OPENING TIMES AT Varnhem Skara
The herb garden: Open 1/6-9/10
Flowerbed with dahlias: Open 1/6-9/10
Arboretum: Open 1/4-6/11
For anyone who loves dahlias and wants to immerse themselves in history at the same time
Varnhem is situated at the foot of Billingen in the middle of Västergötland. This well preserved monastery ruin brings the Middle Ages back to life in startling detail. In the grounds lie Ryttargården, Varnhem Abbey, Örtagården (The Herb Garden), the monastery ruins, the monastery museum and Kata Farm. In Ryttargården’s garden you can enjoy more than 40 cultivars of dahlia. The Swedish Dahlia Society arrange guided tours here and in autumn hold popular sales of this season’s dahlia tubers.
Inside Ryttargården there’s an exhibition about the history and development of the dahlia and its connection to Varnhem. The Herb Garden is in the monastery ruins. The garden displays a selection of the monks’ medicinal herbs. A lovely trail, Rosenstigen (The Rose Path) winds around the site. It’s two kilometres long and gives a good overview of the whole area. The many varieties of roses at Varnhem are also worth seeing. Pollinators thrive here in the gardens laid specifically to attract them.
There are plenty of places to have your own picnic and a nice café and restaurant if you prefer to buy on site. Good parking for both cars and coaches. Guided tours are offered in Swedish. Dogs on leads are welcome. There is a public toilet. Visitors wanting to stay locally can do so at Klostergården Hostel.
About ten minutes by car from Varnhem lies Remningstorps Arboretum (Valles Arboretum), where you’ll find many unusual kinds of trees originating from different places. Sawara cypress, Japanese magnolia, walnut, gingko, katsura tree and red sycamore are some examples. Have a walk along the path to Bockön, a little peninsula sticking out into Lake Acksjön, with magnificant oak groves and a lovely grill area with a fantastic view.