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A Day in the Bergius Botanical Gardens

www.wherejacwanders.com – It’s always great to check out some favourite spots with locals when travelling and knowing we have a mutual love of plants, Stefan, a friend from Stockholm, suggested we should all do a trip to check out the Bergianska Trädgården, the Bergius Botanic Garden.

I love botanical gardens- especially old established ones. The Bergius Botanical Garden has its origin in the garden called Bergielund, which was laid out in the 18th century by two brothers, Bengt and Peter Jonas Bergius, between the present Karlbergsvägen and Vasaparken in Stockholm. After the brothers’ death the property was donated to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Bergius Foundation was established.  The primary objective of the Bergius Botanic Garden today is to support teaching and research about plant diversity, but the garden is also a recreational spot and a source of botanical knowledge for visitors.

Alive and bursting with new summer growth, this garden was an absolute delight. We started outside wandering around garden beds which sprawled up and down hills. Beautiful blooms from my childhood such as poppies, foxgloves, camellias and peonies and the scent of flowers filled my head.

We then headed in to the greenhouses which display plants from climates warmer than the Swedish. Tropical crops thrive side by side with fascinating life forms from the Mediterranean climate as well as rainforests and deserts. The temperature, light and humidity are controlled making it possible for different greenhouse sections to provide the best growing conditions. I loved the cacti garden with succulents that towered above our heads.

The famous Victoria House has the world’s largest water lily.  I was fascinated by these lilies. Their pads were so thick and their undersides covered in spiky thorns. It was so tempting to try to step across them like something from a movie set in a fairy fantasy land. the light shining through the edges of the pads showing off a system of veins was amazing.

In the humid tropical palm hall, bananas, papaya and palm trees were thriving among the lianas and aerial roots of the rainforest plants. In the lofty hall with a damp, warm climate all year round is a lowland rainforest. Here, mahogany, ficus, palms, banana plants and the giant bamboo were shooting towards the ceiling. Cacao and papaya trees are also cultivated here together with different species of the diverse coffee family, such as antplant, ixora and gardenia.

The subtropical room houses a collection of cycads, exciting insectivorous plants, and many economically important plants. Fruits, like the tree tomato, guava, passion fruit and lime ripen here. One half of the room is dominated by cycads, an ancient group of plants retaining primitive features. In a bed of sand and moist bog moss, the insectivorous pitcher plants, sundews and butter worts are cultivated – fascinating plants able to digest insects and absorb the nutrients.

I could have wandered for hours and hours more and exploring this garden is top of my list on our next trip to Stockholm.

Getting there:

By car from Stockholm:
Take Roslagsvägen northbound and exit at Naturhistoriska riksmuseet. Turn left in the roundabout (beneath Roslagsvägen).

By underground, train or bus
Train: Take Roslagsbanan to station Universitetet (about 5 min journey from Östra station). Follow footpath directions towards Bergianska trädgården or change to bus from Univeristet Norra, see below.

Underground: Take the underground to station Universitetet. Follow footpath directions towards Bergianska trädgården.

Bus: Bus 50 stop at station Bergiusvägen and 540 stop at station Frescati. Follow footpath directions towards Bergianska trädgården.


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