Scandinavian gardens draw inspiration from the majestic and tranquil landscape of Nordic countries, ranging from the gorgeous meadows of Sweden to the volcanic peaks of Iceland. These gardens embrace the long dark winters and sweet yet fleeting summer days of the land with simplicity and boldness. The design manifests itself in sharp angles and organised planting to create a timeless and rustic ambience.
Creating a Scandinavian garden
One of the defining characteristics of Nordic countries is the cold weather. Naturally, the plants for a typical Scandinavian garden need to be able to adapt and survive in such a challenging environment. Hardy perennials such as yarrow (achillea), bugleweed (ajuga) and Dwarf Goat's Beard (aruncus) are all excellent candidates because of their resistance to cold weather and ability to flourish with limited sunlight during the winter months. Perennials with flowering blooms such as delphiniums and lupines can be great additions as well. As mentioned earlier, symmetry and sharp lines are features of Scandinavian gardens, so please design the layout of planting beds to reflect this. This organisation and the subsequent lack of chaos will help the area project calmness and achievement in perfect attunement with its inhabitants. Be wary of the colours of the perennials you chose. The colours need to be pale and muted to prevent them from disrupting the serene tranquillity of the garden.
Functionality and objective
Scandinavian gardens are always functional in nature, so when designing one, do so with a clear objective in mind. If it is meant to serve as a vegetable garden, then aesthetics should take a back seat. Instead, focus on the greenhouse and raised beds. Everything else will fall into place naturally. Conversely, if the garden is designed for relaxation, make it comforting and warm, like an extension of the home. Keep the lines clean, while placing emphasis on connecting fixtures such as garden furniture and patios. This will help to integrate visitors into the environment. Remove any jarring elements from the garden, such as a small shrub in the middle of a planting bed, or a dazzling single flowering bloom in a muted hedge. It’s worth noting that while water features such as a pool or fountain are difficult to integrate with conventional Scandinavian gardens, it can be done. When incorporated successfully, they will bring an element of the seas and rivers to the garden.
Keep warm and bright
A Scandinavian garden doesn’t close for business at the onset of the cold season. Plummeting temperatures and shortened daylight are just features of the garden. When designing the garden, these factors should have already been taken into account. A sturdy fireplace or fire bowl with fixed seating will serve as the focal point during this period. Conversations can be held while eating baked potatoes or toasted marshmallows. Lighting can be affixed to give the area a warm and intimate glow. Exclude any strong colours, and remember to use environmentally friendly LED lights. After all, sustainability is an important component of Scandinavian gardens. Nothing can possibly compete with the natural beauty of the Nordic landscape. However, Scandinavian gardens are capable of taking an aspect of this earthly beauty into homes. Perhaps this is why the concept is beginning to take off even in far-flung locations far from northern Europe.