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Listing last updated on 02 Jul 2018.
USDA Zone: 5b
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My garden is situated in the northern part of Oslo in an allotment area with small wooden cottages from the 30's. Most of the gardens contain various types of fruit trees and bushes, as well as vegetable patches. The garden has undergone a complete remake since 2009 of which roses form a very large part.
I have had my trials and tribulations and tend to be quite unforgiving to poor performers and too sensitive varieties. In Oslo we commonly have about one week of between -22 to -26 C in winter and I unfortunately often...forget (!) to arrange for winter protection. Summers are often late and unreliable in terms of warm temperatures. At night, cold air comes running down from the higher altitudes which creates a cold draft through the garden, further delaying summer temperatures. So, my roses need to be tough, healthy, vigorous and cold hardy to make it. In addition, they should have good scent, beautiful leaves, set hips, be long flowering and self-clean neatly (which appears to be difficult to find)...and while we are at it, save the world, of course!
Otherwise, am a big fan of large gardens, particularly of the Mediterranean type or those that represent new and more creative thinking. House Gods are Piet Oudulf and Burle Marx. Lot's of good thinking also from van Sweden. Since my days in Indonesia, Balinese gardens are high on my list, as well as the beautiful courtyards of the Moores, as seen in Seville and various places in Morocco. In my own park/garden plans for the future, the aim will be to create moods/atmospheres that I cannot find elsewhere. The risk is of course to become too overflowing and eventually create chaos. But the process of creating something previously unseen may not necessarily be an instant hit of beauty. Rather, my feeling is that it will be an experience similar to bitter chocolate: an acquired taste which is addictive and full of pleasure while at the same time keeping a distancing feeling of unease due to the bitter note. One of these days...
Am more than happy to receive advice from other fanatics and professionals and happy to share whatever I have learnt as happy garden amateur.