Wednesday, July 19, 2017

An overgrown garden

It was lovely to come home to a lush, green garden, even if our resident woodchuck had nibbled on parsley, beans, and chard. S/he had rather nicely pruned the lower squash vines, actually, which otherwise would have been sprawling down into the woodland garden.

The pocket meadow has exploded; it definitely needs some serious editing. What was I thinking when I planted Silphium perfoliatum, Coreopsis trifoliata, and another Silphium, simply to replace a lost Coreopsis (which was a nice focal point). Uh, and the Vernonia spp. has seeded in everwhere, in addition to the parent plant, not to mention how big the Phlox has become, etc. etc.

These are quite dreadful photos, taken in bad light with my iPhone, but you get the idea.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Gardening for bees (in the UK)

I appreciated this piece via an e-newsletter feed that I receive re RHS' Wild about Gardens initiative.

Impressive to read that 24% of British adults had planted something pollinator-friendly in their garden or windowbox in 2016; I don't think we'd make that in the US. I liked the straight-forward suggestions about how to support bees!

https://www.rhs.org.uk/about-the-rhs/blogs/news-blog/July-2017/simple-things-you-can-do-to-help-our-bees?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2017_wag_july%20(1)&utm_content=&spMailingID=11467898&spUserID=MTQ0NzMyNjQ1NTY2S0&spJobID=1201172743&spReportId=MTIwMTE3Mjc0MwS2

Långholmen allotments and garden, Stockholm


Looping around a different side of the island, near Sodermalm, we came across a delightful vegetable garden, much larger than most we've seen so far, surrounded by allotment gardens of varying sizes.

Långholmen is a former prison island, now turned park, and the sign confirmed that this area had been the site of an original prison vegetable garden.

Some of the allotment gardens had perfectly kept small cottages, summer and weekend retreats for the plot-holders, and I can imagine how someone living in the high-rise condo units nearby would relish being in his or her garden on a sunny summer day.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Malarenstrand, Stockholm

Stockholm is a city of islands, surrounded by water, both fresh and salty.

An afternoon walk along Lake Malaren's edge (in Sodermalm) found flowers, on a boat and on top of a storage/recycling shed!

Friday, July 14, 2017

More Rosendal Tradgarden photos

The morning Fike (coffee and sweet) offering

Yay, seeds galore! Both vegetable and flowers, although not anything particularly unusual - but nice to see in a short summer climate. Warm season vegetables are largely in glasshouses; North American cool season veggies are outside right now- kale, broccoli, cabbage, fava beans, etc.

There's a cool breeze in the outside cafe as I write this - maybe it was 68 F this afternoon.

Rosendals Tradgarden, Stockholm

An organic garden/farm, restaurant, garden center and nursery, with perennial gardens and a heirloom fruit orchard - in the middle of Djursgarden, Stockholm City's green island (and Royal National City Park)- there's nothing not to like.

Wonderful plants and garden-related items, displayed delightfully, made it more than worth a return visit with my gardening companion, who had opted for a island ferry excursion for the morning of my previous visit.

Hmm, my iPhone-based post is exceeding Blogo's capacity. More photos to come- I'm a tired tourist using the ABBA Museum's free WiFi unexpectedly this afternoon!

Uppsala containers

Just a couple of the striking public containers in Uppsala, Sweden, perhaps part of the botanical theme of a town visit.


Linnaeus in Uppsala

A pilgrimage to see the house and gardens of Linneaus in Uppsala, a venerable university town north of Stockholm was rewarding for its beautiful cathedral and botanical gardens as well. The striking public container plantings in Uppsala perhaps reflect the botanical theme of the town, strongly focused on Carl Linnaeus and his legacy. The containers were an unusual mix of edibles (including tomatoes and corn) along with perennial flowering plants. Perhaps they were all made up of species that he described, displayed in his reconstructed research garden, here from his study window, where he did all of his writing.
It's an amazing experience, especially as a botanist/gardener, to reflect on all of the plants that he described, among them many from North America. In the garden, cup plant (among many other perennials) looked happy in the long days of a Swedish summer; mayapple and bloodroot looked wan, as if to reflect "I'm supposed to be dormant by now!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Stockholm sunset

We're so fortunate to be able to experience Stockholm as quasi locals for several weeks.

This was the view from our Home Exchange flat this evening.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Familiar plants, but larger!

I've enjoyed the Geranium spp. here in Sweden - both cultivated and wild. Geranium "Roxanne" is huge here, presumably because of the longer days.

But the wild Geranium species are equally impressive!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Feeding pigeons

Coming back to Liljeholmen in late afternoon, I saw older immigrant women sitting outside the McDonald's at the edge of the plaza.

It serves as a central center for what is really a metro station with a very high-end shopping mall attached (complete with a very nice grocery store).

A bit farther down, there were young men feeding the pigeons, apparently delighting in doing so.

