Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ulf Nordfjell at Millesgården

Ulf Nordfjell's vegetative spheres built with pratia plants at the main terrace of Millesgården at Lidingö near Stockholm.

Since last year, Ulf Nordfjell, a Swedish landscape architect maybe most know for winning the "Best in Show" award at Chelsea in 2009, has been invited for a long-time collaboration with the the gardens at Millesgården, home and atelier of the Swedish sculptor Carl Milles and his Austrian wife Olga who lived there during the first half of the 20th century.

Flowerbed inspired by Josef Frank's fabric called Aralia; detail with a Ricinus plant.
During this second year into Ulf's work with Millesgården, he co-operated with two colleagues to build an exhibition called "Between Sky and Sea", to create interest and breathe some new life to the almost century-old gardens there. Initially, I wondered how Ulf's Nordic, poetically modern style would go together with the quite pompous, Mediterranean influenced style of the gardens, but he had combined both quite elegantly, building huge spheres covered with delicate little blue star creepers, and filling the flower borders with delectable flower combinations.

"Fuchsias are the most feminine of plants" according to Ulf. He placed them in classic terracotta pots at Olga's terrace.
Mediterranean notes were provided by rows of laurels, olives, fuchsias and lemons planted in classic terracotta pots on the terraces, and they seemed to thrive and complement their monumental but historically sensitive surroundings quite naturally. It still felt like Ulf's work at Millesgården was in its early stages, and I am curious to see how it develops over the coming years.
Lemons in terracotta pots in front of one of the ateliers.
Millesgården is situated on Lidingö, an island just outside Stockholm city center. Carl Milles, who had initially studied cabinet making and carpentry before leaving for Paris and studying at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, became a hugely successful sculptor with numerous commissions both in Sweden and internationally. Between 1931 and 1950, Carl was professor at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, USA, and delivered at the same time several public and private commissions at both sides of the Atlantic. Millesgården is a monument for his life's work where everything is on a grand scale, from the buildings incorporating Carl's ateliers to the stone terraces and replicas of his sculptures.


Tankar från Trädgårdsmästarn; Hillevi said...

Hej där!
ser att du varit "hemom"...

Om du ville läsa pool-artikeln i AoT så ligger den som en PDF fil länk på min hemsida
Mitt på första sidan, eller under Press-Mediafliken...

Ha det gott! Hillevi

Unknown said...

Oj, vilken härlig blogg jag fann:) Den vill jag gärna ha på min favoritlista om det är ok?
Ha det gott,

The Intercontinental Gardener said...

Hej Madame C, tack för beröm! Det låter ju fint om du vill ha en länk på dina sidor. Och nu ska jag besöka din blog...

Fundera grönt said...

Åh dit borde jag åkt i sommar... Men man kan inte hinna med allt. Förstås.
Appropå det var det länge sen jag var in här så nu ska jag kika runt lite. Hoppas allt är fint med dig!

Susan Moss said...

Liisa, Greetings. I was so glad to find your post on the Millesgarden. I was there with Ulf in May of 2010 before his work was done and wanted to find some pictures of things finished and in bloom. It lo9oks spectacular and a real shot in the arm for the venerable old garden. Coincidentally, I live in Kirkland,Wa. I would like to meet you. Perhaps you could visit my garden this summer--it was in Pacific 2 years ago and althought it has taken a few hits since then, it is still a restful, contemporary garden.

Best regards, Sue Moss

The Intercontinental Gardener said...

it would be lovely to meet you. Could you please send your email address - just write a comment, I won't publish it. I loved Ulf's work at Millesgården, I've followed him for a long while and think his designs are such a great example of Scandinavian design, with an added very personal, poetic touch. I look forward to hearing from you soon, Liisa.