TUCT-14 – Vättern Edition. Day #4

Yesterday I promised garden, tablecloth and waffles and that’s exactly what happened today. We started by going to the Chinese Garden where Ulrika works.

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She had taken the morning off to be able to guide us through the garden. I must say that despite the fact that there has been some gardening posts lately, I find gardening quite boring. It’s a science that I know very little about and I have never been interested enough to learn more. I think this dislike for biology and herbage came in fifth grade when we were supposed to draw seedcases. Brown seedcases in grey leads, not my colours, not my task since I’ve never been good at drawing, simply not my cup of tea and I think somewhere among those seedcases a lifelong reluctance for anything vegetation-y started to sprout (pun intended).

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When Ulrika talked about the plants though, it was interesting. It was the perfect mix of knowledge, talent, fun and details that made it really interesting. Also, gardens has of course, like everything else, different trends and ideals and history, something I’ve never thought about before. How something can look random and dishevelled and how that randomness is really, really well-planned, otherwise it wouldn’t as random (I know, it’s a bit contradictive but it’s true). I knew a little about it, I do work in an English park after all (and by that I mean that my work place is situated in an English park, not that I work in the actual park with the part, so to speak), but now I understand it much better.

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I also like the idea with contrasts and harmony, water and rocks and buildings, soft against hard. It is more inviting than the regular (at least in Europe) castle gardens with straight paths and well-mowed lawns, that you cannot under no circumstances walk on (unless perhaps you are lawn mower or something but probably not even then), and hedges. After all, a garden should be a place to sit down and rest and not just study from the window of the second floor of the castle.

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Even Catherine de Bourgh in Pride and Prejudice must have like this kinds of gardens better, why else would she ask Elizabeth out for a walk on the wild side (of the lawn). “Miss Bennet, there seemed to be a prettyish kind of a little wilderness on one side of your lawn. I should be glad to take a turn in it, if you will favour me with your company” (chapter 56). It seems she got at least some things right, the noble lady.

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My favourite tree in the garden is this, the Cercidiphyllum. I love how it puts the leaves in one long lane like that.

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There were waterlilies!

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Even red waterlilies which is a bit unusual. These ones come from a nearby lake where red waterlilies first were discovered. It might also be that Claude Monet got a seed from that pond to his waterlily pond in Giverny, but that is a very weak maybe. Anyway, a garden with self-respect should have waterlilies in my opinion.

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Julle made a new friend.

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This seed looked like a jester’s hat.

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I really like the idea with the bridges, that they are not straight but in sharp corners to prevent the spirits to follow you since the spirits aren’t very good at turning. It also gives you a chance to see things from another perspective, what’s behind you and what things looks like from another angle. Personally, I’m going to start trying this technique when it comes to headaches, if I make sharp enough turns, maybe the headache will get lost.

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After the garden we did indeed go to the weaving mill that we visited last year. It resulted in a red tablecloth to use at Christmas and considering how much I fell in love with another tablecloth, in green, we will probably be back another year.

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Then we went to Övralid, like we did last year, and I was right last year, it was much easier to get there by car.

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We had waffles and tea and other goodies before it was time to look through the museum.

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Last year we arrived to Övralid, sweaty and with a swarm of flies around us. We thought we might be too dirty to visit the museum and also our main concern was food. That was the famous day when Julle uttered the words “I want real food, otherwise I will get crabby”, to which I didn’t respond the obvious, that he already was crabby. He was so sulky that the staff at the place were we had lunch became so worried about him that we got coffee and tea for free. Well, that was earlier in the day before we got to Övralid, and we thought it best not to push it anymore that day so we decided to have waffles first and then we didn’t think that a day on the bike had made us suitable museum visitors and we decided to do that another year instead. We did by a kitchen magnet though, one that showed Verner von Heidenstam’s fridge, which they have made into a kitchen magnet that we, in our turn, has put on our fridge. I like the meta in that.

This year we got to see the actual fridge! And it was still working.

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Verner von Heidenstam‘s study. He was a writer and Nobel laureate who built this nice house with a great view of Vättern. I’m pretty sure I’ve at least read some of his poems but I can’t remember much besides the usual.

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His library was the nicest room in the house. He had wall fixed book cases, something that we really want too, and he had colour coded his books. The red ones were by the window where you could see the red cottage where we had waffles.

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The blue ones were by the window closest to lake Vättern.

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The golden ones were on the opposite side from the windows so that the setting sun shone on them. Very clever, I must say.

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Outside the museum I sat down to knit a few rows while Julle took pictures of the great view. I haven’t knit at all for a few days and that’s very unusual, but we have had a pretty full schedule on this, our little vacation.

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Tomorrow though, we’ll go back home together with a lamp, tablecloth, laces patterns and many, many memories (and even more pictures!).