Saturday, September 13, 2014

Stockholm Allotment Gardens

On a recent visit to Stockholm, my mind and my aching muscles battled to keep up with everything we experienced there. Coming from the middle of winter in South Africa, walking into their late summer was a feast for all my senses.  One of my favourite discoveries were the allotments, Eriksdalslunden, along a steep slope in the Artsvaken Bay area.  This blog article is dedicated to these gardens.  

Tanto (as it is called) is located near Gamla Stan (Old Town) on Södermalm.  The picturesque collection of miniature cottages made me feel as if I stepped into a fairy tale.   The few hours spent there felt like I had stumbled onto a little secret. Dotted all over were tiny colourful houses, separated with picket fences and hedges.  The gardens were ablaze with colour and an abundance of plants in small spaces that played havoc with my mind.

Originally allotments were established around 1915 to provide land to grow potatoes and vegetables to feed the City's starving population during the War. Today these snippets of property are rented out to city dwellers who express themselves with gusto in their postage size gardens.  I believe there is a waiting list for up to 20 years to be privileged to rent one of these gems.  And then you have to prove to them that your intent and interest in gardening is sincere and serious.

These are indeed serious and passionate gardeners and proof of their hard work in the very short summers that Sweden experience was evident everywhere. 

Another place of interest was along an old railway line - a public garden space Tradgard Pa Sparet - Garden on the Track .  There was nobody else when we visited, but we gathered it to be a community project.  This is what is on their website - translated aka Google.  "Our garden is located in an old railway area on Södermalm in Stockholm  Our idea is to transform the neglected and abandoned site into a green and vibrant part of town. We've cleaned up the place and built mobile planter of pallets and pallet collars where we plant mainly vegetables and other edible things. The goal is not to become self-sufficient, but rather be able to experience how food grows. "We", it is the non-profit association "Garden on the track."

From what I can gather (considering the poor translation from Google) that everyone is encouraged to join and become involved to learn, plant and ultimately share in the harvest. From the photo's I also assume that education is provided to children.  The colourful pink bee-hives also have a story.  Education is provided for Bee-keeping.  How wonderful is that? Their Facebook page worth a visit too.  

In South Africa, the Cape Town project the Oranjezicht City Farm  deserves a mention and a visit. (Oranjezicht City Farm (OZCF) is a neighbourhood non-profit project celebrating local food, culture and community).  One of my favourite sustainable farms / gardens that I have visited is Babylonstoren, situated on the outskirts of Stellenbosch.

(PS You might have noticed a link to Garden for Gorgeous Sake (top right hand of this blog) that's me and where I share only garden related stuff).

But enough distraction - that's what gardening does to me - lures my mind into totally another direction. Back to the current topic.  Without further ado - a bundle of photographs to enjoy.

Pink and Pretty

All houses immaculately kept

Contrast of colours and textures

They were like butterflies in the gentle breeze

Is that a letter in there?

Organizing so many photographs presents a bit of a challenge to me now and then.  Ideally the Garden on the Track should have been separately but here they are in between the cute cottages of Tanto.

Garden on the Track

My handsome companions

The plants were all so healthy looking

Raised beds  in big wooden crates.  See the stick trellis for the beans?

Sticks act as stakes and probably woven when the vines of sorts were still green.  Great compost trough.

Colourful brightly painted pink bee hives

Must be really happy bees living there

Can't contain that pumpkin creeper!

...... and back to the cottages of Tanto.  

You can wander along the pathways - separated by this neat picket fence

Nothing vulgar about this Syringa Vulgaris Primrose, commonly known as Lilac.  Heavenly smell too.

Berries colour matching the picket fence

Grasses, flowers, shrubs, trees, groundcovers  and flowers

Each little cottage has a little patio for that perfect picnic
 And look what snuck themselves in here - a few photo's I snapped along the streets of Stockholm. They deserve a mention too.  Its just so lovely to see things blooming just everywhere.  Stockholm - your gardening enthusiasm is astounding.

A street planter

Along a busy road

Looking up

In Gamla Stan
Back to Tonto Allotments

Pathways - look even street names

Colour everywhere

Snatches of blue

Would have loved to have sit there with a cup of tea - under the honeysuckle

How could I resist going down there

Goeters en gieters

The purple band is for my friend Sonja. I wear it all the time.

These photo's actually don't need any words.  They speak for themselves.

Cutest little birdhouse swinging above the Lilac

Buddleia - also known as the Butterfly Bush

Still looking?  gorgeous isn't it?

Bundle of sticks turned upside down over plant.  To ramble over?

I see I've posted this higher up.  Just can't bear to remove it.  Look again :)

Its Spring in my hometown.  I can't wait to get dirty and get into the garden.

If you're still reading, you're either a gardener, an enthusiast or appreciate nature in all its glory. Why not forward it to someone else that does too.   Thanks for stopping by.  Pop in again will you?


  1. Delightfully charming Sissi! I imagine walking there with you xxx

    1. My Sissi, my dearest dear
      Now you've left, you've become so distant
      I long for you to still be here
      Although you've gone to the heavenly realm
      You still dwell in the pathways of my veins
      I continue to find you pop up just like now and here
      RIP my dearest dear.


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