Photo "New Dawn", photografer "yamada*", you find his profile and more of his photos here.
In Uppsala there's a nursery called Rosendal (not to be mixed up with Rosendal in Stockholm). It was there when I moved to this town, and for a few years I had the peculiar habit of getting this yearning in spring. I wanted to go to Rosendal for no reason at all - and every time I got there they had started to sell their yearly breed of fuchsia cuttings. Sure, I love fuchsias, but they can't call to me over several kilometers (miles), can they?
Then a big gardening chain called Plantagen ("the Plantation") swept over Sweden, and among other places opened a big mall in Uppsala. Pretty soon Rosendal was bought by another gardening chain called Blomsterlandet ("the Flowerbed") and the assortement changed. Rosendal is now an gardening mall, were you find basic plants, garden furniture and outdoor grills. It's not all that bad. You can buy the most common plants to reasonable prices, and mostly you know enough about these to not need to ask anything about them (eventhough the employees may well know a lot about gardening). And I found borrowing a porch swing handy when the little one needed some comforting.
But the thing lost was the gardening joy. Old Rosendal was owned by someone who loved plants, and that made it's mark on everything. You could see it on the care for the place, you could see it in the displays and most of all you could see it in the choice of plants. Every time you went there you found the plants of the season with a little extra something - some plant that's grown in a too small amount to be profitable, but someone bought it and displayed it anyhow, just for the fun of it. I'm still disappointed that I didn't buy mini papyrus in container when they had it - just to mention one exemple.
Eventhough I enjoy a trip to Plantagen every now and then I can't help missing the old Rosendal. This day I talked my husband into buying the new plants for the balcony from Funbo Plantskola (Funbo nursery). I've heard about this nursery from friends, who's taken this as a new place to go since Blomsterlandet devoured our Rosendal. They have a good homepage (only in Swedish unfortunately), but look a bit dull when you pass it by, so I haven't got around to get there eariler. I had no idea about what to expect when I went inside the gates.
I entered their greenhouse and fell in love immediately. You have to fall in love when you see rows and rows of wellkept potted plants. And when I found a healthy wine heavy with grapes in the next greenhouse I was sold completely. Growing wine in Sweden is hard and considered very exotic. For a while I just walked around the plants and plantations with a happy smile on my face.
On the other hand I couldn't miss the fact that there were overgrown places and parts that could use a bit more care. Since some plants were spotless (I assume they sell well and that care is concentrated to them) it's not a question of classical neglect. Rather the nursery recieves less customers than it need to keep the economy up, ie. no money to hire enough gardeners. This reminded me of the paradox in gardening Sweden today; gardening is trendy right now, quite the go, and this means that nurseries like Funbo and old Rosendal are forced to close down (or join a bigger chain and loose their soul). Plantagen and Blomsterlandet are too strong competitors, not because of their assortment or competence, but because of their handy location that people never get the idea to go somewhere else.
We're loosing something in this process, namely the possibility to grow a garden with something special. Eventhough the assortment of Plantagen is big, it's also only the normal plants. Unless mini papyrus in container gets trendy, you wont find it there. Perhaps not the end of the world, but admit that life becomes a little bit more dull this way.
Swedes have a tendency to do just like anyone else - in Sweden. This means I can't really say if this phenomenon is international or just local. However I'm starting up the campain for adopting a nursery on Indoor Gardener too (it's very much needed in Sweden). Do like this; find a close by nursery not linked to a bigger chain, visit it and see if it's good. If it is, buy some plants and add a link to it on your blog in the same way I've done (look in the right margin). If the nursery don't have a homepage just display the adress and opening hours and add something about their assortment. Write a post about the nursery on your blog, and mention this on a commentary here at Indoor Gardener.
I'll do a weekly wrap up, linking to your nursery posts. It's permissible to adopt a nursery already 'taken'. Do spread the campain to garden bloggers I haven't reached. (Heh. I realise this means you can save a nursery and do some shopping in the same time - if only all good deeds were this fun :-) )
Unfortunately I didn't bring the camera to Funbo Plantskola this time, you'll have to wait a couple of times for my reportage. This time I bought the rose "New Dawn" which will replace my old rose on the balcony - and some extra strawberries for the kiddo.