Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island

I have often sat flipping through my book "1001 Gardens You Must See Before You Die" (edited by Rae Spencer-Jones, 2007) looking for inspiration for garden trips. Now, I don't take this or any other guide book too seriously; coming from a small country, I know how easily real pearls of gardening are totally ignored even by seasoned, foreign garden editors. And how much can you trust a writer who misses both Norrvikens Trädgårdar and Göteborg Botanical Gardens in Sweden, and finds only one garden, Villa Mairea, to write about in whole Finland? Anyhow, the Bloedel Reserve has a well-deserved place in this guide. Last Saturday, despite a cold and rainy weather, our little family headed for the Bainbridge Island, thirty minutes ferry trip from Seattle. And truly, we were very well rewarded for our efforts as this garden proved to be one of those magical places you really would not want to miss if ever given an opportunity to visit them.
The Bloedel Reserve started as Collinswood, a retreat for the Collins family in the early 20th century, and the main house in French chateau style by Seattle architect J. Lister Holmes was built in the middle of the Great Depression in 1931. As this property came to market in 1950, Mrs Bloedel was very attracted to the house, while Mr Bloedel was very impressed by the woods and nature of the place, and so Collinswood was sold to Prentice and Virginia Bloedel together with the surrounding 60 acres. 49 years old, Mr Bloedel had just retired from his lumber business and ready to pursue other tasks in his life. The Bloedel Reserve became a work of garden art accomplished over 35 years by the Bloedels. It is a series of designed experiences interacting with the surrounding wilderness, following Mr Bloedel's vision that the Reserve should be an example of man working harmoniously with nature and where his power is used cautiously and wisely.

My girls shivering in the rain, a bit doubtful about mom's ideas of good ways to spend weekends...

The walk around the Reserve starts with a long meadow and old barns that used to house Mrs Bloedel's sheep. This quite large and essentially empty area works like a cleansing of the senses after arriving to the Reserve. The Reserve is very careful about preserving the landscape's quietness and reserves spaces only for a limited number of visitors at scheduled intervals, which I find very attractive as this gives the visitor a possibility to experience the site like it was before it became a public garden.
The pathway circles from the barns past large, moss-covered trees and native shrubs to a bird refuge, where trumpeter swans paddle around together with ducks and other birds. This area was designed to give the birds a natural habitat providing them food and shelter.
After the bird refuge, the path continues through the wilderness, arriving via a trestle bridge to a Japanese influenced boardwalk past cedars, firs and hemlock trees. The boardwalk gives a possibility to view closely the surrounding wetlands, containing a large planting of skunk cabbages (Lysichiton americanus) and even a few carnivorous pitcher plants. I was quite overwhelmed by the strong scent of the skunk cabbages, which is actually quite pleasant despite the name. Last time I had smelled this scent was when I was five and living in Northern British Columbia, and now I could instantly remember it even before seeing the sulphur yellow flowers. I felt very nostalgic telling to my girls how I picked these with my older sister pretending they were rabbit's ears when I was small...
After the wilderness, the track suddenly merges with the driveway to the house, with a large expanse of lawn and a beautiful pond in front of it. The white French style house forms the focal point of this view and only when coming close to it, you notice that it actually is quite small in scale, an intimate family retreat in classical style placed in the middle of the Pacific Northwest forests. The main rooms of the house open to a magnificent view of the Puget Sound, with an eagle's nest fully in sight from the backside terrace, as it is situated quite high above the sea level.
At the North side of the house, there is a man made waterfall (from 1954) with a small lookout terrace, then the track continues through the ravine planted with rhododendrons, viburnums and skimmias. Native oxalis, also called sorrel (Oxalis oregana) forms large mats as a groundcover. A bit later, salal (Gaultheria shallon, a leather-leaved native to Western North America, covers the ground from which Himalayan birches (Betula jaquemontii) raise their ghostly white, slender trunks. Most of the perennials were still just tiny shoots, but I imagine this part of the track will be quite magical when in full flower.

