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Historic gardens in the center of Stockholm
- Flinck, M.
- Acta horticulturae 2016 no.1108 pp. 115-122
- gardening, gardens, planting, recreation areas, residential areas, tourists, Sweden
- Since the late 17th century the citizens of Stockholm have had gardens on what were then the outskirts of town. Now some 140 gardens are still cultivated in the city center. In spite of high rents these old houses and gardens are much sought-after. Both inhabitants and tourists appreciate to walk through these green residential areas for recreation. The owner is AB Stadsholmen, a municipally owned real estate company. Their task is to preserve the historical value and significance of their properties. To provide an individual conservation program for each garden AB Stadsholmen commissioned a comprehensive study of garden historical sources and a new documentation. The questions were: what did gardens in different social groups look like in the 17th century and how have they changed since in their plan, structures, planting, cultivation methods and use? Are any historical remains left of living plants, visible structures or hidden archaeological traces? What kind of maintenance is needed to continue preserving these remains? During the 19th century most properties with gardens were replaced by apartment blocks. Since it was easier to build on level ground the poorer areas on rocky hillocks were left undeveloped. By the 1930s a local opinion demanded that these picturesque areas should be preserved as culture reserves which displayed an old-fashioned way of living. Of the large gardens only one remained, but around 140 of the smaller ones. This study is an important contribution to the history of horticulture and gardens which otherwise is a neglected field in Sweden.