Sweden report, part 1: June 1-2, 2005.
On Wednesday I arrived in Lysekil, a small town perhaps 150 km or so northwest of Gothenburg. I was late enough to have missed the opening hours of the herb garden, but early enough for a stroll to the beach, only 300 m from where I was staying.
Pretty pretty: a sandy beach close to a sheer rock face, the water was exceedingly calm. That's the North Sea; part of the atlantic ocean if you only count seven seas. Pic: Beach, calm of an evening.
The sea thrift (Armeria maritima) had been greeting me all along the road, flowering profusely, so I wasn't surprised to find some on that rock, too. It was too dark for decent pics, though, so here's a less than decent one:
Pic: Sea thrift in flower.
On Thursday I visited Lysekils örtagård. They say they're Scandinavia's biggest herb garden, with 1500 species, but they're unfortunately understaffed in the gardener department, and much of the beds were overgrown with weeds, most of which were more vigorous herbs from nearby flowerbeds. You could still see the former glory; here's hoping they can solve their staff problems, so that the garden can return to that glory sometime soon.
They did have interesting plants. They derive their income from plant sales, coffee'n'cake (if you come with a large enough group), and tours of the garden. Their calamus was very healthy-looking, so I bought some of that. It survived 8 days in the car and is now digging its roots into watery mud in a dug-down plastic container in my garden.
Pic: Rock carving of a guy with a sword. There's rock carvings all over southern Sweden, if the tourist brochures are to be believed, but during this visit I only went to see one set, near the herb garden. They say this 3000 year old carving is a guy with a sword. Maybe it's just me, but I'm kind of sceptical of that interpretation ...