A Swedish vineyard, castle, sparkling gardens and cycling on the notable Kattegatt Trail. These are some of the ingredients in the Garden Trip Bicycle Package. Gardens and flowers is a passion for organizer Christina Högardh-Ihr, who has written several books on the subject. Sweden by Bike asked her to tell me more about the connection between travel and cycling.
What do you experience on a gardening trip?
Very! I would say a mixture of wonderful garden environments, flowers, shrubs, trees, cultivation in kitchen gardens, beauty, fragrances and not least many enthusiastic and knowledgeable people who are more than happy to share their experiences. Besides, a little exercise you always get, often fresh air and good lunches, dinners and lots of good snacks.
What kind of gardening experiences can you get in Sweden?
We live in an oblong country with many different conditions for cultivation. Wherever you go, you adapt your garden to the climate, soil, winds and so on. We also have different garden traditions in Sweden. In Skåne it is leafy and a lot of hedges and walls protect the gardens. As you get further up, you "invite" with more openness. In Sweden, you can see everything from super-aesthetic private gardens, fancy castle parks and large nature gardens to colonial lot areas full of carpentry joy and useful cultivation.
The phenomenon is large in England. Do garden trips and traditions look different there?
Absolutely! Gardening tourism is a well-developed concept in England. The range of gardens is huge and the infrastructure with means of transport, cafes, restaurants, hotels and B & B's is top notch. There are also, above all, two large organizations that are very good at spreading information and booking opportunities to many gardens; National Trust and National Garden Scheme.
You have a bicycle package at Sweden by Bike with cycling along the Kattegatt Trail and visits to gardens along the way. Can you tell us a little about what you get to experience?
Well-known Sofiero Castle & Palace Park in Helsingborg, famous for its rhododendron plantings that bloom in thousands from April to June and also nice flower discounts, exciting exhibitions and one of Sweden's largest flower shows at the end of August. You cycle along the sea from Helsingborg and towards the Kulla Peninsula where you get to see another exciting castle garden, Krapperup, but also an old fine almog garden in Viken. More than a hundred different kinds of roses can be found in Sylvia's private garden in Mölle, Mamsellen's Food Workshop bakes the tastiest and most floral cakes you have tasted. The last stop on our bike tour is Båstad and there lies Norrvikens Gardens, exciting, new meets old, unique garden room and beautiful views. In the evenings you eat well and live well in our cozy hotels and boarding houses. You can also choose for luggage transport, wine tasting and private tours on our tour so it can get an extra gold edge.
Do you have any favorites yourself when it comes to growing in a garden?
Fragrant roses, good apples and occasional spice plant.