The Garden Society of Gothenburg is a perfectly preserved 19th century park. The park is a verdant ocean in the very heart of the city; a place to relax and be inspired. Undulating lawns and flower beds filled with native and foreign plants alongside historic buildings represent the golden age of horticulture. With its gentle lines, the park has a very distinct 19th century atmosphere.
Contemporary flowerbeds, woodlands and the magnificent collection of roses also make the park of interest from a modern-day perspective. There is no doubt that from the very beginning The Garden Society of Gothenburg has been an oasis for the people of Gothenburg and visitors alike.
Set up in 1842 by the Garden Society of Gothenburg, the park offers unique features in the very heart of the city.
Its hallmark is the Palm House, built in glass and wrought iron, as a glittering work of art in the centre of the park. Modelled on the famous Crystal Palace in London, it has been a popular place to visit since 1878. Almost 1,000 square metres in size it hosts a rich array of exotic plants – including palms of course.
The Palm House is divided into five sections: the Nave, the Mediterranean House, the Camellia House, the Tropical House and the Water House. It brings together a wide variety of plants from foreign parts with a distinct feeling of a bygone era, contrasting starkly with the stylised ideals of contemporary garden design.
The Rosarium consists of three sections. The modern roses are arranged into groups at Rosovalen. The old garden roses are collected in Rosparken, where they exist in perfect harmony with perennials such as Salvia and Nepeta. Rosarkivet contains a collection of roses from the west of Sweden, which are part of a conservation project within the “Programme for Diversity of Cultivated Plants”. The Rosarium is run ecologically and insecticides are not permitted as they harm humans and animals. Birds are excellent for keeping pests at bay and they are rewarded with attractive bird boxes placed throughout the park.
At the beginning of July, when the roses are most beautiful, the Garden Society of Gothenburg arranges a rose party. It is then that the queen of the flowers is celebrated with exhibitions, seminars, sales and entertainment.
The English garden ideal of the 19th century advocated soft, natural lines and flowerbeds. So-called ‘carpet-beddings’ provided a sharp contrast in the form of strictly geometrical and controlled creations. The Garden Society of Gothenburg became one of the parks where carpet-beddings were to become a major attraction. They have now begun to reappear in contemporary form.
In the woodland areas the Garden Society of Gothenburg gives a free rein to horticultural art. Well-known landscape architects and horticulturalists, including Ulf Nordfjell, Piet Oudolf, Julie Toll, Jaqueline van der Kloet, Heiner Luz and others, have created plantings with perennials, bulbous plants, grasses etc. in the individual style.
The rockery is cared for by the association Trädgårdsamatörerna. Rare and unusual plants form this truly exciting horticultural gem with a large collection of Trillium, Primula, blue wood Anemones and Paeonia mlokosewitschii.
The park contains both classic and modern sculptures. The majority have been placed in the park in conjunction with sculpture exhibitions.
The playground offers an innovative combination of attractions (such as elves, slides, illuminated eggs) with intensely planted green islands, bamboo trees and a small wilderness.
Many of the 19th century buildings in the park still remain. They give the park charm and splendour even if certain buildings are used for purposes quite different to 150 years ago.
Garden Society of Gothenburg is not just a park but also a venue for different events. Regular activities include the camellia weeks, midsummer celebrations, the rose party in July and plant exhibitions in spring and autumn.
Entrance fee: Free entry to the garden and Palm House
The garden is open all year
May – September 07:00 – 20:00
October – April 07:00 – 18:00
The Palm House is open all year
June – August 10:00 – 20:00
September – May 10:00 – 16:00
Events and exhibitions:
Camellia weeks, midsummer celebrations, rose party in July and plant exhibitions in spring and autumn
Parking: Nearest parking is “Heden”
Map: PDF (21 MB)
Brochures etc.: available in the garden
Labels on the plants: yes
Benches in the gardens: yes
Activities for children: playground
Accessibility: It is possible to get around on the walkways in the park with wheelchair. There are two simple wheelchairs to lend during June-August
Dogs: Not allowed. Cycling in the park is not allowed