Photo courtesy of arvid jørgensen
Member rose and clematis garden Listing last updated on 03 Dec 2023.
Borhaug, Lista n4563
My garden is first of all a clematis and rose garden with around 40 clematises and 300 roses, mostly climbers, ramblers and shrubs adorned by the various clematises. A substantial number of the roses are old/ historical roses with the oldfashioned rose scent that went missing at a time with the modern ones and which I sorely missed. And I love the climbers and ramblers. A number of pergolas, arches and tripodes have been constructed to support and accomodate the roses and clematises in a proper way. I love walking around in my "sanctuary" underneath the pergolas and arches discovering something new every day, imbibing everything that grows around me. A sort of a jungly hide out which is my idea of a perfect garden; contrary to most Scandinavians who seem to prefer open spaces with a total survey and control. Some people who have seen my garden say it makes them think about the Secret Garden they once read about in the world famous book, which is of course a big complement. A garden should be for all senses, so also the taste, which is why I also have a number of fruit trees, berry bushes, herbs etc., and of course perennials and ground covers to complement the roses and clematises.
When I bought the house in 1983, the only roses that grew here were the ubiquitous rugosas which I am very fond of by the way as they are the only roses to stand up to the strong salty winds from the North Sea. When I had finished refurbishing the house in 1986, it was time to start on the garden. Nothing much grew here then. There were the aforesaid rugosas,and a number of old cherry and apple trees(the names of which I still don`t know), The cherry trees I believe are of the old kind first brought to Norway by the monks in the Medieval days with red berries having a colourless juice. Besides, there were some berry bushes like red currant and gooseberries ,rhubarb, some dull hedges growing wild and some bulb plants and day lilies suffering a rather pitiful existance in a garden mostly overgrown with tall grass which I had to handmow using a scythe. A little side branch of an old birch tree survived and has now grown into a big beautiful tree. During the first years my neighbours had their kitchen garden here, and when they gave it up,I started out there, working my way around, digging most of it up by hand. The house and garden are located on the peninsula of Lista on the southwestern coast of Norway with the North Sea right on my doorstep so to say. This is among the best areas of Norway, located in Zone 1 here., Everything suitable for growing in Norway may be planted here which is why I sometimes imagine I live further south in Europe..Although my neighbour from time to time hints at a place closer to Sibiria. And in truth, without a proper shelter against these strong salty and chilly winds from the northwest you can almost forget about having a garden at all. Luckily I seem to have succeeded in performing the crucial task of arranging for a proper and efficient shelter..
The Danish rose lover and member of the Danish Rose Society, Lisbeth Krapper, once wrote a book with the title " En have er en gave - A Garden is a Gift." I feel privileged to have been given such an amazing gift. Imagine how lucky we are to have been granted an entry ticket to this wonderful world, to be able to share in the wonders of Mother Nature - to have been given our own little piece of her to cherish and love and take care of - the best health care we can possibly have. When the time comes for me to leave this world, this is one of the things I am most reluctant to leave behind - my garden - my own little paradise on Earth.. ...And remember, plants live their own lives and not everything turns out the way you had planned. But the beauty is always there. Learn to see it in what you have, rather than be annoyed with what you don`t have, and you will always remain a happy gardener.