Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Prince Eugen's Waldemarsudde at Djurgården

Auguste Rodin's 'Thinker' deeply in thoughts on one of Waldemarudde's terraces, with Rundtemplet ("Round Temple") behind him by the inlet to Stockholm.

One more 'homesick' post: I just want to share some pictures from one of my favorite places in Stockholm... Waldemarsudde is a picturesque destination for garden lovers at the island of Djurgården just outside Stockholm city. Built as home for Prince Eugen (1865-1947), one of the foremost landscape painters in Sweden of his time, this palatial manor with spacious parklike gardens by the inlet of Stockholm has been a popular art gallery and museum since his death.

 Buxus-edged flowerbeds filled with pelargoniums. Carl Milles's fountain called 'Triton' as a focal point in the middle, and Nike of Samothrace on the upper terrace.

Beautiful stonework, and group of comfortable chairs for visitors to enjoy the view.

The gardens of Waldemarsudde were designed by Prince Eugen himself.  He wrote once to a friend that flowers were his second strongest passion after art, and he gave strict instructions on what to plant, when and where in the gardens. Still today, skillful gardeners keep the gardens as Prince Eugen wished, working long hours in the greenhouses and gardens propagating plants and flowers for both indoor and outdoor use.

The old linseed oil mill from the 18th century in the background, and another terrace with both bedding plants and sculpture.

 The 'Round Temple' by the Stockholm inlet by is a popular spot for lovers.

Prince Eugen was especially fond of what was called 'old-fashioned flowers' during his day; he especially liked tagetes, morning glory and marigolds, which all were grown from seeds in the hothouses on his property. Many tender perennials like pelargoniums were kept in greenhouses during the winter, and lifted out as bedding plants during the summer months. Probably influenced by the carpet bedding craze of the Victorian time, he loved massed plantings in blocks of singular colour; blue, yellow, white and pink were his favorite colours. All flowerbeds were framed with low and tightly trimmed buxus hedges. The Italianate terraces that Prince Eugen designed nearest the main house provided a well-structured background to his collection of French and Swedish sculpture, and copies of classical works of Roman and Greek origin, like the well-known figure of Nike of Samothrace cast after the original in Louvre.

Prince Eugen's garage with an adjoining orangery, which is still used for winter storage of plants.One of the most beautiful orangeries in Stockholm with its magnificent sea view.

The old garage; the orangery enter is from the left door, towards the sea.

Further away from the main house, centuries old oaks give character to the lush parklands and meadows around the buildings, and in early summer, a strong scent of lilacs lingers around, pleasantly tempered by the salty sea breeze. Wandering along the paths, it is impossible to not think about what an incredibly privileged life Prince Eugen led, and how this garden was made with all resources and possibilities only a member of the royal family could possess. Here, he combined two of his greatest passions, art and gardens, into a classisistic synthesis: conservative and traditional, but still arrestingly beautiful in its magnificent setting. After his death, Prince Eugen left Waldemarsudde with its galleries and beautiful grounds for everyone to visit and enjoy, and so it soon became the most beloved artwork of his, visited by thousands of Stockholmers and tourists every year.

The kitchen garden and orchard towards the greenhouses.


Ruben said...

Det var en "kärleksförklaring" som heter duga!! ;-) Förr blev det ofta besök på Waldemarsudde, men nu var det länge sedan, men efter att ha läst och beundrat dina bilder - hur kan man motstå ännu ett besök ganska snart?

Ha det gott!

The Intercontinental Gardener said...

Visst tycker jag om Waldemarsudde, det är så vackert. Konstigt nog jag tyckte i somras att bilderna var för dåliga för att publiceras, och nu känns de ju riktigt fina - vad en lång vinter kan ändra på "ögonen"! Ha det bra, Liisa.