Norway is not able to boast the large, majestic gardens found elsewhere in Europe. Our conditions over the years have been less favourable - in terms of economy as well as climate. Yet some traces of European gardening culture can be found, albeit on a small scale and adapted to our environment.
Around lake Mjøsa, the conditions for growth have been ideal and the gardens form an important part of our local cultural heritage. For several of these, restoration has been completed, is underway or is about to start. This makes for enthusiastic and knowledgeable owners who are happy to share their experiences and explain the special aspects of their landscaping projects. An ideal day out for anyone interested in horticultural history and garden design, structure and ideas seen in relation to the residences and their owners.
Herb garden at Domkirkeodden
Established in 1975, and inspired by the garden at the St. Olav monastery in old Hamarkaupangen. Large plant collection. Some varieties, such as the sweet briar rose, or eglantine, may date as far back as medieval times. Set in beautiful surroundings by Mjøsstranda. Museum garden. www.domkirkeodden.no
Hoel farm at Nes
Manor farm with grounds in elegant new formalism style, featuring a terraced garden established in the 1700s. Vast amounts of peonies and heritage roses. One of Hedmark's most spectacular gardens, featuring the longest lime-tree avenue in Norway. Fascinating agricultural and horticultural history. Today, the farm offers accommodation and function facilities, and is a popular wedding reception venue. Awarded Olavsrosa - the hallmark of Norwegian cultural heritage. www.hoel-gaard.no
Hovelsrud farm at Helgøya
A beautiful landscape garden from the 1840s, restored based on original plans as well as contemporary descriptions and layout. The vegetable garden is truly amazing! Most of the produce is delivered to the neighbour - the charming Skafferiet café at Hovelsrud manor farm. Open garden every Sunday throughout the summer season. Groups by appointment only. Small shop selling juice, jam and other garden products. The owner was awarded the National Cultural Landscape Award in 2012 (together with the owner of Sveinhaug), and is also the winner of the Europa Nostra Award for Cultural Heritage 2014. www.hovelsrud.no
Sveinhaug farm & historic inn in old Ringsaker
Originally a formal country residence from 1850, with a large burial mound from the 600s as the garden's main feature. A long-term restoration project is underway to recreate these historic grounds. New, large organic vegetable garden from which the produce is used in the kitchen. Fair-weather café and farm shop during the summer season. Traditional horticultural market in September. The owner was awarded the National Cultural Landscape Award in 2012 (together with the owner of Hovelsrud) in recognition of the restoration work, and for the promotion of gardens as cultural heritage. Also nominated for the Europa Nostra Award 2012 by Europa Nostra Norway. Awarded Olavsrosa - the hallmark of Norwegian cultural heritage. www.sveinhauggard.no
Simenstad farm at Rudshøgda
Romantic cottage garden with winding paths, lilac-covered seating area and hexagonal Swiss-style summer house with spectacular views. Steep slope, with walls in natural stone. The grounds have been partially restored, and are partially new. Interesting buildings typical for the Mjøsa area, with original 16th and 17th century interior, decorated living rooms and halls. www.simenstadgard.no