At Sinnenas Trädgård, Marstrand, Sweden.
Text Photo & Video © JE Nilsson & CM Cordeiro 2020

After completing the morning’s errands of some grocery shopping, the brilliant Swedish west coast weather beckoned us in taking a slightly longer drive up the length of the coast. We decided to head to Marstrand, which was a comfortable distance from our grocery shopping place of the day. Driving up into the roundabout of the ferry terminal to Marstrand, we noted that it was not overly crowded. Perfect indication to buy two ferry tickets to cross over to Marstrand.

Stepping off the ferry after it docks on the side of Marstrand, we decided to take a left instead of the usual right, which would take us to the scenic waterfront where all the shops, restaurants and cafés are located.

Marstrand is a popular seaside destination located in Kungälv Munincipality. The island is a comfortable sailing distance from the southern archipelago of Gothenburg if you have your own boat, you can make it there in about three hours if you took a leisure sail pace. And by car, it’s a comfortable hour plus drive, departing from Saltholmen ferry terminal.

Taking a left turn landed us almost directly at a cozy garden, Sinnenas Trädgård or “A Garden for the Senses”. Inspired by garden tours in Great Britain, Sinnenas Trädgård is part of West Sweden’s version of the National Garden Scheme’s Yellow Book, Trädgårdsresan or “Tour of Gardens”. In collaboration with the Swedish Beekeeper’s Association, Trädgårdsresan have also begun a Bee Fund, the purpose is in aid of the conservation and preservation of bees and other insect pollinators.

The small garden for the senses at Marstrand is surrounded by red and green painted wooden houses. One of the instant attractions for me is its vegetable and herb boxes that contains fragrant herbal plants from mint to olive. The garden is managed by Svenska Kyrkan (Church of Sweden), and visitors are invited to a modest selection of tea and coffee with traditional Swedish fika breads.

This garden provided the perfect getaway in a getaway. It’s location away from the island centre and waterfront makes it an introvert’s paradise. You can buy coffee, sit under the beech tree and contemplate the surrounding that is generally abuzz with warm, friendly vibes. Children are invited to explore the tiniest and most adorable Noah’s Ark construction I have seen on a playground. Personally, I tried to figure out what herbs were planted and growing in the boxes. I managed to identify only a few, and admired their one artichoke growing beautiful, tall and sturdy beside the gorgeous golden heads of the fussier dill.

Some tea / coffee and a modest selection of Swedish fika breads.

The vegetable and herb boxes at Sinnenas Trädgård, Marstrand, Sweden. Adorning the window frames of the house, delicate lace curtains hung in 18-century style. Very lovely.

In the corner of this vegetable and herb box is Olivenurt (Santolina Viridis). This herbal plant is native to the Mediterranean. It gives off the most amazing smell of olives.

Fragrant sweet peas.

Dill with full crowns of blossoms. An indispensable spice to serve with fresh potatoes, and to garnish seafood dishes for the midsummer activities and the autumn crayfish parties.

Alcea rosesa or stockros. These gorgeous blooms are found along the Swedish west coast, mostly along white garden fences. Blooms can be found in light yellow, peach, light pinks and deep wine / burgundy.

View of th Sinnenas Trädgård’s house, onlooking from the adjacent street (Hospitalgatan).