How to Plant A Swedish Grandma Garden

astrantia flowers
Yesterday’s gallery that featured Mariana’s Swedish country garden got me thinking even more about this particular style of garden.  Swedish gardens are required to deal with the harshest and shortest of seasons, but yet every single one I see has this beautiful lush wildness that really appeals to me. There are some good lessons about right plants, right place here….

How to make a sswedish Grandma garden - Columbine

There are lots of plants that you might use to achieve this look, but I have pulled together this palette as an easy reference for those of you who might want to replicate this style.

Swedes call this type of garden a ‘grandma garden’ because is recalls the casual place that so many grandma’s used to or still tend. They tend to be tightly packed with a variety of plants and flowers. The soil tends to be sandy and not terribly good so the hardy plants that live there have to put up with these less than pleasant conditions. It is all a bit wild and rampant, like a slightly more controlled and brightly colored version of the of the wilderness beyond, and lots of things can be left to self seed in order to fill in the space and choke out weeds.

Does this style appeal to you?  Have you tried and loved or hated any of these plants?

How to make a Swedish Grandma garden - Delphinium elatum hybrid

Click through the gallery for a full plant list.

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P.S.  This is a great article about Rosa pimpinellifolia (Pimpinell Rose) by Peter Boyd – its one of the plants that I would like to try on this list!



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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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