What do gardeners do – after gardening?

Garden Life
What do gardeners like the most about their own garden? Which is the most tedious garden chore? And how do they spend time in their garden after the day’s work is done? We asked four garden owners in France, Portugal and Sweden.

Garden owner: Anna-Karin Alphand

Where: Saint Chaffrey in the southern Alps, France

Desribe your garden!
My garden is situated in the southern French Alps. It’s quite steep at some places but we have tried to make it as useful as possible. It’s approximately 2,000 m2 with a large lawn, a pine hedge and larch trees, which are typical for this region. The garden also has fruit trees and birches. We have a large stone terrace where we spend a lot of time.

What do you like most about your garden?
We have plenty of space and a wonderful view over the valley and the mountains. My herb garden is a favourite. I grow mint, thyme, chives, parsley, dill, basil and other herbs. I enjoy planting new flowers and looking after them. My latest additions are rose bushes, lupines and peonies.

Which is the most tedious chore in the garden?
Getting rid of the weeds in the lawn, which can be difficult when the soil is very dry like it is during summer. I have an ongoing battle with the dandelions, which seem to invade our lawn every summer.

What do you like to do after gardening?
My family and I like spending time on our terrace. We have a barbecue, an aperitif or just enjoy the view.

Garden owner: Martin Magnusson

Where: Kungälv, Sweden

What does your garden look like?
It’s a flat garden, approximately 1,300 m2, which is situated right by the river Nordre Älv in the old part of Kungälv. The garden was created in the 1930s and has a park garden character, with stoned pathways and a lot of fruit trees. The part near the river is a meadowland with birches, willows and lily-of-the-valley.

What do you like most about your garden?
It’s spacious and has a “park feeling”. I’ve a passion for climbing roses and clematis, which I’ve planted near the house. I hope that the deer will leave them alone.

Which is the most tedious chore in the garden?
Mowing the lawn is quite time-consuming. Now, I’ve actually found a solution to this problem! I’ve just bought a robotic lawn mower, that’ll do the mowing work in both my garden and my brother’s, who lives next door. Other than that, I like all the work in the garden – even removing weeds. It’s a way to relax and have something meaningful to do when I’m outside.

What do you like to do after gardening?
I like to spend time with my friends, have a beer, barbecue, play games…

Garden owner: Mareth Rådenmark

Where: Hovås, Sweden

What kind of garden do you have?
When we moved to our house eight years ago, it was newly built and the garden didn’t exist. The house lies in a slope, so we began by having an excavator create the garden in two levels in order to make it as useful as possible. It’s roughly 900 m2 and is located on a street with through traffic. By planting hedges of evergreen privet and trees, and building a greenhouse, we’ve succeeded in creating a private space.

What do you like most about your garden?
The greenhouse! My husband and I built it ourselves six years ago and it has really contributed to the garden. We use it as an atrium until late autumn. We have furnished it with some comfortable armchairs, a small table and candles. In the greenhouse I grow grapes, figs, chillies and physalis, among other things.

Which is the most tedious chore in the garden?
I actually like all the work in the garden. I don’t even mind removing weeds.

What do you like to do after gardening?
Sit in the greenhouse with my husband and my son, with a good book, and the candles lit, and watch the night fall.

Garden owner: Anneli Andersson

Where: Cascais, Portugal

Describe your garden!
It’s a flat garden, approximately 1,000 m2, and quite easy to manage. I used to grow a lot of flowers but now I am more into green plants. I grow palm trees, many kinds of bamboos, grapes, and agapanthus. I also have a beautiful pine tree, which is illuminated at night, and a ficus tree, which is more than 10 meters high.

What do you like most about your garden?
I love my bamboos! I have 24 different kinds of them now, one is the beautiful marble bamboo. I’ve bought them from a place in southern Portugal which normally only delivers to the industry. Bamboos are easy to manage, all I need to do is water them. The plants are beautiful all year round.

Which is the most tedious chore in the garden?
Removing the moss in the shady parts of my lawn, and of course, getting rid of the weeds. It’s a neverending task…

What do you like to do after gardening?
I am fortunate to be able to work from home, so I can spend a lot of time in my garden. During the warm season, I am outside nearly all the time. Usually you’ll find me under my parasol, with the computer in my lap.