King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia had an enjoyable time this week as they hosted a garden show at their summer residence, Solliden Palace on Öland, an island just off the coast of Sweden in the Baltic. The purpose of the show was for designers to showcase ideas for garden design, the King and Queen walked around the displays and had the opportunity to talk with the designers who were all standing next to designs. Though, as was revealed by one of the designers, the Queen had sneaked a preview of the gardens whilst walking her dog earlier in the day.
The King presented the prize for best garden design to Lissy Laddha Nadjalin and Johan Andersson from Pelargonien; their design incorporated a dining table covered with edible plants, as they wanted a plan which helped to promote social meetings. The gardens had been assessed by a judging panel of experts earlier in the day. The two winning designers were delighted. “It was incredibly fun. We had so clearly hoped, but there were no guarantees for success,” said Lissy Laddha Nadjalin, whilst her colleague Johann said, “Halfway through the build, we thought it looked quite promising.”
The grounds of Solliden were landscaped to reflect garden themes from other countries. The gardens were commissioned at the beginning of the twentieth century by Sweden’s Queen Victoria and are near to the partially ruined Borgholm Castle which has a much longer history, some nine hundred years. There are landscaped areas to reflect other countries; these range from the formal Italian renaissance garden, with geometric designs and a bronze statue of Mercury. That can be contrasted with the more open parkland of the English area; this too has a bust of Queen Victoria of Sweden, and also statues of mythological creatures. A later addition to the garden was the Dutch area which was a gift from Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and was laid out by Dutch gardeners in 1926.