JARS v39n1 - Display Garden in Denmark

Display Garden in Denmark
Carl Adam Lehmann
Vedbaek, Denmark

Although the Danish chapter is today more than 10 years old, it was not until 1981 that a location was found, and a formal agreement reached with the trustees of the foundation that owns the Manor House Gl. Kjogegaard. In May 1981 planting could finally be started.

Since the first days of the chapter activity, we had however been looking for a suitable place. Located just 40 kilometres south of Copenhagen, the Manor House, which is almost 300 years old, overlooks an old established park containing many species of trees and shrubs with a winding creek running through the area. More important the distance from the Baltic Sea is only 1 kilometre giving a positive micro-climatic effect. Besides the soil consists of acid-sand with a thin cover of top soil. Our pH-tests indicated 4.7 - 5.8 and we knew that we had found an ideal area for establishing a display garden.

Our wish is to grow plants to full maturity, enabling the larger growing specimens to reach their full proportions with time, a luxury which cannot be obtained in a normal town garden with its limited area. To avoid the pitfalls of establishing a collection, help was enlisted from many chapters in US on both east and west coast, and we are very grateful for the support and encouragement that we received from everywhere including the RSF.

The display garden is managed by a small group consisting of the board of the Danish Chapter plus past board members and a few individuals that have shown special interest in the development. This group meets twice a year to plan the bi-annual activity days taking place the first Saturday in May and October respectively. For these activity days all members are called on to volunteer their services in planting, weeding, watering, labeling etc. that has to be done. Besides the two activity days a schedule is made up for the summer ensuring that one member of the administration group visits the park each week to make sure that everything is in order.

Manor house
Photo by Carl Adam Lehmann

The enclosed photographs show the Manor House seen from the planting area. The other two photographs show the receiving station, where donated plants are registered and labeled. Mr. Ole Rolf Jacobsen, President of the Danish Chapter, is seen taking notes with Mr. Tue Jorgensen, Past President of the Chapter watching together with Mr. Christian Madvig (somewhat hidden behind the tree). During the working day a lunch break is held, giving time for general discussions on the whole project and also making it possible to distribute a few plants by lottery. The stony hill in the background is where the alpine rhododendrons are planted.

Danish chapter members receiving plants Lunch break
Photo by Carl Adam Lehmann Photo by Carl Adam Lehmann

"All it takes are a handful of dedicated people," was a sentence written in a letter from a west coast chapter, and it was a very true remark indeed. The Chapter Display Garden is a beginning, and we are grateful for the contributions that members have made in terms of time and plant material. We have also received plants from botanical gardens in Germany and Sweden as well as from the Arboretum in Copenhagen. These sources have larger and more mature plant material. Furthermore a link up with the RSF has enabled us to start young plants from selected clones. Today about 800 plants are growing in the park.

In a few years, hopefully, the plantings will be big enough to open formally to the public, and in the meantime Chapter members and their guests are welcome to visit the area on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Some day we are very likely going to have a section called "American Hybrids," so please keep in touch and please let us know if you have more suggestions.