Where to find summer in the city? There are parks and botanical gardens, there are promenades by the sea and walks along the river. Some cities have beaches, some have lakes. Oslo is lucky to have both: lakes, beaches and the waterfront by the fjord. But I want to share with you my secret place, the hidden jewel of this city – kolonihage, i.e. colonial garden.
There are several of them around Oslo, well hidden and not visited by others than their users. I have discovered two and am totally swept by this idea. One kolonihage lies not far from my home and this spring I went there on the photo hunt. It was during the long weekend in late May when many left the city, and so it was quite and peaceful. The weather was warm and friendly, and made it perfect for tranquil walks around the gardens. Join me on this tour of early summer idyll!
Don’t ask me why it is called “colonial”, but it is really a garden. To be precise, it is an area in the city alloted to a number of small gardens. It is not easy to get a spot there, you cannot just buy it. You need to be on the waiting list for many many years – and, if lucky, you can get one. But when you have it, you can plant trees, flowers and bushes there, build a tiny house, cabin-style (where it is not allowed to spend nights except during a certain season) – and enjoy the garden life even though you live in a city flat. Drink wine with your friends, feet in the grass or on the terrace, read a book under an apple tree, work in the garden on weekends listening to a radio, decorate it with shells or small statues. When you die, the plot cannot be inherited by your children but goes back to the city, I’ve heard.
I am a lover of gardens from all over the world. If I were told about a Nordic garden, I don’t know what I would think. Can there be gardens in the North? But since I live here, I can say: yes, there can be gardens. And how wonderful they can be!
What would you say if you heard of “a Nordic garden”? What ideas spring to your mind? And let me know if you want to pick an image for your dream garden (I’ll let the owners know :)))