Chronicle December 2010 | Chronicle July 2011

January 2011

I'm just about to go out to the veranda and sit on my wonderful wicker armchair, clad in a soft mink fur. It's so pleasant to have a warm bum when looking out over a snow- filled landscape – the garden. It's 30 January and the snow is a shining, pristine, bright white. Sunrise today was at 8:03 am and the sun didn’t set until 4:10 pm; these are both clear signs that we’re approaching lighter days, slowly but surely. Even the small birds have started to sing in the garden during the daytime. There’s a spring-winter feel in the air. I've been going around the garden as usual, with ideas and plans for the coming season. It’s already time to start making preparations , so keep one step ahead, wash out pots, plan, plant seeds, and try to read as much gardening literature as possible, for once the season gets underway, there's never enough time.

We've just finished spending four days at the Formex trade fair in Älvsjö. Our greetings cards were being sold there by Two Faces of Sweden, a company run by two wonderful people, Eva and Michael.  They’re a married couple from Värnamo in Småland. Both are trained florists who retrained to become smiths and, together with their son Fredrik, make wonderful wrought-iron products for both home and garden. This coming season, we’ll be selling several of their garden products, such as their wonderful torch holders, when our garden in Tumba is open for viewings. By the way, the torch holders I have, which are 1.80 m high, can be seen on some pictures of the garden from August 2010 (under Gallery). Flames up in the air are more beautiful and impressive than a few miserable torches set on the ground.

Yes, the winter is continuing but one lives on hope and dreams for the coming year. We've now ordered all of our bulbs in Holland, and there’ll be quite a few this year, too. I like to try something new every season; it’s alright sticking to things one knows, but it’s fun to try new things as well.

We’ll be opening the garden as early as April. We haven't yet finalised the dates, but when we do we’ll announce them on the website. Something new for this year is that on five occasions during the coming season a fee of SEK 20 will be charged for entry into the garden. All of the money will go to the local Botkyrka branch of the charity Hela Människan (one of their representatives will be at the gate collecting the entrance fee). They need all the help they can get and, if we can do something to help promote their work, we’re only too pleased to do so. You can read about Hela Människan on
The garden can also be visited by private groups, but in that case it’s necessary to contact us in advance. I hope also that we’ll be participating once again in the Öppna Trädgårdar (Open Gardens) scheme organised by the newspaper Land. It hasn't yet been decided, so we'll wait and see what happens.

We’ll also be having a stand at the Nordic Gardens fair (stand AG22), 24-27 March at Älvsjö in Stockholm. There, we’ll be selling among other things, greetings cards, framed cards, lily bulbs, and Two Faces products for the garden.

The month of January is drawing to a close, so don't lose hope all you wonderful garden enthusiasts. It's a trying month, but on an optimistic note I’ve spotted the first Helleborus of the season in a garden in Tumba; not, however, our own. I’d love to have Helleborus in our own garden, but unfortunately they’re particularly partial to clay soil, which we don’t have, and I simply have not been very successful with them.

Don’t forget: spring is on its way, the days are getting lighter, and there's reason for hope.

Look after yourselves, think plants, think gardens, (but, first and foremost, think people).

Hugs from

Stefan, A Gentleman Gardener