Welcome to our small homestead in Sweden

Flower Borders at Bliderud


Initially, my plan was to write about the different seasons in the garden. However, we’ve been way too busy with our different projects to take time to sit in front of a computer. Not only have we completed a lot of garden construction projects, which I plan to talk more about in later stories, but we’ve also started a huge build. Furthermore, when we haven’t been working on specific projects, we’ve been busy sowing, planting, tending, harvesting and preserving.

And, as if that hasn’t been enough to keep us tied up, we’ve also received a lot of visitors. Now that the pandemic is less limiting, a lot of friends and family members have wanted to visit us. That has been fun, but also taken up time, which is why I haven’t bothered with the blog. Anyway, here is an update on how the garden has been doing through June and July.


Our Flower Beds

We have several separate flower beds in our garden. The oldest one used to be a rock-flower bed at the back of the house. Then there is a small stripe along the front terrace as well as another beside the entrance staircase. A long perennial border separates the back lawn from a seating area by the artificial stream, which has its own flower border. The stream ends in a pond which also is surrounded by a flower border. On top of these, we’ve started the creation of a shady garden with plants that prefer a slightly more acidic soil. And, as if these borders aren’t enough, we’ve planted a several trees and a few hedges here and there in addition to borders with annual flowers inside the vegetable garden.

So, there is a lot to talk about. In this text I think I will talk about them in more general terms, and then follow up with links to texts which describes them in more detail.

The Rock-Garden


The rock-garden isn’t really a rock-garden as such. It is rather a flower bed that surrounds a huge bedrock which surfaces behind the house. Part of the bedrock is naturally smooth and looks nice. In the other half, the bedrock is broken and jarred since a house used to stand on top of it. When the house was removed, a former owner created a rock-garden in its place. I have been told it was the pride and joy of the lady, but by the time we took over the property, the rock garden had been left unattended for several years and was covered with weeds.

It has been my plan to redesign the bed all over for a few years and I even bought some plants intended for the space two seasons ago. The plants have been living an increasingly strained life in their pots in a crowded part of the perennial border and were in danger of dying. In fact, I’ve lost a few. So, this year it was high time to do something.

More pictures and information about the development of the border will follow.


The flower border surrounding the terrace

One of my first garden decisions at Bliderud were to make a flower border along the terrace in front of the house. Frank dug out the grass already in 2018 and I filled the border with fresh soil and plants that I bought from a foreclose sale. The idea was to have something that could both look nice as drove up to the house as well as look good from the terrace. The border has been modified and expanded over the years. When we laid the new lawn in 2020, it got an additional border along the west-side of the terrace.

Over the years, I have lost some plants and added some new, but today I feel the border needs to be widened more.

More pictures and information about the development of the border will follow.


The Entrance Border

This is a border that has been created without any plan. It started out as a triangle in the corner between the staircase and the wall because I needed somewhere to place plants. Then, whenever I had more plants, I expanded the bed. From the beginning, it had problems with weeds, particularly dandelions. More so, I got ground elder with plants from my previous garden, and more recently, nettles have found its way into the bed too. Ultimately, the bed became too large, and it was annoying to have to walk all around it after parking the car.

Although it is filled with plants that flowers all through the season, this flower bed has become an eye-sore and needs to be reworked completely.

More pictures and information about the development of the border will follow.


The Long Perennial Border

This flower bed is more than 14 metres long and separates the lawn from another part of the garden. It really is a spectacular sight and has, admittedly to my astonishment, flowering plants all through the season. Many plants are visible as you enter the house and it contains both trees, shrubs and perennials.


The border is based on the fact that there were groups of perennials, in particular peonies, cluttered along a line at what seemed to be the edge of the original garden. Since I was reluctant to disturb the peonies, and I needed more space for plants, I decided to create a long continuous border. After digging out the area, the border has been filled with whatever plants I needed to get into the ground. It is still, to a large extent, a waiting bed for plants.

Find out more and see pictures of some plants here.

The Pond Border


This is a flower bed that surrounds the garden pond and to some extent has been planned from the beginning. Or, at least, it is planted with plants that I have bought for the purpose of planting here. Yet, it is obvious that I’m not any expert garden planner, because the bed is way too crowded for its size. Everything seems to grow a lot larger than the plant information says.

Although I love watching the plants grow and expand, the weed also seems to do the same. For the time being, I’m trying to cope with the weeds while I’m working out a plan for how to expand the bed. Another reason I might have to redo the bed is that the pond appeared to lose water quite rapidly this summer, so I might have to take up all the stone edging and put in a new and better liner.

More pictures and information about the development of the border will follow.

The River-Bank Borders


I know I’m taking my mouth too full when I’m using the word river. This particular bed is in fact two beds that follows the length of the artificial stream that leads to the pond. It is the bed that I have last completed, and the weeds (oh yes, they are there too) haven’t become a problem yet. At the time of writing, this is the flower bed that I am most satisfied with in my garden. It is really lush and green and has exactly the overgrown, jungle-like sense that I wanted to create.

That being said, I’m sure I will make changes and additions to this bed too, but it’s not as urgent as in some of the other flower beds. Anyway, read more about this flower border and see pictures here.

The Shadow Border


This border is the newest addition to the garden and it provides an edge between the garden and the forest to the west. It receives full sun until about noon and then it lays in shade for the rest of the day. For a long time I wondered how to create a transition between the garden and the nature surrounding it. I didn’t want a fence or a hedge since I like the idea that the garden appears to extend into the forest. Actually, there used to be a lilac hedge here, but it had grown without anyone tending to it and it had become a five to six metre impenetrable wilderness.

Three years ago, Frank took down the lilacs and the impression of the area changed completely. I knew I wanted to plant rhododendrons and other acid soil plants, but apart from that, I had no plan. I started to envision a seating area where we could sit and look at the garden from a different angle. I asked Frank if he could create circle and before I knew it he had raised a part of the area and lined it with huge stones. Suddenly, the space took on its own shape and structure.

More pictures and information about the development of the border will follow.


Summing Up

I like to keep my texts relatively short, but unfortunately it was impossible to avoid some length to this text. Still, I hope that some of you have made it to the end. These are the flower borders that we have created so far. In addition to these we have a few other constructions and plantings, and once the new build is completed, we will have to create a few more borders or plantings, but maybe not for another two years or so. There are plenty of work with the borders we have created so far, not to mention the kitchen garden where I’ve also started some annual flower borders.

Anyway, please leave some comments and if you have any advice to give it will be greatly appreciated.

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