The Japanese garden surrounds a tea house, style wise a hybrid between a Japanese tea house and a Pacific Northwest Indian longhouse, designed in 1964 by Seattle architect Paul Hayden Kirk. A Japanese stroll garden behind the tea house of the Reserve was built in 1960-61 by Fujitaro Kubota, a nursery owner and garden designer from Seattle, also known for the Kubota Gardens. The stone garden is a later addition, designed by Koichi Kawana and built in 1986. It is a meditative garden, meant to involve the viewer to interpret the setting and to imagine features appropriate to him/herself. Somehow, the tea house was a bit too large for true intimacy and felt more like an official meeting place, but I thought it would be lovely to sit here with good friends, discussing this wonderful garden with a cup of tea in our hands.
The moss garden was created in 1982 and forms a large area cleaned from most other vegetation than moss, huckleberries, some ferns and skunk cabbages. This was an idea of Richard Haag, then the Reserve's landscape architect, and Richard Brown, who was the Reserve's executive director at that time. To create the moss cover, some 2200 plants of Irish moss (Sagina subulata) were brought here and divided in small plugs which were planted. I was surprised to read this, as the whole surrounding forest is covered in luxurious mats of moss, but indeed, despite the "natural look", the whole area is planted. I loved this part of the Reserve, it felt so calm, understated and elegant. Somehow, even birdsong sounded softer, and I could just imagine small trolls and fairies gathering together here in the dusk.
The last "experience" is the Reflective Garden, with a large, rectangular pool enclosed with a high, clipped yew hedge. This strong but simplistic feature was one of the Bloedels' favourites, and they had carefully considered several different approached before settling for this design, partly together with their friend, landscape architect Thomas Church. The reflective garden is like a man made frame to the beauty of nature that is always reflected on the calm, dark surface of the pool. It is like a living painting, always new and different depending on the time of the day, light, and weather. The remains of the Bloedels were placed in this garden at their request, and I can understand their wish to be one with their beloved garden. As Prentice Bloedel is quoted to have often said, "the nature does not need us to survive, but we need nature in order to connect with a sense of creation." The Bloedel Reserve is a magnificent testament to two nature and garden loving persons, with an understanding and appreciation for the uniqueness for their beautiful surroundings.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spring in primary colours

Isn't this an amazing hedge? It is like a blast of sunshine, right on your face. It is such an unusual thing to plant (well, at least in my experience), a bold move that demands your attention, shouting "look at me - the spring is here!". I walk past this hedge quite often and hadn't even thought about it earlier, but when in flower, how could you not notice it?
Don't get me wrong, I really like the unusual Forsythia hedge, but I couldn't help wondering if they chose the colour after the fire hydrant at the other end of it... or maybe the school buses driving past the house every morning? Or the yellow lines on the road or the yellow cabs... all these things shouting for your attention. Yellow is a colour that evokes feelings, in a different way that for example white or light blue, which are so much more neutral. As I asked my clients for their colour preferences for their gardens in Sweden, many of them answered that yellow was not to be considered at all, they did not like the colour as it was so unstylish. Funnily, the Swedish flag is blue and yellow, and the same people happily decorated their cakes with these colours while celebrating birthdays and exams. And I've myself often thought that the Australian colours of green and yellow are so ill-looking, especially then applied to the uniforms worn at the Olympic games...

At the same time, a Citrus tree full of juicy lemons has exactly the same colours and is a sight that never fails to please me. And who would not be happy when looking at a field full of sun flowers? So I definitely wouldn't rule yellow out from my garden. The planting above with bright daffodils and flowering Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas) is not really a stylish one, but it still looks naively happy, especially together with the kids scooters and the wagon on the side.

Chionodoxa forbesii - not a true blue, but beautiful anyway...

Viburnum davidii with true blue fruits

Blue on the other hand is one of the most unusual colours to be found in a garden. If you think of it, most "blues" are actually more mauves or purples. "True" blues are very rare, but can be found in the wonderfully dark, porcelain blue fruits of Viburnum davidii, which is one the most commonly grown evergreens here. It has strongly veined, dark, glossy green leaves on reddish stems that complement beautifully the strongly blue fruits. Interestingly, most Viburnum davidii plants grown in the "Western" countries are derived from a single Chinese population collected by Ernest Wilson in the early 1900s. Meconopsis betonicifolia with a couple of it's relatives, and Salvia patens are the only other "true" blue plants that I can think of for the moment.

Beautiful little bird's nest in a Japanese maple, Acer palmatum 'Red wood'.

