(Editor’s Note: This is an update to our Swedish Cactus Garden post from August, 2012. The image above is by Einarspetz @ Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Every summer for nearly 90 years, the Swedish port city of Norrköping has created a cactus garden.

It’s further north than Juneau, Alaska. And further north than Canada’s Polar Bear Provincial Park.

How do they do it? Greenhouses, will power, and lots of work!

The Cold Location

Cactus Garden: Cactus Gardens, Sweden, Swedish, Park, Carl Johans Park, Norrköping, Winter, Bleak, Snow, Cold, Arctic

Winter Screenshot of Garden: YouTube Video

The garden grounds in January: it’s not there! Click the park YouTube video link and take a winter walking tour of Carl Johans Park, where the garden lives. While bleak, the video has a wistful beauty. I enjoyed the tour, and didn’t mind the camera shake (or the piano music).

Carl Johans Park dates to the 1800s. It was named after Charles XIV John, king of BOTH Sweden AND Norway. He came from France, where he served as a French Marshal under Napoleon.

Cactus Garden Themes

Cactus Garden: Cactus Gardens, Sweden, Swedish, Park, Carl Johans Park, Norrköping, Cacti, 2012, Theme, Aerial View, Symphony Orchestra

The 2012 Garden Image: Norrkoping

Each year, the cactus garden has a different theme. In 2011, it was a trade union. Last year, 2012, the theme is the city’s symphony orchestra.

Looking at the aerial shot above, the garden layout does look a bit like an orchestra, with the letters “SON” being where a conductor’s podium would be.

Like Jewelry

Norrköping’s website has images of cactus gardens going back to the 1920s. I was stunned and so were our Bombay Outdoors designers. Viewed like this, the gardens look like jewelry!

Even looking at just the last three years, you see the variety and beauty. The 2011 cactus garden was flowing and ornate…

Cactus Garden: Cactus Gardens, Sweden, Swedish, Park, Carl Johans Park, Norrköping, Cacti, 2011, Theme, Aerial View, Ornate, Trade Union

The 2011 Garden Image: Norrkoping

The 2010 cactus garden, which I believe celebrated the 100th anniversary of city hall, had a hall of cacti, surrounded by a huge flower shape…

Cactus Garden: Cactus Gardens, Sweden, Swedish, Park, Carl Johans Park, Norrköping, Cacti, 2010, Theme, Aerial View, City Hall, 100th Anniversary

The 2010 Garden Image: Norrkoping

The 2009 garden reads “Holmen” and “400”. My guess? It celebrates the Swedish Empire’s founding in the early 1600s. This one is my favorite, with five gorgeous cactus islands that perhaps represent five centuries…

Cactus Garden: Cactus Gardens, Sweden, Swedish, Park, Carl Johans Park, Norrköping, Cacti, 2009, Theme, Aerial View, Swedish Empire, Holmen, 400th Anniversary

The 2009 Garden Image: Norrkoping

How It’s Done…

I find it hard to believe the garden has 25 thousand cacti in it. But that’s what the city website, and who am I to fight City Hall?

The photos below show how make a cactus garden when you live close to the Arctic Circle. It’s starts with greenhouses, lots of unloading, and the gardeners go to work in June…

Cactus Garden: Cactus Gardens, Sweden, Swedish, Park, Carl Johans Park, Norrköping, Cacti, Construction, Greenhouse, Unloading, Gardening, Gardeners, Working

From Greenhouse to Garden Image: Norrkoping

Know of any nice northern gardens? Comment below and let us know! We’d love to hear!
 


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