Norway is renowned for it’s spectacular landscapes, with it’s mountains and fjords, reindeers and trolls. It has been high on my wish list of places to visit for some years now. Firstly, we started our trip in Oslo, staying in an Airbnb flat. This was in the achingly trendy and alternative suburb of Grunerlokka. It was a great place for nightlife, bars and restaurants. It also seemed to be brimming with creativity round every corner.
I loved this chandelier suspended across the street. It has been created from recycled objects and twinkled as it caught the light.
I was also entranced by this floating garden in miniature that someone had created on the river.
Down by the ferry terminal, the new incredibly chic and trendy suburb of Akker Brygge had recently been developed. It was inspiring to see how much thought had gone in to landscaping the waterfront here.
As a result, it was a great place for folk to gather, eat out, relax in one of the amazing reclining seats and watch the world go by.
Norwegians seem to be so much better at being sympathetic to their environment. For example, I loved the way these offices had created a sedum lawn in front.
This looked great and is relatively easy to maintain. It is also great for bees and butterflies and soaks up the water when it rains – unlike concrete pavers. What more could you ask for?
We then headed for the mountains of Norway, where we spent the following week walking between the fabulous turf roofed Norwegian mountain huts. These were family and dog friendly places, where you met a fantastic crowd of people and swapped stories of skiing and camping within the arctic circle, where it is that cold that your paraffin freezes. The huts were far warmer and more luxurious, with jugs of wild flowers on all the tables. I am now dreaming of creating a wildflower meadow on our garden shed.
In the high mountains, it was amazing to see what beautiful flowers were lining the paths. These exotic looking Pasque flowers or Pulsatilla seemed to thrive in the most inhospitable of places. Just shows you can grow plants almost anywhere!
We finished our trip in Bergen after a scenic railway journey along fjords and past waterfalls and wild flower meadows. Though it was July, the snow was only just starting to melt and Spring and Summer seem to have been compressed in to one with lilacs nuzzling alongside roses.
My lasting impression of Norway, other than of dramatic natural landscapes, was of how seamlessly the rural gardens blended in with the surrounding landscape. Their turf roofs and wildflower meadows created an incredibly beautiful and unforced effect. By working with nature, they have created a relatively easy to maintain garden in what one might consider a harsh environment.