Monday, October 13, 2008


Liv, Torhild, Turid, Tilly, Elbjoerg and I went to revisit the garden of our dreams last opening day of this season September 23rd .
On the north peak of an island, surrounded by the Golf Stream, two hours south of Haugesund a gardener fought all odds and founded the only palm island of Norway.
The gardener was struck by a terminal cancer, left his family in the city and moved to the the little family hut on the barren island, to die without burdening his near and dear ones.
He had bought the 25 acres of stones and cliffs far out in the sea for a small penny in the mid sixties. Planted pines and furs to create shelter from the howling Atlantic storms.
Now he started freighting soil, manure, seeds and cuttings while waiting for the great harvester to take his course.
He had nothing to loose, challenging nature to its utmost, with a surprising siege.
His wife came to live with and stand by him, in this peculiar, creative struggle. His children went on growing flowers, plants and rare imports in the greenhouses in the city.
Seasons came and went. The gardener was still alive and planning new projects. People became famous, wanted to see the green wonderland
The whole family decided to invest in buildings to house the visitors, later on also their own boat to bring the spectators to and fro.
In -87 the opened the place for the public.
600 visitors. Far beyond their estimates.

The built a restaurant, hired a gourmet chef who could make a menu from scratch. There are no shops at the island.
Last summer queen Sonia celebrated her 75th birthday at the island with royalties from all over Europe.

They searched and found living quells of water deep under the earth.
We were there on a rather cold and rainy day. The pictures does not at all give fairness to the color splendor of the flowers.
I will not even try to list the variety of the flower species. They come from all over the world.
34 000 guests have this summer greeted the gardener, still alive, though in an electric cart, and testified that the miracles of belief, hard work and love is stronger than any medical or metherological prognoses.


John Cowart said...

What a lovely place and what a nice story to go with your photos.

The fifth photo up from the bottom shows an Angel Trumpet; several of them grow in our garden. Ours do not do as well as the flowers you show-- and we live in a semitropical climate here in Florida.

Thanks for sharing these wonders of God's world.

maryt/theteach said...

What a remarkable story and wonderful series of photos! thank you for sharing all of it, Felisol! Thank you too for visiting my Manic Monday post! :)

Jim said...

Felisol, this is super nice what this man did to spend his 'last days'!

It inspired me to do something similar, would you please wire me some funds, perhaps a couple of million to start, as our U.S banks are in slow motion at the present.

Seriously, this is a very nice place for everyone to visit and enjoy the lovely garden.

Anonymous said...

What a magnificent garden -- even on a cloudy day!

Mrs. Mac said...

This guy is my gardener 'hero' ... he has given his soul to this effort of his. God has blessed him and enabled him to continue on even in supposed ill health. Very inspirational ... I would love to visit this flowered flowing beach of Norway.

Hugs from the North Woods

Amrita said...

Absolutely amazing story. What a man...true Norwegian spirit and such an inspiration who are struggling with pain.

Amrita said...

Thank you for your email Felisol.
I would like to limnk this post of yours on my blog its such a practical inspiration to me and all those who are suffering with terminal or debilitating illness. This is lighting a cnadle instead of cursing the darkness.

These are heroes.

I tried Aasmund Bryhn on Google but did not come up with the garden.Please give me the name of the garden and location , maybe google has something on it in English.

If I ever come to Norway (in my dreams) this is the place I 'd like to see and the Stave churches.

Thank you.