Town Mouse Goes A-Travelling: Stockholm

Hagaslott Enköping
The next few posts will go a little further afield. Town Mouse and Mr. Mouse had the great pleasure of working and vacationing in Europe this summer, and I want to share some photos. So, on the one hand, I'm violating our "Adventures with California Native Plants" motto. But on the other hand, I kept thinking (and saying): Oh look, that's so different! Oh look, that's just like we do it at home.

So, follow me on a tour of Stockholm with California-Native-Plant-Colored glasses.

The first photo isn't even Stockholm but a castle cum conference center 50 miles away where we stayed for 3 days and nights. Beautiful old trees. The garden a little neglected, but the bones were good.

Tulips in Södermalm
But enough of the castle. The most wonderful thing about Sweden is how much people really enjoy a sunny day. How much they appreciate the chance to grow something. The time is so short! And some years, it rains so much. So the government makes a special effort to brighten the city with plants. In fact, I was able to watch some city workers plant containers near the Medieval Museum.

Plantings near Medieval Museum. 
But beautiful containers with blooming plants were in many locations. We arrived in early June, and everything was just starting to open up.

Containers Södermalm
Even more amazing were the pop-up gardens. Similar to the beaches along the Seine in Paris in summer, you can find small parks with beach chairs, small squares of grass, and containers with trees or plants. People will sit in shorts and short sleaves to soak up some sun. There are also beautiful parks with large trees - but they're often shady. So having an extra park here and there can make all the difference in a country that has only a few hours of sun a day (if any) in winter.

Pop-up park

We even saw flower boxes along a popular walking path that led along the south coast of the island.

Not sure whether it was intentional that the flowers in general would not have made very good cut flowers. And while I'm sure there's the odd bit of vandalism, things looked well maintained for the most part.

In addition to public plantings, the Stockholmers themselves seemed to care about plants and planting. The flower market was open a lot, and I did see people buy things.

I don't have as many photos of wildflowers as I might, but it was clear there was support.

Wild Roses Along the Walking Path
And I was also encouraged to find a sign about Endangered native plants - I think I took this photo in Skansen.

I'll end this post with a family of swans - encouraging to see that they're clearly doing fine, even in the middle of a big city.


David Cristiani said…
What a good change for a trip - I can dream, at least. The thought of limited sun, but taking advantage of that recalls being a kid in Belgium, though even we had it better. Great architecture, too.