Red flowers are not that usual in the spring, besides red tulips and the odd rhododendron or primroses sold by the dozen at the garden centres. Maybe there is something biological behind this; bees have a difficulty seeing red, so most of the spring flowers are white, yellow or blue to help them find food after the long winter when not much is to be found yet? Otherwise, I love trees and shrubs with red bark, as the elegant Japanese maple above, but otherwise I really don't mind the lack of red flowers this time of the year. Maybe in spring, Christmas is still too near so that when I see Camellias blooming with their bright red flowers, I just hear "jingle bells...", and can't help thinking that they would be beautiful if they only would be white.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Two terrific talks

Last week, I was lucky to listen to two terrific talks: on Tuesday, I attended a charitable lunch with a talk by writer Isabel Allende, a Chilean writer living in Marin County in California. And on Sunday, John Walsh, director emeritus of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, gave an interesting talk at the Seattle Art Museum with title "The Museum Sculpture Garden: Whose Idea Was That?"
Isabel Allende, who's books have sold in over 51 million copies since her first novel, The House of the Spirits, talked about her life and experiences as a woman, writer and a human being. She is a most engaging speaker, blending tough personal experiences and gained wisdom with wittiness and humour. Her main message was for us women to stand up for each other. She reminded that despite women in the West often have a very good life, two thirds of the work on this planet is done by women, while only 1% of the wealth is owned by them and she asked us not to forget our less fortunate sisters. She also talked about her deceased daughter Paula's words of "You only have what you give" as a guiding principle for one's life, about how giving and sharing is and should be the most important thing we can do to each other - giving time, knowledge, love and material things when needed. And I agree with her totally, even if I feel that I don't always live up to the level that I feel that I should. (A sidetrack...; in the latest issue of Gardennotes from the Northwest Horticultural Society, Hans Mandt wrote about how during this harsh winter, the Miller Garden had lost all of their Galanthus elwesii var. monostictus 'Hiemalis', a relatively rare variety of snowdrops. Luckily, Hans had got bulbs from them a couple of years ago, and had divided and grown them in different parts of his garden. So now he was able to return plants and to help "repatriate" them to the Miller garden, pointing out how important it is to share one's plants to assure their survival.)
The second talk I mentioned above, held by John Walsh at the Seattle Art Museum with title "The Museum Sculpture Garden: Whose Idea Was That?" was a real treat to my Art historian brain and eyes. I've always loved both gardens and sculptures (and a couple of times even tried it myself - casting bronze in Melbourne, one of the best things I've ever done), and sculpture gardens and parks really combine these two loves. John filled two hours with his enormous knowledge about art, sculpture and how the sculpture gardens have emerged and evolved since the 1960's. I enjoyed every minute and filled more than 8 pages in my notebook...
John talked about how gardens and parks actually fulfill the artworks potential by creating a reflective environment for the viewers. He also mentioned how the artwork is never the same in an outdoor environment, as the weather, seasons and light around it change constantly - something that sounds obvious, but many of us probably have not thought about. And then he went on telling the story of the modern sculpture garden, which differs from the old and ancient gardens that often were decorated with sculpture. Historically, the sculpture used in gardens was meant to be commemorative, reminding of gods and goddesses etc, or historical events and rulers, but in the modern gardens and parks, sculpture became art itself, something to be contemplated itself and not just a bearer of connotations.
John discussed the first of all modern sculpture gardens, the MoMA Sculpture Garden in New York and it's development from 1936 to our time. In addition he showed wonderful photos of sculpture gardens and parks from around the world, as the Kröller-Müller Museum near Otterlo in the Netherlands (the idea of a sculpture park was born here), Louisiana near Copenhagen (landscape interacting with buildings), Storm King Art Center in New York's Hudson valley (contrasts natural surroundings with the difficult human effort of the artwork; I especially loved Andy Goldsworthy's lingering stone wall Storm King Wall), Wanås in Sweden, and other interesting and important sculpture gardens. He also talked about "our own" sculpture garden here in Seattle, the Olympic Sculpture Garden in the city centre and presented it as a development of the traditional sculpture garden, by the park itself being a sculpture and not only a setting for the artworks. An really interesting thought, and something I sensed but could not quite put into words while visiting the park myself.
Two fantastic talks during one single week; so much knowledge and new thoughts, so much enrichment to one's rather ordinary life. You only have what you give - so incredibly true even here. I send my earnest thanks to both speakers for sharing their knowledge and experiences.
See my earlier post about the Seattle Olympic Sculpture Park.
I've taken all pictures above at the Olympic Sculpture Park, list of works included on the park's web site.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The First Lady digs for victory...

