THE GARDEN THEN AND NOW
CAFÉ AND BAKERY SHOPPING AT ROSENDAL
OPENING HOURS AND MAP
THE GARDEN TODAY
Rosendal's Garden is an open garden, with the main purpose of presenting biodynamic (organic) garden cultivation to the general public.
Other educational and cultural activities are also important, such as courses, lectures, excursions, and exhibitions on subjects like environment, horticulture, organic cooking, or garden art. Notable features of the garden are the Orchard with some hundred apple trees, many planted in the 1860’s; the Wine garden with its selected hardy vines; and the magnificent Rose garden with over a hundred varieties of rare old roses.
Our plots and greenhouses yield a wide selection of biodynamically grown vegetables, flowers, herbs and pot-plants, most of it sold in the Plant Shop or the Garden Shop, or used for cooking in the Café.
In the café, we serve coffee and tea, sandwiches, pastries, and light lunch dishes, with nothing but organically grown ingredients. All bread, pies, buns, cookies and cakes come from our own Bakery, boasting a wood-fired stone oven built in 1998.
The biodynamic principles include a constant focus on quality. Besides environmental considerations in all gardening work, all produce used in our food processing is selected with utmost care. The garden crops are served at our tables, and leftovers go back to the compost heap, providing first-rate soil for next year’s growth. Visitors can actually feel the continuity of a connected whole.
Since 1984, a self-supporting foundation manages the garden, without grants or subsidies. The proceeds from café, bakery, and shops directly support garden maintenance.
Generations of gardeners at Rosendal – ’The Rose Valley’ in Swedish - have contributed to the fruit we reap today.
As early as the late 17th century, the area can be seen on maps as a grouping of shepherd cottages, which by the early 18th century had developed into small farms. In 1791, king Gustav III donated the manor to governor de Besche, who erected a large wooden villa. In 1817, the area was sold to Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, who later on would become Swedish king Karl XIV Johan. The grounds were cleared, drained, and laid out as an English-style park, turning it into a summer paradise.
The present palace was built by architect Fredrik Blom, finished in 1827, with an adjoining winter garden. The Rosendal palace today is a museum, one of the finest authentic empire-style interiors in the country.
In 1848, king Oscar I built the orangery that is still here today (the winged round building by the rose garden). Here, the people of the Oscarian court strolled under palm trees and other exotic plants. The queen, Josefina, was an ardent garden enthusiast, and developed the gardens to include a number of greenhouses with remarkable flower beds.
Gardening at Rosendal took a new turn in 1861, when the Swedish Horticultural Society received permission from the queen to use the area. Modelled on the Royal Horticultural Society in England, the Society worked for the promotion of a “more widespread and orderly gardening in Sweden”, through education and training of gardeners, and charitable distribution of free plants, bushes, and trees to “landowners withouth means”.
In 1878, the garden had 23,000 pot-plants of 1,000 varieties, 235,000 saplings in the tree nursery stock, plus 400 fruit-trees of many different kinds (some hundred of which still remain today in Rosendal’s orchard).
Not only did this serve a pedagogical purpose on the spot, but seedlings and plants were generously given to home-owners and elementary schools nationwide; over 700 young gardeners went off to work all over the country after finishing their two-year training; exhibitions and contests were arranged - all in the name of horticultural dissemination!
The training school was closed in 1911, and the Society’s work at Rosendal was phased out. The old greenhouses on the terrace were pulled down and replaced by a new one. The gardening activities never entirely ceased, but took a more modest scale as the Royal Administration leased the grounds to private commercial garden centres, until it took over the plantations again in the 1960’s.