Resarö, Sweden — North winds blow hard from the Baltic Sea and buffet against the willow fence around Tyra Lindhe’s kitchen garden. Designer, teacher, and creator of one of the most appealing Internet garden sites since 2006, this January, Tyra is showing visitors around her greenhouse made from vintage windows rescued from an attic in her seacoast town in Stockholm County. An ardent photographer, Tyra delights visitors with views of her cobbles-and-millstone courtyard glowing in the last rays of afternoon sun. Then as night falls, this creative gardener lights white candles in the windows and instantly adds even more enchantment.
A Northern Greenhouse: from Winter into Spring —
With only six hours of daylight, nights are long in this Northern climate, but with the glowing candles in the tall windows, and a steaming pepper and tomato soup on the stove in the kitchen, Tyra’s garden becomes a cozy interlude, even in winter. In Tyra’s words, the greenhouse is like a “sanctuary” that gives her peace of mind and energy—energy which she then uses to create more beauty as the seasons unfold into Spring and Summer.
Warm seasons are most welcome in Sweden where a gardener can look forward to almost 19 hours of sunlight and temperatures as high 30°C / 86°F. With the help of her greenhouse, stone courtyard, and willow fence, Tyra is able to create a favorable micro-climate for many lovely cottage plants and her signature favorite tomatoes and peppers.
Organically grown heirloom produce from this picturesque garden, along with the pristine coastline of Sweden are just a few of the reasons Tyra loves this part of the world.
Many of us have followed Tyra’s blog for almost seven years, enjoying the beautiful stream of photos and garden wisdom. Here are just a few of her designer/garden tips:
• Be open to design ideas from many different sources: Tyra’s willow fence inspiration came from a 1960s movie featuring an early-American garden.
• Tyra’s greenhouse inspiration came from books by Peter Marston.
• Tyra uses lots of vintage items for decoration around her home and garden—white paint is a great unifier.
• A shelf along the base of a high window is the perfect space-saving place for plant trays and a group of matching geranium pots (two examples shown in the photographs above).
• Even if your soil is poor, as it is on Tyra’s island coast of Sweden, use lots of organic material and you can also grow beautiful produce and flowers for your table and containers.
• Favorite tomato varieties – ‘Black cherry’, ‘Stupice’ (photographed on the white chair above) and ‘Malakhitovaya shkatulka’
• Favorite chili pepper varieties – ‘Poblo’, ‘Santaka’ and ‘Rocoto’
• Favorite flower varieties – Annuals like calendula and tagete (French marigolds, which she calls her little helpers); and also ‘Bishop’s Children’ Dahlias
Examples of books written by one of Tyra’s inspirational writers, Peter Marston:
If you would like to learn more about Tyra’s classes, lectures, and publishing ventures, please visit her beautiful blog