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5th September, 2013

Stavanger, Norway

Beautiful gardens of Norway
We left Dover in very warm sunshine and the following day continued in a similar vein, a light southerly breeze and a calm sea making for a very pleasant passage to the north. But of course while all was sub-tropical in the south east, the forecast for our intended direction was not looking quite so equable.

As we followed a couple of ‘icebergs’ into Stavanger the sky was looking slightly threatening, but pressing on regardless my wife and I took the tour that was off to ‘Flor and Fjaere’, gardens situated on the small fjord island of Sor Hidle. Our excursion guide states that these gardens are unique, and indeed I had been told by many passengers that had been there on previous cruises that I should really make the effort. I had figured that, because it was now September, the plants in the garden would look a little jaded, but that was not the case at all, they were incredible.

Flor and Fjaere

Originally, back in 1965, Asmund Bryn a nurseryman from Stavanger, bought a small farmstead on the island with no intention but to create anything except a holiday home. Ill health in 1987 resulted in him moving to the island permanently and he commenced designing a small garden on a one acre site. By 1995 his son had opened the garden and a restaurant to the first guests. And it was his son Olav who gave us the guided tour, through the various sections themed by Cyprus trees, roses, palm trees, bamboo, bonsai and all most colourfully accompanied by up to 50,000 annual plants which they replace each year. They have some most unlikely plants for this latitude and the effort that must be given to ensure survival is supreme. It truly was a feast for the eyes and a visit is highly recommended.

Of course my wife bought the book, so I anticipate that I am going to have my work cut out when I take my leave, no longer will I be able to put into my brief bio that I have a garden that ‘thrives on neglect’.  

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