Michelle Obama digging for a new kitchen garden at the South Lawn. Photo APF.

Today, The New York Times run an article about Michelle Obama's new project - digging up a kitchen garden to grow food at the South Lawn of the White House. This the second time a vegetable garden has been planted at the White House; the first time was when Eleanor Roosevelt did so in 1943, encouraging people to return to the "victory gardens" that had been popular during the first world war, when this country experienced food shortages. Mrs Roosevelt's garden became hugely popular as an inspiration and some 20m Americans followed her lead, which meant that by the end of the war they grew 40% of the nation's vegetables.
KAn American Victory garden contest poster from the Second World War. What a healthy looking young lady, ready to hoe...!
I think it is extremely heartwarming to read about Mrs Obama's aspirations as a kitchen gardener. And truly, she could not have chosen a better time for her growing project. Not only the recession makes it worthwhile for people to try to save money by growing their own food, but there other considerations too; people are worried about the safety of their food, they want to eat more healthily, and are concerned about the climate change. Already, seed companies are experiencing substantial growth in sales; just a bit more than a week ago, Seattle Times reported how seed sales are up 20 to 30 percent at wholesalers because of the bad economy and worries about genetically modified crops. Burpee, the world's largest seed company, said in the same article that it is selling thousands of a $10 "Money Garden" package that it says will grow $650 worth of vegetables. Now, everything is relative and despite the tough economic times we certainly are not in a middle of a world war, but still, if Michelle Obama gets anything near as many followers as Mrs Roosevelt, this really could be a change to make a difference.

An English Victory garden poster, also from the Second World War. Gardening seems to be serious business, done by two middle aged men, no pretty ladies here...
Mrs Obama herself says in the interview, that besides providing food for the first family’s meals and formal dinners, the organic garden's most important role will be to educate children about healthful, locally grown fruit and vegetables at a time when obesity and diabetes have become a national concern. Of course she won't be digging all by herself, but will have a full time gardener and help from her staff and also from local school classes (excellent initiative!), but she still promises that the first family will be hands-on gardeners weeding and cultivating the land themselves (and I can't wait for the photos of them, together weeding the highly visible plot on the South Lawn). So, while totally in tune with the tough economic times with a her "victory garden", Mrs Obama is in fact fighting a much larger and long-term war, which is one against the thoughtless junk food culture leading to ill health and environmental problems. I guess most of us garden people will make a "V" for Victory - for Michelle's new kitchen garden.

Happy weekend - and good gardening to you all!
For more, see the The New York Times article.

Friday, March 20, 2009

From Karin's time to our days

Pergolas were popular in the last turn of the century as they provided shaded outdoor sitting areas. Photo of Villa Pergola in Saltsjö-Duvnäs 1907; courtesy of Nacka lokalarkiv.

As I wrote in my post about Karin Larsson, the way how gardens in Sweden were designed and planted underwent many changes during the late 19th century and early 20th century, partly due to economical and sociological changes in the society. One and a half years ago while in Sweden, I held a presentation and wrote an article of this period and gardens together with a friend. When doing research for that presentation, we gathered and scanned in a large amount of archive material in form of old photographs and post cards. I thought it might be interesting to continue on this theme and show a tiny part of this material here.

Sitting in the garden in the end of the 19th century; trees were rewered and left even in quite impractical places, as here by the pathway. Tegelön, Villa Berga 1900, photo courtesy of Nacka lokalarkiv.

As I wrote earlier, at this time a new, quite well-off middle class had developed as a result of industrialism during the 19th century. Many of the well-off people fled from the the crowded and filthy cities to the undisturbed nature and even whole residential areas were built to provide healthy and beautiful surrounding to families that could afford them. Those not so lucky often chose to emigrate as an effort to improve their lives; totally over 1,3 million Sweden left the country during the 19th and early 20th century; a huge percentage of the population of a country with only ca 5 million inhabitants in total. To curb this development, a movement called Egnahemsrörelsen started to promote the ownership of houses and gardens even to those with smaller resources. This in essence very nationalistic movement had international roots; similar housing developments and garden cities had been seen both in England and in Germany.

