Oslo Garden

A blog about gardening in Oslo, Norway

About

Av små frø blir det store tre – from small seeds big trees grow…. (A Norwegian proverb).

Hi I’m Nicola and I began this blog to chronicle my gardening adventures in Oslo.

I moved here from Southern England with my family in 2011, and up to that time had never experienced such long winters or long summer days. I started out gardening with just a few pots to inject some colour into the garden and as a creative outlet.  Winter came and I held my breath. To my amazement, as spring emerged from under the snow so did new growth on my plants and it spurred me onto growing even more.

As I don’t have a patch of garden to call my own, my main focus is on growing in containers without a greenhouse, using equipment that you can typically find in non-specialist shops. As I’m discovering, there is so much you can do with a small space and in this environment.

I’m interested in the idea of community gardening, making gardening accessible to everybody, and growing food initiatives. My background is in community environmental work  and I am currently studying a diploma in horticulture.

If you would like to get into gardening or bring gardening into your community- school, nursery, residents’ committee- then please get in touch! I’d like to help you get started. Or if you are already gardening and have experiences to share, I’d love to hear from you.

Welcome to my blog, and happy gardening wherever you are!

14 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Nicola,

    I’m also from the South of England and enjoy gardening on my south-facing balcony on Fornebu. I grew monster tomato plants last year. I didn’t remove the sideshoots as I had heard that it makes the plant more sturdy. It worked a treat and I was overloaded with tomatoes. I grew Sungold, Gardener’s Delight and Balkonzauber. All were very tasty but Sungold was the best. I used 50% Simonsen kukompost and 50% Simonsen blomsterjord, plus tomato feed once a week. They went a little out of control so this year I will keep them a bit tidier from the start. They were a bit of a pain to get rid of after they stopped producing fruit and I was considering buying a kvistkverner and composter but ended up just taking it all to the recycling plant. Might try composting this year though.

    • Fantastic to hear from you J.T! That’s really interesting, thanks for sharing. I also grew tomatoes (Matina variety) for the first time last year. We had to uproot them in the end as we were going away for høstferie in mid-September but they were still going strong, albeit the fruits weren’t really ripening anymore. I ended up making green tomato chutney from the tomatoes that were left! I’d really like to start composting too but as yet just rely on home-made leaf mould. One day! Keep me posted on how things go for you this year!

  2. Pleased to meet you. I spotted your blog address on the Events list. 🙂

  3. I don’t suppose you are studying at the uni in Ås are you? I’ve been thinking about studying plantevitenskap there but am just in the early stages of consideration. Can you elaborate on what you are studying? I’d be very interested 🙂

    • Hi J.T! I’ve met Linda Jolly from UMB (Norwegian University of Life Sciences) to discuss how school gardening is being approached in Norway. However I’m not too familiar with the courses themselves. I myself began studying the Royal Horticultural Society courses online. It’s been very thorough, giving a foundation in botany and practical horticulture. If you go down a virtual route, I’d really advise supplementing it with as much practical hands-on horticultural experience as possible as this really helps to cement the academic study. Studying in class with the potential of ongoing practical asssigments has an obvious advantage in that respect. Courses do vary enormously and it’s probably best to be clear in your own mind as to whether you’d want a scientific or academic or business course, or one with more emphasis on something more hands-on with plants. Good luck! Keep in touch- I’d be interested to know what you end up doing!

  4. Thank you for following my blog… I’m looking forward to following yours and seeing how plants fare in a place more cold and dark than Scotland! Joanna

  5. Hello Nicola,
    Moving to Norway next year (Drammen) and will have a garden!
    Done a fair amount of vegetable gardening in the UK, including having an allotment, so very interested to know how vegetable growing fairs in a slightly different environment?
    Cheers
    Jim

    • Hi Jim, thank you for visiting my blog, great to hear from you! Growing here (I presume you are in the UK) differs in a few ways. The growing season tends to be shorter, between May-Oct. However there are longer daylight hours in the summer months, and depending on your garden, you may find you can create a nice sheltered warm microclimate. I’ve been able to grow lovely crops of tomatoes outside. The other main difference is the variety of crops here. Generally speaking I’d say you can find fewer varieties on offer here but it’s by no means limited. Other than that, I’d say growing here really isn’t that much different. Check out my old blog entries to get an idea of just some of the kinds of things I’ve tried growing, and check out the useful links page for general useful information, and links to online plant retailers so you can see the kinds of things that can be sourced. Growing in a different environment throws up new and exciting challenges so I wish you all the best and by all means visit again to update me with your growing adventures!

  6. Hi Nicola, many thanks for your reply. I’m really looking forward to getting “stuck” into the garden as our new house has a reasonable sized plot. The current owners have strawberries, raspberries etc so part of the work, other than the looking after, has already been started.

    Looking to move in during April so it should be an ideal time for preparing and planting.

    I’m sure that it will take a few years of trial or error to get things sorted but its a great challenge.

    Whereabouts are you based?

    Thanks

    • April’s a great time to get here to watch everything begin to unfurl and wake up after winter. Sounds exciting! I’m currently based in Nordstrand (south east Oslo), having moved to this area in August. There are noticeable differences of humidity and temperature between different parts of the city, so it’s worth taking time to observe your garden this year, look out for microclimates, sun patterns etc etc and have fun giving things a go 🙂 Keep in touch!

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