When I was on holiday in Denmark last August it was a very agreeable surprise to see how many wildflowers were growing there. I love wildflowers so this was such a wonderful treat for me. I found little blue Campanula's, blue Scabiosa, wild roses, heather, clover, clematis, honeysuckle, brambles and many other wild flowers I don't know the name of.
And I came upon this plethora of wildflowers rather unexpectedly as we were going for a walk on the beach with the doggies. Thinking of beaches you think of sand or pebbles and the sea, not of wildflowers. Well, I don't.
The walk along the beach was something that my friend Maria, the Bliss under-gardener, me and the doggies, Bamba and Pluto, enjoyed very much. So relaxing to walk along the beach, hearing the sound of the softly crashing waves and not meet a soul.
Two ecstatic little doggies having a truly blissfully happy time.
So there we were on the beach, walking along the shore, breathing in the fresh sea air, the sun on our backs, watching the dogs frolic in the shallows, in short having a great time. I was looking around, as you do, and when I turned my back to the sea I noticed this,
a lovely forest, lots of heather and a profusion of beautiful wildflowers. The wildflowers made me as happy as Bamba and Pluto on the previous pic. And all that wildflower bliss was, totally unexpectedly, found not 10 meters from the sea.
In my own country, the Netherlands, nothing grows either on the beach or very close by it. It's only in the dunes, a long way behind the beach, that you find some very tough plants and grasses and not much else. So I was in wildflower heaven that day on the Solrod beach in Denmark.
Denmark is known for its wonderful beaches, some are sandy, others are pebbled and all are, without fail, beautiful. One of my favorite things to do in Denmark is driving along the coastal road from Copenhagen to Gilleleje, also known as the Gold Coast (see map). This is a must-do for everyone who visits Denmark. I mean, who doesn't love jaw dropping sea views, gorgeous houses and cottages, beautiful forests, picturesque little villages and great bakeries (scrumptious danish pasties, cakes, tarts and pies)? Well, if you don't like those things you must be a very hard person to please and I don't want to have anything to do with you, so please go away and hang your head in shame somewhere else!
And driving along that coastal road you come across some great museums too. There is the Louisiana museum for modern art which is worth a visit for its beautiful gardens with stunning sea views alone.
The under-gardener and my friend Maria in the gardens of the Louisiana museum.
A stunning sea view from the garden of the Louisiana museum.
If you like modern art then it really is something you must see and if you're not sure whether or not you like modern art, have a go at it anyway. My friend Maria wasn't keen on visiting this museum but she surprised herself (and us) by enjoying herself very much indeed in the Louisiana museum. She even went so far as to buy two gorgeous reproductions of some of the modern art on display there.
After we had visited Louisiana we drove further along the coast in beautiful sunny weather. For most of the time we could see the coast of nearby Sweden as well, as it was such a clear day. The next stop was
the Karen Blixen museum. Her lovely house was, after her death, turned into a museum. I have visited this museum lots of times as I so enjoy looking at all the lovely rooms where Karen Blixen used to live. The oldest surviving part of the house dates from 1680. Karen Blixen is still well known today for her book "Out of Africa" but she wrote many, many more in her lifetime, usually under the name Isaak Dinesen. Karen Blixen was nominated for the Nobel Literature prize more than once.
Karen Blixen was not only known for her writing but also for the gorgeous bouquets and flower arrangements she made with the flowers from her own garden. I was amused to see that all the flower arrangements were made with flowers that grow in my garden too.
Unfortunately visitors are not allowed to enter Karen's flower garden so I had to take these pictures from a distance. Note the metal edge surrounding the flower garden.
The flower garden is situated at the back of the property. Here's a pic of Karen's house from the back. As you can see there's a big pond there, teeming with wildlife. The rest of the grounds (mainly woods) have been turned into a bird sanctuary as Karen Blixen was very keen on birds. It's a nice walk and there are lots of very old , 200 to 300 years, beech trees to admire.
From the front garden you look towards the sea. Right in front of the museum is a little harbour with mainly sailing boats, as you can see here.
In 1962 Karen Blixen was laid to rest, as she requested, underneath this beautiful old beech tree in her bird sanctuary, where nature and culture have, at last, become one.
If someone tells me that he is a keen gardener, I ask to see his garden in February.
Sir Frederick Gibberd