This is the second of my informal illustrated reports on the delayed Society visit and meeting to Denmark and Germany in 2022, postponed twice from 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID pandemic. A full set of articles by members of the group will be published in the next journal, Clematis International 2023. To those attendees, I hope the wait was worth it, and this set of personal reports will bring back happy memories. To others, perhaps it will encourage you to join us on a future year. In this second report I will cover our visits on the second day of our meeting, Monday 11th July 2022. If you wish to read the first report, please click Denmark/Germany 2022 - Part 1. For the third report, please click Denmark/Germany 2022 - Part 3. The fourth report can be found at Denmark/Germany 2022 - Part 4.
Walking Tour of AarhusWe met our guide in the entrance of our hotel, Scandic Aarhus City Aarhus, for a walking tour of some of the sights of Aarhus. I'll describe a few highlights of the places we visited. Our first stop was the City Hall, an imposing concrete building, clad in Norwegian marble. Initially there was no clock tower, but the people of Aarhus were not happy with this as so, due to public demand, one was built. To one side of the park in front of the City Hall is an interesting and somewhat amusing sculpture of a pig family, a sow and a number of piglets. Initially the Aarhus residents were not impressed, believing pigs weren't worthy of such an honour of a statue outside the City Hall, but over time they have come to love them, as one can see from the way the surface colour has been worn by people stroking the pigs.
Aarhus City Hall
Pig sculpture outside the City Hall
We continued and were soon passing the ARoS Art Museum. Later in the week, Fiona and I visited. It's an amazing building in it's own right but it also houses an eclectic collection of art works or all types, including some that adorn the central circular staircase. As you can see from the picture, there is a multi-coloured circular walkway on the roof. From here you get a great view across Aarhus, but with a different colour tint depending on which direction you look.
ARoS Art Museum
From the very modern to the old and quaint. Møllestien is a small cobbled street lined on both sides with old houses , generally built in the 18th century and most of which are adorned with flowers, particularly hollyhocks and roses. We could see inside one or two of the houses are the front doors were open for workmen to come and go. They looked very quaint, but also very small. This is a highly desirable street.
Møllestien, lined with small quaint old houses, hollyhocks and roses
The Church of our Lady is a wing of a monastery that in turn was built on the site of a church dated around 1000 AD. It includes a Crypt dated 1060 AD, the oldest church building in Aarhus and the oldest arched space in Scandinavia. The alter piece is quite magnificent, but possibly more interesting are the old wall paintings, a bit faded but you can still see amazing detail. The model ship hanging from the ceiling follows the old tradition of making an offering to protect fishermen. This particular model ship, however, is meant to have been made in 1720 for Peter the Great, Czar of Russia, to show him the design of ships that he'd ordered.
The alter in The Church of our Lady
Wall paintings in The Church of our Lady
In the ancient crypt of The Church of our Lady
Model ship, hanging from the ceiling in The Church of our Lady
As well as the above, we visited a park with a modern mobile sculpture, an old courtyard and other sights, certainly plenty to give us all ideas of what we might do during the free afternoon and evening on the following day. We were left by our hotel to disperse to find somewhere for lunch, before assembling again back at our hotel to board the coach for the afternoon garden visits.
De Kreative HaveThe first of the two gardens on the schedule for this afternoon was De Kreative Have, a garden with an oriental theme. The garden was created by the owners, Ina and John Andersen, starting in 1995. The construction included digging the lakes, clearing trees and importing many tons of stone, and took over three years. Unfortunately John was not available to conduct us around, but Ina suggested we wander where we wished – and we did. After entering through the side gate, the vista unfolds as you come around a corner and get a first glimpse of the garden. It's large with lakes, oriental pagodas, a lot of stones plus trees, shrubs, and a few clematis. There were many oriental objects, both stone and other materials, which may well have been collected over the years. So whilst there were only a few clematis, the garden was fascinating in the way it had evolved over the years. I particularly liked the "little touches", such as the weights, hanging from boughs of various trees and shrubs to train them into the correct position.
Large Gunnera to greet you as you enter
Trained tree - note the stone weight hanging from a bough on the right hand side
There were clematis, this one growing through a Rhododendron
The first of four pagodas
Another pagoda, standing more in the water
Stone and gravel garden with Buddha head
Just one of the many paths through the garden
More clematis, this one making use of a dead tree trunk
The garden of Elmer and Lissy AagesenThe second and final garden to visit this day was the clematis garden of Society members, Elmer and Lissy Aagesen. Anyone who tracks clematis on social media will have seen many images of Elmer's garden, but they cannot convey the intensity of clematis planting in this garden. We were greeted by Lissy and Elmer, who gave a short introduction before giving the go-ahead to investigate the treasures within. A short narrow path, flanked on both sides with clematis, opened up to offer three or four different branches to follow. Elmer's collection of clematis is amazing, I have no idea how many different cultivars he has, but it's a lot. Very helpfully for a garden visitor, they all appeared to have name tags. I've picked out just a few to show below. As you can see, it was a very hot and sunny day, not the best for photography.
In Part 3, I'll describe our visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kongernes Jelling - home of the Viking kings, Lille Malunds Have - a large garden with clematis and many other plants, the garden of Margit and Vagn Elgaard - parents of Jette Jensen, and Staudeblomsten - the "petal" garden. And I'll give you the answer to the "hanging bells"! You can find this at Denmark/Germany 2022 - Part 3. If you wish to read the first report, please click Denmark/Germany 2022 - Part 1. The fourth and last report can be found at Denmark/Germany 2022 - Part 4.
Short narrow path leading to the main garden,
C. 'Evipo100'(N) CHELSEA™ on the left
Clematis-lined path - one of many
A floriferous C. crispa
C. integrifolia 'Pastel Pink'
C. 'Josie's Midnight Blue'
C. 'Happy Diana'
I believe this is the "Clematis nursery"
Elmer had several of these suspended in the trees, of similar
shape but slightly different sizes. Can you guess what it is?
I'll leave this with you and give you the answer in Part 3!
Our thanks to Elmer and Lissy for letting us visit their wonderful garden
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