Family sitting in front of their small house, Klockargården, 1900. Their garden is mostly used for growing edibles. Photo courtesy of Stockholms Länsmuseum.

Blooming potato plants in front of a small house, Sjöviken 1900. Photo courtesy of Stockholms Länsmuseum.

So, if things are simplified quite a bit, three main styles of garden were typical during this period. The smaller houses, "egnahem" like the ones above, had much of their garden allocated to fruit trees and kitchen gardens, even if the owners often grew ornamental plants, often in flowerbeds near the house or as edging the pathways. Typical plants besides edibles were Syringas, peonies, honeysuckles, Philadelphus, bush roses, and other hardy and easy to propagate garden stalwarts.

A newly planted garden in the formal or architectural style; Herrgårdsvillan i Saltsjö-Duvnäs, early 1900's. Photo courtesy of Nacka lokalarkiv.

A garden in the natural style, interestingly combined with a kitchen garden in front; Skepparbacken 1 in Saltsjö-Duvnäs, early 1900's. Photo courtesy of Nacka lokalarkiv.

Houses for the better off, which in Sweden are called "villas" after a word of Italian origin, had gardens in the "formal or architectural style" or in the "natural style" - or even combined these both, if the owner could not quite decide or thought that this was needed for the situation. August Brunius, a well-know Swedish writer of this time, described these styles in his book Hus och Hem (House and Home) from 1912. He wrote that the formal or architectural style took the building as starting point and followed its geometrical plan into the garden with straight lines and pathways, walls, terraces and stone laid sitting areas. The natural style avoided disturbing the nature around the buildings and followed the lines of the nature, with curved pathways and often rounded forms. According to Brunius, the style of the house and the character of the owner (!) should guide which style should be chosen, or if these should be combined (which actually was typical for the gardens of the Arts and Crafts movement). Of course, Brunius ideas did not develop in insulation, but followed closely the discussion of his time and his predecessors; for example William Robinson's and Reginald Blomfield's fights between the naturalistic and the formal gardening styles to mention one of the most famous garden controversies.

A garden in the natural style; Bergvägen in Saltsjö-Duvnäs, early 1900's. Photo courtesy of Nacka lokalarkiv.

Bergvägen in Saltsjö-Duvnäs in 2007; almost no traces are left of the original garden; the house stands totally exposed, with only one old pine tree to the right to shade or give proportion to it.

A garden in the natural style; with typical picket fence, flag pole and a sitting group in the shade. Most of the trees around the house have been saved while building the house to make it sit in the landscape. Bergvägen in Saltsjö-Duvnäs, early 1900's. Photo courtesy of Nacka lokalarkiv.

The same house at Bergvägen now; no trees left, only lawn and more lawn...

It is difficult to say if we have made any progress in gardening within the last hundred years; when looking at the pictures above, I would claim the opposite. So often, when listening to my garden customers in Sweden, they told they "did not have any garden" or that they only have these "horrible conifers" (mostly firs and pine trees). The ordinary house owner seemed either to be afraid of real nature and/or have forgotten everything that was held in value for hundred years ago; that the beauty of nature itself could be appreciated, even very near our abodes. (And here, I don't mean the naturalistic plantings that have been popular for the last ten or fifteen years; beautiful as they are, they still are highly arranged works of gardening, often with many plants not native to their countries.) I understand that for some of us, a garden with this much "nature" could be too much to bear and that many prefer cultivating their gardens in a more elaborated style; but wouldn't it be lovely if we could at least partly revive the thinking from Karin's time and keep some of these gardens intact?

Friday, March 13, 2009

In the garden with Karin Larsson

Karin by the shore, watercolour by Carl Larsson; she seems to be contemplating the handsome lilies, almost past their prime.

Is there any thing more essentially "Swedish" than Carl Larsson's paintings and drawings? In Sweden and maybe even in the rest of Scandinavia, we are so familiar with his art from the turn of the previous century, that we almost don't even think about it; there it is, as part of the cultural and visual landscape, seducing the eyes with its beautifully curved Art Nouveau lines and harmonious colours. It is easy to forget that Carl's paintings depicted surroundings that were quite avant garde for their time and that they really don't represent a typical Swedish home from the turn of the previous century.

Karin in the atelier, watercolour by Carl Larsson.