Walking back to our Stockholm flat

A long walk back from Gamla Stan (historic downtown Stockholm) brought the usual spectacular views of summertime Stockholm. Wonderful. A brief shower steamed it up, briefly, but it turned cool and dry quite quickly.

My first mission (after enjoying a delicious lunch - smorgasbord - at the Grand Hotel) was returning to photograph the Amelanchier "trees" in containers near the Parliment building.

The fruits were getting ripe, and birds were harvesting them. I mentioned to interested tourists (American and Japanese) that we had serviceberries in North America, yada, yada (uh, they were taking pictures, so I thought they might be interested -- they were interested in their edibility and attractiveness, at least).

What struck me is that they were in containers. Hmm. They must have to bring them indoors somewhere in the winter -- perhaps the Saskatoon species would be hardy in Stockholm in a container in the winter, but I wouldn't think our SE US species would. But, plants are adaptable.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Finnhamn (a island in the Stockholm archipelago)

A long ferry ride (delightful) brought us to a wonderful far island outside of Stockholm. Finnhamn is a favorite place for many weekend campers and hostel-stayers, as well as day-trippers like us.

Lots of great views and interesting vegetation. (My Blogo iPad interface doesn't let me label photos, but you'll get the idea). Wonderful view and paths, interesting plants, including this interesting purple and yellow mint, a delightful find of Hepatica in a limestone patch, and more trails to explore.





Thursday, July 6, 2017

From mountain town to Stockholm

It's been so interesting to be in a vibrant, metropolitan city for the last week or so.
Our home turf, in Asheville, NC is quite wonderful, we think, but being in the big city of Stockholm for several weeks, has been revealing. Would I want to live here? Well, maybe for the three months of OK weather. Today it was glorious -- high about 70° F and sunny.
A perfect spring or fall day for us. I think they have about 10-15 days of days like this during the summer?
We've been here just over a week and 1/2 now, and have had two great days, like today, along with cloudy, cool days (sometimes downright chilly for me!) for the rest of the time.
The transit system here is amazing -- from the metro equivalent, to communter trains, to buses, they're all interconnected in the Greater Stockholm area, along with ferries to Dursgarden.

Today's return walk brought us by the wooden boat harbor on Langeholmen, where we also saw a glimpse of our mid-50's apartment building. Expansive views of old town Stockholm with the lake in the foreground were expansive!

our building

Coming back today from an excursion to the oldest Swedish town, Sigtuna, esttablished in 790, it was interesting to walk along a path along the edge of the river. The parks and natural areas were filled with picnickers, as were the spots along the lake.
Wonderful to see!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Cinnamon buns ( in Stockholm)

We haven't yet tried these kanelbulle, but they look delicious. Here at Brod and Salt, there's proofing the prepared pastries, preparing the dough, and the final product.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Skansen

The first-established living history museum (established in the late 1800's) is a wonderful collection of buildings (houses, shops, farm buildings, homesteads, etc.) spanning several centuries of Swedish life. Costumed interpreters and a wealth of original interior pieces add depth - by far the best living history museum I've visited.



Sunday, July 2, 2017

Visiting Stockholm

We've been having a wonderful time in Stockholm - this is the short time of the year that temperatures are close to 70° F and there are long, often sunny days.  But the days can feel chilly, too,  when it's cloudy, and in the lower 60°'s.  Regardless, everyone is out, enjoying the long days of summer.

It starts getting light about 3:00, and the birds start singing, and it's fully light by 4 am.  Hard to keep sleeping, but I just cover my head with the sheet and try to sleep (even though I've also got up and poked around for a bit for the last couple of nights.)

The most surprising aspect of our time so far is how affordable it is.  For decades, Scandinavia has had the reputation (and the reality) of being expensive.

Right now, we're eating out and buying groceries at more or less the equivalent price at home (in Asheville, NC) for nice meals and normal provisions.

Amazing.

There are a few things that are more expensive (wine and beer are heavily taxed at restaurants, so a glass of wine is more expensive than at home, but not more that it was in DC, on a recent visit).  Purchased at the state liquor stores, a bottle of wine is equivalent in price to similar ones at home in the grocery store.

Even though many fruits and vegetables are imported, the costs there are comparable, too, except for unusual things (cilantro and ginger, for example).  But apples, bananas, eggs, fish, meat, etc. are normal prices, as are seasonal fruits.  And good bread is similar, too, in cost, to what I'd pay at home, even though I normally make all of our bread!      

P.S. Lots of photos on my FB feed (public). Adding photos is always challenging on an iPad using Blogger (ha!) or the website.

Another postscript: Amazingly, my photos on my iPad just synced from images from my iPhone through today - woo-hoo- maybe I can add images? Although it's actually the other way that's the problem (e.g. access images on my iPhone). We'll see.
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