A Summer Gardening School in Sweden15th July 2014 • Stephanie's Blog • Stephanie Donaldson
The wonderful thing about writing about gardens and gardening is that you get to go to some amazing places and meet lots of people who share your interests. My recent visit to Sweden where I visited the island of Oland to write about the Summer Gardening School at Capellagarden was just such a treat. Capellagarden is a fascinating place – it’s a creative school where international students attend year long courses in cabinet making and furniture design, ceramics, textile craft and design, and ecological gardening. They also run week long summer courses, including one on gardening, which was why I was there. Short summer courses are very popular in Sweden – people attend them as a rest from their day job, as a taster for a course they are considering doing, or as the first step in a change of direction. Capellagarden was founded in 1960 by Carl Malmstem, an eminent 20th century Swedish furniture designer. He was disenchanted with the way education focused on academic achievement and wanted to create a place where hand and mind were integrated – think an updated version of the Arts & Craft movement, or the Shakers (without the religion). The students live and work communally alongside their tutors with everyone pitching in and helping with the chores and the cooking as well as creating work of a very high standard.