This year, it is 150 years since the birth of Karin Larsson, Carl Larsson's wife. She was an trained artist and had met Carl while painting in France. They married in 1883 and after their first child (of eight in total) was born in 1884, Karin put her paintbrushes aside, giving her full attention to her home and family. In 1888 the family moved to Lilla Hyttnäs in the village of Sundborn in Dalarna, about 230 km North-East from Stockholm. Their house with its gardens became the center of Karin's creativity, and she filled her home with colourful embroideries, weavings and practical furniture of her own design. In addition, she loved her garden and decorated her home with exotic plants and artistic flower arrangements.

Flowers on the windowsill. From the book "A Home" (26 watercolours in total). Plants include pelargoniums, clivia, oleander, ivy and Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera).

Model with postcards, watercolour 1906. Note the beautiful springtime flower arrangement with soft pink tulips and willow branches.

Although often thought as quintessentially Swedish in their style, both Carl and Karin were very much inspired by John Ruskin and the Arts and Crafts movement founded by William Morris, as they subscribed to The Studio, a magazine that spread these ideas and aesthetics. Just like many of their contemporaries, they admired Japanese art, which was made accessible during this period through prints. In Carl Larsson's paintings, we are actually looking at Karin's designs through Carl's skillful brushwork. It is interesting to see, how the influences above lead to so different results; Karin produced abstracted, strong and quite "pre-modern" designs, often with vegetative motifs for textiles and furniture, while Carl executed his paintings in a highly ornate, intricate but airy style. The only area where Karin's style reminds of Carl's is in her delicate flower arrangements, like Dalecarelian origami combining both wild and garden flowers. Still, their combined contributions created a perfectly balanced and harmonious whole.

Lisbeth reading, watercolour 1904. Note the blooming Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera).

Brita at the piano (1908); flower arrangements by Karin are almost always present in Carl Larsson's paintings.

Letter-writing (1912); what a lovely and practical green flower shelf designed by Karin Larsson.

At the time when Karin and Carl Larsson were active, a new, quite well-off middle class had developed as a result of industrialism during the 19th century. During this period, many of these well-off (but not necessarily rich) people fled from the the crowded and filthy cities to the undisturbed nature; many artists, as writers Selma Lagerlöf and Ellen Key, painter Anders Zorn, and Karin and Carl, are good examples. Even whole residential areas, like Djursholm and Saltsjöbaden outside Stockholm, were built to provide healthy and beautiful surrounding to families that could afford them. The garden fashions in Sweden underwent a considerable change, as the needs of these people were not just growing plants for food, but to spend time and entertain in their gardens. Garden became a place to relax, to eat, to work and to play; it needed to have places to sit and large trees to provide shade when the sun became too strong. The idea of "a wild garden", promoted in England by William Robinson, took ground in Sweden during this time; flowers were allowed to grow freely in meadow-like beds, even if more structured borders were typical around the house. Karin had also a large kitchen garden; in France she had seen and tasted vegetables not usually grown in Sweden, and included these into her garden and greenhouses. Some of these were asparagus, tomatoes, different kinds of lettuce, black radish, rhubarb, chervil, sorrel, strawberries and many more. Karin also grew a large variety of Mediterranean plants like pelargoniums, myrtle, nerium oleander, agapanthus and camellia, all pictured in full bloom in Carl's paintings.

The Bridge (1912); with beautiful icelandic poppies flowering in the front.

Harvesting time in the kitchen garden; Shelling peas (1908). Note the handsomely blooming Echinopsis in the background.

It was actually Karin who gave Carl the idea of picture their home and gardens in his paintings. Books and reprints about their home were produced in large editions, and the original aquarelles were presented at the Stockholm exhibition in 1897; very few homes have had such a huge publicity. Karin's ideas on interior design, colours and gardens were trendsetting at the time and continue even today to inspire people all over the world. There has been many exhibitions of the Larssons' work, the most well known of which might be the one arranged by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 1997. This spring and summer, Sofiero Palace and Gardens in Helsingborg in Southern Sweden are celebrating Karin as an artist, craftswoman and expert gardener with an exhibition called "On the Sunny Side at Sofiero" (30 May - 27 September 2009). It will be interesting to see Karin herself in focus at last, and get a closer look at her world and work.

More about Carl and Karin Larsson: Carl Larsson gården Sundborn.

Exhibition "On the Sunny Side at Sofiero".