasinet. This is a place with a lot going on. In addition to the garden, there is also a restaurant, hotel and the Magasinet, an old warehouse housing exhibitions, summer theatre and a café. On the estate there’s also an organic farm rearing cows and sheep. Tofta nature reserve borders Tofta's grounds and there are lovely walking trails both here and there. The English inspired garden has beautiful roses, gravel paths and well-cut hedges. We’re glad we have plenty of time to explore this place. The farm has a long and fascinating history. Remains indicate that there has been a large estate here since the Middle Ages.
Oxeye daisies at Tofta Herrgård.
What is a day on the west coast without a ferry ride? When we leave Tofta we drive to Koön, park the car and get on board the ferry to Marstrand. The boat trip takes just a few minutes and soon we are standing on the popular quay and enjoying the hustle and bustle of this busy seaside town. Wherever we look we see little shops, cafes, restaurants and cobbled streets, and towering above them sits Marstrand's mighty fortress. However, we have come here to find peace and we do it in Sinnenas trädgård, A Garden for the Senses. We enter through the opening in the fence and suddenly the noise from all the people feels distant. It’s quiet here and birdsong is the sound that we hear most. The herb garden smells lovely, and the gentle babbling of the waterfalls and fountain creates a feeling of well-being. We sit on the kissing bench around the beech tree and get out our lunch bags. Happy and satisfied, we start thinking about Lasse-Maja, the thief whose story is closely linked to Marstrand. While we’re here, we decide to walk up to the fortress. We want to see where Lasse-Maja was when he cooked such good food that the then king pardoned him. Our second garden day comes to an end here on the island. For accommodation, see vastsverige.com.
Imposing trees in the borders of A Garden for the Senses
Our day will include a hidden gem, a manor packed with activities and finally we’ll get to experience a different kind of historic garden.
An hour's drive from Koön takes us to Lyresten on the island of Orust, and from there we take the ferry out to Lyrön, where we’re hoping to find a well-hidden little gem, which is D'Arcy's Garden. When we pre-booked our visit, we were thankfully given detailed directions that make it easy for us to find the place. After about 1.5 kilometres we arrive. This is an inspiring garden with reuse at its heart. Among the fragrant roses, fruit trees and water lilies, we see several examples of clever re-cycling. Take the garden bench, for example. It’s made from three bed bases among other things! We walk round among the lilies, lavender, hollyhocks, dahlias and just enjoy being there. We eat the fika we brought with us on the surrounding granite rocks. The garden is in a warm but exposed spot and it’s clear that the owners have had to take that into consideration when choosing planting sites. Before we leave Dárcys, we buy honey that comes from Lyr. It feels exclusive to have been here, as the size of the garden means it’s most suitable for one party at a time.
View of D'Arcys Garden on Lyrön
From Lyrön we head to Sundsby Säteri, a twenty minute drive from the ferry landing. Sundsby is a historic manor and park dating back to the 16th century. We’re met by a large estate with magnificent lawns, flower beds, meadows and a well maintained vegetable garden. We’re greatly impressed by the seashell garden paths. The old head gardener's house is still around for us to admire from the outside. In addition to the garden itself, there are lots of other things to experience. Craftwork is cherished here and in the many outbuildings we get to see everything from jewellery design to delicious delicacies. The beautiful pond is over 550 metres long and the wildlife makes itself known when a toad croaks for our attention. We’re feeling hungry now and luckily we see a sign showing that we’re close to Margareta's Café, which serves everything from lunch and dinner to tasty fika. Before we leave Sundsby Säteri, we study the busy honey bees in the display hive. It looks good for the upcoming extraction!
Kitchen Garden at Sundsby Säteri.
The last destination of the day is Mariagården Garden in Stenunge. In this garden belonging to one of the oldest buildings in Stenungsund, heritage plants are grown in creative ways. As there are no clear documents showing what the garden looked like before, the focus doesn’t have to be on recreating it. Instead, the aim here is to show heirloom varieties in a different light and let the garden develop over time. This makes the Mariagården garden different from other restored gardens around Sweden. We walk round among the show beds containing both annuals and perennials. There’s a Children's Garden for the little ones to play in, where eating the berries is perfectly ok! We end our visit with a fika in the café which is open over the summer. The café is run as a collaboration between culture and leisure agencies for young people and local associations in Stenungsund. Maybe that’s why the coffee tastes so good!
Raised beds and greenhouse in Mariagården Garden.
Have a wonderful garden journey!