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Norrvikens Trädgårdar – a timeless Swedish garden

Author: One Planet Jouney

Towering sentinels sway and rustle in the wind. A downward-sloping ridge causes the magnificent beech trees to lean over the sprawling estate. The blue waters of the Kattegat Sea create a stunning contrast to the intensely green landscape spread over 14 hectares in an east-west direction. Norrvikens Gardens, or Norrviken Gardens in English, on the outskirts of the Swedish resort town of Båstad, represents a sense of childlike adventure for me. The winding mountain side Italian road, which I begged my father to drive, snakes above, while the park itself is another exotic world in itself. My mother, perhaps attracted to the Mediterranean-style gardens of her youth, took any opportunity to bring us here while summering in Båstad. I recall the kaleidoscopic wonder of colours, the fragrant flowers delighting my olfactory senses at every turn. Plant life, however, played second fiddle to my personal favourite; the cascading water, which appeared almost divine as it sprouted from a white chapel high above the greenery.

Screeching peacocks end my nostalgia-induced time travel, keenly aware of our presence, yet reluctant to perform for the camera. Instead, I admire another type of beauty, the thick, luscious grass, manicured to perfection by robot lawnmowers. I let the individual straws run between my fingers, pleasure turning into a mix of envy and shame as I draw an inevitable comparison to my own poor excuse of a lawn. Ah well, they have had over 100 years to perfect it; I tell myself as the luxurious white Villa Abelin, named after founder Rudolf Abelin, enters my field of view.

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