A bit of West Sweden in the North East

The National Garden Scheme has developed links with garden enthusiasts in West Sweden to help set up a Swedish version of the charity – which has resulted in an international garden exchange and a new Swedish-inspired public garden for Gateshead.

National Garden Scheme’s Regional Chairman for the North of England and County Organiser for Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, Maureen Kesteven, and her team in the North East has advised on a new open garden scheme for Sweden – which was set up in 2017 and is called Trädgårdsresan (Swedish for ‘garden journey’). As part of the collaboration, National Garden Scheme Publicity Officer for the North East, Susie White, designed ‘A Classic English Garden’ for Jonsered Manor in Gothenburg to publicise the scheme – which was a huge hit with Swedish garden visitors.

The collaboration will now see a Swedish public garden built in Saltwell Park in Gateshead – one of the top ten parks in the UK. The unique Anglo-Swedish garden, ‘A bit of West Sweden in the North East’, will mark and develop the relationship between the North East of England and West Sweden (Region Västra Götaland).

It will provide a focus for educational, economic and cultural collaborations between the regions and a place for the Swedish community and it’s UK friends to visit and hold social and business events. Environmentally focused, the biodiverse garden will attract pollinators including butterflies and bees, and visitors can also enjoy a meadow and a cottage garden.

The National Garden Scheme’s Northumberland and Tyne and Wear team are currently working with UK and Swedish partners to fundraise for the garden, which will be free to enter and bring new visitors to the North East, forge new links with West Sweden.

George Plumptre, Chief Executive of the National Garden Scheme, said “The National Garden Scheme is proud to have provided the inspiration for Tradgardsresan’s development in West Sweden and to be part of this exciting international collaboration. We hope this project will build on the huge success of The Classic English Garden at Jonsered in 2017.”

The garden is due to be open in Saltwell Park, Gateshead, in August 2019.


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